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Group Reads > The Convenient Marriage July 2017 Group Read Spoilers thread

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message 1: by Carol ꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂  | 2738 comments Mod
For final conclusions. Open spoilers welcome in this thread.


message 2: by Carol ꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂  | 2738 comments Mod
I've finished just about in one gulp. Although GH's depiction of Horry's stutter didn't bother me on this reading, there were some things about the ending that did. I'll wait for the rest of you to catch me up. :)


message 3: by Sherwood (new)

Sherwood Smith (SherwoodSmith) | 82 comments I find this one problematical. I love everything having to do with Horry, but I really don't like the Earl's adultery, or the way the mistress is handled in the story. i find myself skipping over her scenes.


message 4: by Carol ꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂  | 2738 comments Mod
Sherwood wrote: "I find this one problematical. I love everything having to do with Horry, but I really don't like the Earl's adultery, or the way the mistress is handled in the story. i find myself skipping over h..."

I found that realistic. I'm just wondering when Rule completely broke with Caroline.


message 5: by Jackie (last edited Jul 02, 2017 04:41PM) (new)

Jackie | 423 comments I haven't started the re-read yet, but my memory of this book is that I am just OK with Horry, not so much because of her stutter as her extreme youth. However, I think the scene near the end when The Boys plan to hold up the coach is among my all-time favorite in any Heyer.


message 6: by Rosina (last edited Jul 02, 2017 04:57PM) (new)

Rosina (RosinaRowantree) | 206 comments I think there were 'hints' that Rule had at least reduced his visits to Lady Massey after his marriage - the Rules had been travelling, which would have cemented the break, and it's not clear if the visits on his return had been - let us say 'intimate'.

It doesn't particularly worry me in this book either way. Rule is learning to love Horry, and yet must continue to act as if this were a more traditional convenient marriage.

My personal view is that Rule and Horry have not yet consummated their marriage - though they will do so soon after the end of the book. Of the married couples, I'm sure Kitten and Sherry haven't (the idea of 'a baby!' is clearly a step they haven't yet even considered, let alone tried). Cardross and Nell have been sleeping together (occasionally) since Nell is concerned that she isn't producing hte heir he must want from her, and she wouldn't be worrying about this if ... Adam and Jenny are clearly fully man and wife, and so, rather worryingly for some readers, are Harry and Juana.


message 7: by Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder (last edited Jul 02, 2017 04:50PM) (new)

Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder  (CatsosPerson) | 987 comments Sherwood wrote: "I find this one problematical. I love everything having to do with Horry, but I really don't like the Earl's adultery, or the way the mistress is handled in the story. i find myself skipping over h..."

I read an article (before I joined GR)--and I'll see if I can find it--that makes the case that Rule and Horry had not consummated their marriage.

One of the things that article points out is that Lizzie, who marries shortly after Horry, quickly became pregnant, while Horry was not with child.

I'm not excusing adultry, but like Carol, I thought it was realistic and also Rule and Horry may not have had any intimacy.

Also, when Horry expressed that she and Rule would not "interfere" with each other once married, I think she was too young to really understand the ramifications of leading separate lives as a married couple.


message 8: by Sherwood (new)

Sherwood Smith (SherwoodSmith) | 82 comments Also, when Horry expressed that she and Rule would not "interfere" with each other once married, I think she was too young to really understand the ramifications of leading separate lives as a married couple.

That I think the text makes clear. I realize that it was realistic for the time for Rule to have a mistress, what I object to is the handling of the entire subject. But that's just me.

Like I said, I love all the Horry parts, and how she learns, and how practical she is. I love the way she learns to handle Lethbridge. She's smart, just very inexperienced in pretty much all ways. She's not a languishing twit like her mother and sister (with whom Rule would have been bored in a week, and driven back into the arms of a string of mistresses).

I get the sense that once Horry and Rule are on the same page, they are going to have fun with marriage. (Once I got over wanting to beat him over the head with his own walking stick for his arrogance in the way he treated the mistress, who is kept strictly one-dimensional by Heyer.)


message 9: by Kim (new)

Kim Kaso | 467 comments I love the "beating him over the head with his own walking stick". I really find the keeping them virginal and untouched all the way to the altar, the throwing them into the deep end of the pool without much guidance very frustrating. I rewatched Valmont, and the whole using the young girl just out of the convent to take revenge on her lover is horrific, really.


message 10: by Sherwood (new)

Sherwood Smith (SherwoodSmith) | 82 comments Well, keeping the heroines virginal and "pure" (ignorant) was pretty much a requirement in those publishing days.


message 11: by Kim (new)

Kim Kaso | 467 comments Well, I am thinking more about real life, which wanted them virginal and ignorant, as well. It all seems sad, just a bit more civilized than taking away their ability to physically enjoy sex.


message 12: by Carol ꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂  | 2738 comments Mod
I'm thinking how very resourceful some of GH's young heroines are. They must have been such a breath of fresh air!


message 13: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer i like Horry, she's so funny. I don't find Rule particularly interesting, but he's okay. My favourite bit sare Horry's propsoal to rule, and the bit where she thinks she's killed Rule and meets her brother and his friends on their way home.


message 14: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer Kim wrote: "I love the "beating him over the head with his own walking stick". I really find the keeping them virginal and untouched all the way to the altar, the throwing them into the deep end of the pool wi..."

allthough upper class girls were certainly expected to be virgins at marriage, i daresay most of them knew what was what. they would have gleaned information from older sisters, servants, books, etc. possibly by watching animals. I remember in her autobiography the joy of the Snow, elizabeth goudge related how her mother and aunts worked it out as girls from reading various passages in the Bible. And certainly in horry's case, she clearly likes Rule, and he seems to be quite a considerate sort of person, i expect he was gentle with her on their wedding night.


message 15: by Sherwood (new)

Sherwood Smith (SherwoodSmith) | 82 comments Yeah--if you read letters of the time, women knew pretty well what was going on; if nothing else, they had sisters and cousins dealing with childbirth, too frequently dying. Men wanted to marry virgins, but the "pure" and "innocent" angelic heroine was very much an invention of mid-century writers in an effort to lift novels out of the disrepute they began in during the early 1700s. Those early ones were pretty much potboilers with all kinds of wild happenings (try Mary Davys, a real eye-opener) as they also invented things like how to report dialogue, etc.

It's interesting to compare those passive, pure heroines who waited around to be rescued to a character like Charlotte Lucas, who knew exactly what she wanted, and what it meant, and entered into marriage with eyes open. Charlotte could only have been written by a woman.

Anyway, back to Heyer: I think she was playing with those tropes about heroines when she wrote Horry, who is certainly seventeen, and raised by a silly mother who didn't really equip her girls for anything practical, but Horry figures things out fast, and she's funny. She's one of my favorite Heyer heroines.


message 16: by victoria_tonks (last edited Jul 03, 2017 01:42PM) (new)

victoria_tonks | 18 comments I like Horry a lot. She might be young and naive, but I just love her no-nonsense attitude, and also her willingness to help her sister. Plus, as Rule says, she really is a lady of infinite resource. ;) And I have a thing for Rule. ;) I know that while not precisely a rake, he is definitely a man of rather loose morals (until his marriage at least), but he is kind and extremely loyal to and protective of his wife.

This book is also one of the funniest I have ever read. I especially adore Pel and Pom. One of my favourite scenes (which never fails to make me laugh) is when Sir Roland comes to Rule to invite him to a card party. And his subsequent conversation with Pelham. Also, the scene towards the end when they all attend the concert. Honestly, this book has been with me through my blackest moods and never failed to cheer me up.

Also, there is a great review of TCM here if you are interested: https://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com/20....


message 17: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 337 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "when Horry expressed that she and Rule would not "interfere" with each other once married, I think she was too young to really understand the ramifications of leading separate lives as a married couple. "
Ah yes, early on Horry was willing for Rule to have mistresses in theory. However, as we later see, she was quite upset to find the mistress a reality. The scenes where Rule discovers the swains in her boudoir--I think his reaction is more than just protecting his young wife. When he suggests that he could assist her, she hesitates and then mumbles something about husbands don't do than sort of thing (and sounds regretful). They are still not quite on the same page in their relationship.


Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder  (CatsosPerson) | 987 comments victoria_tonks wrote: "I like Horry a lot. She might be young and naive, but I just love her no-nonsense attitude, and also her willingness to help her sister. Plus, as Rule says, she really is a lady of infinite resourc..."

I like Horry too. She certainly isn't stupid.

As you said, young and naive, but she learns and catches on.


message 19: by Carol ꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂  | 2738 comments Mod
I was thinking how brave some of GH's very young heroines are - Horry, Leonie & (although it's a long time since I read this one) Pen.


message 20: by Susan in NC (last edited Jul 04, 2017 03:48PM) (new)

Susan in NC (SusanNCReader) | 1828 comments Just finished, 4.5 stars for me...still like Horry and Rule as h and H but not sure what drew Rule to Horry - I certainly found her a breath of fresh air and loved the proposal, but would that really convince Rule to make a lifelong commitment? Still lots of fun, I still find Pel and Pom a hoot, but am amazed at the way Heyer wrote some of her aristocratic young men - dumb as a box of rocks!


Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder  (CatsosPerson) | 987 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Just finished, 4.5 stars for me...still like Horry and Rule as h and H but not sure what drew Rule to Horry - I certainly found her a breath of fresh air and loved the proposal, but would that real..."

My take on what drew Rule to accept Horry's proposal is he was jaded/bored by everything and he found her more charming and entertaining than anyone/anything else in a long time.


message 22: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (SusanNCReader) | 1828 comments She's certainly intelligent, honest and strong-willed - he'd never be bored!


Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder  (CatsosPerson) | 987 comments Susan in NC wrote: "She's certainly intelligent, honest and strong-willed - he'd never be bored!"

Someone said in one of these threads that Rule would have been bored with Lizzie. I agree. Never a dull moment with Horry!


Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder  (CatsosPerson) | 987 comments Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ wrote: "I was thinking how brave some of GH's very young heroines are - Horry, Leonie & (although it's a long time since I read this one) Pen."

I don't object to a young heroine.


message 25: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (LouiseX) | 410 comments I probably enjoyed it a little better this time round, although I'm leaving my review at 2 stars, it was ok.

It was more convincing of attraction between the main couple than A Civil Contract... one I always muddle up with this one. If I'm honest though it was Pel and Pom that stole the show, and made it worth reading.

I don't think I like stories where they get married at the beginning and fall in love later very much.


message 26: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 417 comments Louise Sparrow wrote: "I probably enjoyed it a little better this time round, although I'm leaving my review at 2 stars, it was ok.

It was more convincing of attraction between the main couple than A Civil Contract... ..."


I know what you mean re the 'marrying first' part , it is different and not perhaps so much fun as the conventional way round . And I also agree re Pel and Pom and the hapless Edward, it quite endeared me to Lizzie's solemn young man the way he went along with the P & P silliness albeit against his will !

(I must say though , I can't see any likeness between this and Civil Contract apart from the title and marriage arrangement idea . CC is quite serious and sombre and has one party secretly and quietly in love with the other from the outset, which neither Rule nor Horry are )


message 27: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer Louise Sparrow wrote: "I probably enjoyed it a little better this time round, although I'm leaving my review at 2 stars, it was ok.

It was more convincing of attraction between the main couple than A Civil Contract... ..."


I don't usually care for that type of story either, but this one is so funny. And although not in love, at least they are attracted to begin with. horry clearly likes Rule, you can tell she is surprised that her sister prefers the other chap. and rule, who presumably could have his pick of eligible young women, clearly sees something in Horry that charms him.


message 28: by Carol ꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (last edited Jul 05, 2017 01:58PM) (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂  | 2738 comments Mod
Just carrying on from Phyllis's point in the first thread... I actually didn't think Horry & Rule had had a sexual relationship up to this point. Horry was still such a child. GH has treated this theme differently in her marriage before love books. Spoilers for other Gh titles here. (view spoiler)


message 29: by Sheila (in LA) (last edited Jul 05, 2017 09:48PM) (new)

Sheila (in LA) (Sheila_in_LA) | 194 comments It's actually not clear to me how far things have gone between them. Horry, while young, seems worldly in some ways. And it's clear Rule wants an heir. Also Horry says something about not wanting her husband to enjoy her favors and Carolyn's. I don't remember the exact words but it did make me think they were already on those terms.


message 30: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Newton | 58 comments I was 14 the first time I started this book. At that time, I devoured a steady diet of historical romances and read so voraciously that I was always on the lookout for new sources. I saw the impressive array of Heyer titles at my local library and checked out several, including this one. When I opened it and discovered a heroine who stuttered, I was bewildered. Where was my stunningly beautiful heroine, so perfect in every way? Disappointed (and incredibly stupid--but then, I was 14!), I tossed it aside. It took me several years to come back to Heyer, and then it was The Talisman Ring that lured me back. I eventually picked up The Convenient Marriage again, and since my frontal lobe had developed a bit more by this time, I was charmed.


message 31: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (Regency_Reader) | 718 comments LOL, Cindy, great story!


message 32: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (SusanNCReader) | 1828 comments Yes! Reminds us allhow blind we can be as young uns!


message 33: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Newton | 58 comments I think Rule's indifference to the identity of his bride is based on his cynicism. He's marrying because he's a nobleman without an heir, and at 35, and the lifespan and mortality rates of the times being what they were, he's put it off as long as he reasonably could. So his duty to his name demands that he marry, and Rule feels that one gently-bred young lady is very much like another, so what difference does it make? Elizabeth is lovely, high-born, and biddable; plus, his sister approves of her so he won't have to listen to complaints from her.

He's resigned to doing his duty, but then he meets Horry. Her credentials still meet his criteria, but she appears to be much more interesting than her sister. This is still a pragmatic step for both, but maybe it won't be as deadly dull with Horry, so he goes with it. I think that at the beginning, it's more that she's the lesser of two evils than anything else.

My favorite part is when Pel and Pom descend on Lethbridge's house in the wake of his attempted abduction of Horry. The whole section of Pel, Pom, Edward, and their attempts to distract Rule and get the brooch back are hilarious. I agree that Pel and Pom make this book!


message 34: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (RosinaRowantree) | 206 comments Removed from the thread on Chapter 1-11 because Spoilers!

Jan30 wrote (on Chapters 1-11): And yeah, IMO as well, they do have sexual relations. Come on, why wouldn't they? That would be just ridiculous.

I agree with you (and Amy) about Rule's reasons for marrying Horry - and that he does seem to need some new excitement to spark up his life!

But I disagree about the sexual relations. Not because 'she's only 17! That is so yuck!', but because I don't think Rule, who clearly cares about Horry and wants to win her heart, would have sex with her without also making love to her, seducing her, kissing her, and caressing her. And it's fairly clear from the last scene that Horry didn't know Rule could be sexually exciting - or a good kisser.

I think he is prepared to wait - not, perhaps for ever, since getting an alternative to Crosby is clearly desirable - but for a time. For the time being he enjoys watching Horry run around spending his almost limitless resources and shocking the ton, and reels her in (or tries to do so) when her liveliness gets her into scrapes.


message 35: by Carol ꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂  | 2738 comments Mod
I thought someone linked to a couple of excellent blog reviews of this book - & now I can't find them. Maybe I need coffee.

The one that made the point about this book being like some of GH's Regencies - so true! I noticed a lot of readers have this one shelved as a Regency in spite of the very detailed description of Georgian clothing.


message 36: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer I never understand this rigid distinction between 'georgian' and 'regency'. The regency was georgian.


message 37: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer Sheila wrote: "It's actually not clear to me how far things have gone between them. Horry, while young, seems worldly in some ways. And it's clear Rule wants an heir. Also Horry says something about not wanting h..."

Oh, I'm sure they were. I can't see Rule denying himself his conjugals. Nor would Horry expect him to.


message 38: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer Cindy wrote: "I think Rule's indifference to the identity of his bride is based on his cynicism. He's marrying because he's a nobleman without an heir, and at 35, and the lifespan and mortality rates of the time..."

I think there must be more to it than that. A man like Rule will have a wide choice of brides, he doesn't have to marry anyone he doesn't like. I think he is definitely attracted to Horry.


message 40: by Carol ꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂  | 2738 comments Mod
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "2 Blog Reviews of this book:

1) http://www.tor.com/2012/11/06/creatin...

2) https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/janeau......"


Thank you. I thought I was going mad(der)!

I also found an excellent acticle on muslin as a dress material in Regency times. Since this book is Georgian I didn't post here - & now I can't find it. & I have cleared my history. :(


message 41: by Sheila (in LA) (new)

Sheila (in LA) (Sheila_in_LA) | 194 comments Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ wrote: "Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "2 Blog Reviews of this book:

1) http://www.tor.com/2012/11/06/creatin...

2) https://..."


I wondered about them too! I just glanced at them last night, as I was out. But thanks for posting them again, it's funny how differently they view the issue.

Yesterday afternoon I spent a few minutes googling Gainsborough portraits (right time period, I believe), specifically looking for women with straight or otherwise striking eyebrows. The only one I found who might qualify was known as a great beauty, so not Horry. But I am with those who think Rule finds her physically attractive (as well as refreshingly honest and different). I think it's clear he's that kind of man.


message 42: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 337 comments Louise wrote: "I never understand this rigid distinction between 'georgian' and 'regency'. The regency was georgian."

Louise, yes, you are technically true. However, the 4 Georges ruled England for over 100 years, so a way to quickly and easily differentiate which time frame you are talking about comes in handy.
The Regency of the Prince of Wales (later George IV) was officially 1811-1820. Loosely, the era began earlier, c 1800. Some writers use 'Georgian' to label the mid-1700s through the turbulence of the French revolution. The clothing styles were very different; the manners, the culture and societal morals of the two eras were sufficiently distinct--one could never confuse the two.


message 43: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer I don't think they are that distinct really. fashions started to change well before 1800, they were wearing vey similar clothes to the 'regency' period by the 1790s. i don't think manners or morals changed very suddenly, there were some gradual changes probably. And then what are the reigns of george IV and William IV? Are they 'regency' too?


message 44: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (Regency_Reader) | 718 comments I use “Georgian” to refer to the period broadly—a range from about 1750 to Victoria’s ascension to the throne. There were a lot of changes that took place during that period (mostly in terms of the British economy and social structure), but for me the term evokes the period from about 1785 to 1811 when the Regency began.

The significant fashion changes for both men and women really took hold in the mid-1790s and they were influenced by the set of people surrounding the Prince of Wales (he who later became Regent); so if approaching the question from a fashion perspective, I suppose the period from the mid-1790s on could be called “Regency.” But my copy editor soul can’t abide such elision!

Can anyone tell me what year Convenient Marriage is supposed to have taken place?


message 45: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 380 comments Can anyone tell me what year Convenient Marriage is supposed to have taken place?

If I'm not mistaken, it's 1776! Which makes it a good book to read in July! ;)


message 46: by Carol ꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol  ꧁꧂  | 2738 comments Mod
Margaret beat me! This is the site I use for working out dates.

http://www.georgette-heyer.com/chron....


message 47: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Newton | 58 comments Louise wrote: "Cindy wrote: "I think Rule's indifference to the identity of his bride is based on his cynicism. He's marrying because he's a nobleman without an heir, and at 35, and the lifespan and mortality rat..."

I think he likes her. He's clearly intrigued by her, but that's not why he's getting married. He planned to marry before he met Horry. The question was raised about why he was getting married and why he would switch brides so easily. That's what I was addressing.


message 48: by Jenny (last edited Jul 07, 2017 05:49PM) (new)

Jenny (Jenny_Norwich) | 336 comments Rosina wrote: "... it's fairly clear from the last scene that Horry didn't know Rule could be sexually exciting - or a good kisser."

I disagree: I think the last scene only shows that she didn't know he could be a ruthless, masterful, passionate kisser. Up to now, he's obviously been gentle and respectful (and I suspect Horry's cry of "You have no idea how agreeable it is to be a married lady!" is partly referring to this).

The scene that answers the question for me is when they've been having a tete-á-tete, but Louisa is waiting: Rule pulls Horry towards him and says "Shall we consign Louisa to the devil?" But Horry blushes and says words to the effect of "Oh, we mustn't". But I don't know what that scene is about if it doesn't mean that Rule is in the mood for hanky panky - and expects Horry to know what he means.
We don't have many stories about couples who're already married, but when we do, there are always clues about whether the marriage is consummated: Adam & Jenny (ACC) have a baby; Nell Cardross (AL) feels guilty that she isn't pregnant (and she's only about Horry's age); Sherry kisses Hero goodnight at her bedroom door, but by the end (view spoiler). I'm pretty sure that this is our clue for the Rules and I don't see any clue to suggest otherwise.


message 49: by Sheila (in LA) (last edited Jul 07, 2017 07:22PM) (new)

Sheila (in LA) (Sheila_in_LA) | 194 comments Jenny wrote: "Rosina wrote: "... it's fairly clear from the last scene that Horry didn't know Rule could be sexually exciting - or a good kisser."

I disagree: I think the last scene only shows that she didn't k..."


I agree, Jenny, I had the same thought about the scene you mention (what else could he mean? definitely not the first time, either). It's funny because the first time I read this book, I'm pretty sure it never occurred to me they were sleeping together. This time around I couldn't believe they weren't.

Still one of my favorites, Horry included--though I wanted to shake her a few times in the beginning.


Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder  (CatsosPerson) | 987 comments I'm listening to the audio. I'm enjoying it.

Someone in another group, told me that the audio was available via KU, so I promptly downloaded it.

Horry has just finished proposing to Rule, now they are sealing the bargain with Ratafia.


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