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Group Reads > Frederica October 2017 Group Read Chapters 15-28

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message 1: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4189 comments Mod
So how are you liking this so far?


message 2: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1584 comments Started this morning so I'm only on page 20 but I'm already being drawn in!!


message 3: by Jan (new)

Jan (jan130) | 195 comments The relationship between Alverstoke and Frederica is starting to heat up a bit! (I'm in Chapter 15)


message 4: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3372 comments Loving it, I’m in the kindle edition where the infamous balloon scene has just been resolved- my heart was racing right along with jessamy’s! I’ve only read once before and couldn’t remember what the outcome was - looks like alverstoke is in for a long, uncomfortable night and another painful life lesson!


Barb in Maryland | 654 comments Ah, Harry has just made an appearance. Poor boy is trying to do the head of the family thing while having to confess he's been sent down for over-doing the student pranks. Very suspicious of Alverstoke is our Harry, until he meets him, that is!


Barb in Maryland | 654 comments Now the book becomes a bit unbalanced. The whole excitement of the balloon episode is offset by the tedious Charis and her lurve for her dearest Endymion. I keep blanking out my memories of just how tired I get of Charis.


message 7: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3372 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Now the book becomes a bit unbalanced. The whole excitement of the balloon episode is offset by the tedious Charis and her lurve for her dearest Endymion. I keep blanking out my memories of just ho..."

Thank you, me too...I think she’d be happiest with an older, steady, kind country squire, but she is tiresome! Frederica means well, but she can’t seem to see that charis is simply a genetic accident- she neither knows nor cares how she looks, she just wants to live quietly in the country. I admire that about her, she knows who she is - I wish she had the gumption to tell her beloved sister what she truly wants!


message 8: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments And I wish that Frederica would actually see past Charis' beauty! She's worse than the men are - she loves her, but she doesn't see who she is at all. Common failing in humans, but, oh, so annoying!


message 9: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Karlyne wrote: "And I wish that Frederica would actually see past Charis' beauty! She's worse than the men are - she loves her, but she doesn't see who she is at all. Common failing in humans, but, oh, so annoying!"

It seems to be common among readers too, who ignore all the evidence that Charis is a competent person, with views about her own future and happiness, and insist that she should submit to Frederica's designs.


message 10: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Rosina wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "And I wish that Frederica would actually see past Charis' beauty! She's worse than the men are - she loves her, but she doesn't see who she is at all. Common failing in humans, but,..."

I appreciate Frederica and Alverstoke; they're witty and intelligent and well-dressed, but are those the only criteria for making a good world? What about the kind-hearted and loving who possess more manual skills? Aren't they just as valuable, beautiful or not? Shouldn't they be esteemed for what they are and not be considered as lesser?

(Moral Dilemma #2.47A October 6, 2017)


message 11: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Karlyne wrote: "Rosina wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "And I wish that Frederica would actually see past Charis' beauty! She's worse than the men are - she loves her, but she doesn't see who she is at all. Common failing ..."

I think Frederica is one of the worst for the denigration of the not so bright. Freddie in Cotillion is a bit dim but admirable for his competence, and even Dolph gets sympathy and support in his choice of spouse. Poor Charis gets bullied by her sister and despised by the reader!


message 12: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments What's the old adage? Familiarity breeds contempt? I think Frederica, for all of her good-heartedness had fallen into that trap. She'd known Charis all of her life and just couldn't seem to get past the Big Sister role.


message 13: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 654 comments But Frederica does see past Charis's beauty. She knows that Charis has a kind heart and is very reluctant to hurt anyone she knows, that she is very persuadable unless it is one of the rare times she is being stubborn--which only happens when something really matters to her.
Charis is her own worst enemy when it comes to talking to Frederica about what she(Charis) really wants--that tender heart at work. She doesn't want to hurt F's feelings or disappoint her, so she just goes with the flow. I am surprised she told Alverstoke about liking country parties better than London ones.


message 14: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 1209 comments Karlyne wrote: "What's the old adage? Familiarity breeds contempt? I think Frederica, for all of her good-heartedness had fallen into that trap. She'd known Charis all of her life and just couldn't seem to get pas..."

this makes sense


message 15: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Barb in Maryland wrote: "But Frederica does see past Charis's beauty. She knows that Charis has a kind heart and is very reluctant to hurt anyone she knows, that she is very persuadable unless it is one of the rare times s..."

Charis doesn't do herself any favours by not standing up to Frederica. But as you say, Frederica knows that her sister is very persuadable, and doesn't want to hurt anyone So she ought to listen to Charis more, to realise that her sister would not want to hurt her by failing to appreciate the sacrifices Frederica points out (repeatedly) that she is making on Charis's behalf. Since Frederica is the older, and the more intelligent, and the driving force of the family, she must bear a large part of the blame.

It's telling that Charis is more willing to tell Alverstoke than Frederica, and that even Alverstoke telling Frederica that she is reading Charis wrong doesn't get her to change her mind.


message 16: by Susan in NC (last edited Oct 07, 2017 11:29AM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3372 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "But Frederica does see past Charis's beauty. She knows that Charis has a kind heart and is very reluctant to hurt anyone she knows, that she is very persuadable unless it is one of the rare times s..."

I thought Frederica says several times that Charis is so tender-hearted that she can’t say no and falls in love easily, or has in the past, and she’s concerned Endymion, being so handsome, is just another crush and Charis would forget him once she wasn’t seeing him regularly? As Rosina says, Charis is persuadable because she doesn’t want to hurt anyone, like the next-door neighbor who hangs about but is apparently unacceptable.

Yes, I think Frederica loves and appreciates her sister, but I agree with Susan she wants to do right by her; she sees the effect her looks have on gentlemen, I think she wants someone for Charis who sees beyond that to the loving and kind girl underneath.


message 17: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) But is it sensible for Frederica to continue to search for a husband for Charis, once her sister has said that she has already fallen in love with Endymion? Would a prospective husband be happy with a wife who is already emotionally involved with another man, or at the very best is so fickle that she falls in and out of love at the drop of a hat? That is what really worries me about Frederica's attitude. She is like the salesperson who keeps bringing up more expensive articles once you've already chosen what you want to buy.

It is not as if Endymion is so unsuitable. Good family, kind, polite, considerate, with an easy competence. Not a drinker, a gambler, a libertine or a wastrel.


message 18: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3372 comments Rosina wrote: "But is it sensible for Frederica to continue to search for a husband for Charis, once her sister has said that she has already fallen in love with Endymion? Would a prospective husband be happy wit..."

Oh, you’re right, if she’s set on Endymion, that is ridiculous yo keep looking at potential husbands! I agree, he may not be brilliant but he has so many good qualities!

But do you think Frederica does it because she’s not sure of Charis? I could swear I read the family, not just Frederica, teased her for being so soft-hearted she had fallen in love before, then forgot the fellow once he was out of sight...I think she’s just kind-hearted, not fickle. But did I imagine that, or wasn’t that one of Frederica’s concerns? That Charis’ affections weren’t fixed on Endymion - reminds me of Jane, where Darcy assumes she’s not really in love with Bingley because she reveals no fixed preference. Makes me pity the shy, beautiful people! No one can see beyond the surface!


message 19: by Rosina (last edited Oct 07, 2017 01:40PM) (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Susan in NC wrote: "Rosina wrote: "But is it sensible for Frederica to continue to search for a husband for Charis, once her sister has said that she has already fallen in love with Endymion? Would a prospective husba..."

Frederica did say that Charis had fancied herself in love before, and she had no faith that this would last. But it is still totally the wrong time to be inviting the mothers of prosepctive suitors around and interviewing them on their intentions! Frederica should surely have stood back, and waited for Charis to fall out of love before lining up husbands for her.

Added - and Charis can't be accused of showing no real preference for Endymion. I'm not sure of the lapse of time, but she remains besotted from the moment they meet, which is as fixed as possible.


message 20: by Susan in NC (last edited Oct 07, 2017 02:19PM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3372 comments You’re right, that doesn’t ring true, does it? I mean, the two sisters are so close, you’d think Frederica would see that Charis is serious about Endymion- that this time, it’s different! Or maybe Frederica is so obsessed about the mounting costs of the season, and knows they can only afford it once - and I agree with Susan, here’s a young woman who should be enjoying herself, but has taken on so many responsibilities and worries about everyone like a parent would!


message 21: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Susan in NC wrote: "You’re right, that doesn’t ring true, does it? I mean, the two sisters are so close, you’d think Frederica would see that Charis is serious about Endymion- that this time, it’s different!"

It may be different, or it may not. I'm an optimist who thinks that Charis and Endymion will live happily, possibly even inheriting the Marquisate when Felix blows Alverstoke up with one of his experiments at Alver ...

But Frederica is ignoring her totally, and persists in pressing other men on her in the hope she will marry them instead.


message 22: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 654 comments For Susan in NC @ 18--When Harry first shows up in London and Charis confesses all, Harry is quite unconvinced. He catalogues a number of her previous 'loves'; she professes that this is 'different', that now she truly knows what love is. Harry is sceptical; Charis bursts into tears, wailing 'I thought you would understand!'

For Rosina @ 19
I once did the calendar math and I came up with 2 months, max, (probably closer to 6 weeks) between the time Charis and Endymion first clapped eyes on each other and the attempted wedding.


message 23: by Susan in NC (last edited Oct 07, 2017 02:34PM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3372 comments Thanks, Barb, I didn’t think I imagined that!


message 24: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1249 comments Frederica = Mr. Darcy and Charis=Jane/Bingley?

As an older sister myself, I can relate to Frederica. I don't trust my sister's judgement. If she asks for my opinion I give it to her and she does what she wants anyway. I obviously relate a lot to Frederica. Having a sister like Charis must be tough. It's hard to admit your younger sibling is grown up and understands their own mind, especially so when your sister is Charis and she's fallen in love with a beautiful "blockhead" like Endymion.


message 25: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1584 comments I also can relate to Frederica. I'm the eldest of four and the other three are brothers. From day one I'm mothered them and I've always taken care of them going to school for the first day and so on. Even though we're all grown up now I still find it hard not to worry about them. So I sympathise greatly with Frederica with her worries over Felix and Jessamy. I'm really enjoying this book.


message 26: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) QNPoohBear wrote: " It's hard to admit your younger sibling is grown up and understands their own mind, especially so when your sister is Charis and she's fallen in love with a beautiful "blockhead" like Endymion. "

But would you repeatedly tell your Charis-like sister that she doesn't have the right to choose her own partner in life, but must accept one you approve of, and ignore anyone who tries to suggest that Charis doesn't want the life you wish to force on her.

One might have sympathy with Frederica - if she showed the slightest empathy for, or even interest in, Charis. She says she is neglecting the boys for Charis - but it isn't actually for Charis, it's for her own vision of Charis. She knows Charis is biddable, and then takes her acceptance of the London Season as evidence of an enthusiasm matching her own.


message 27: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1584 comments Yes I agree. This is a rather big flaw in her character. But I think Alverstoke will put her right there.


message 28: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Teresa wrote: "Yes I agree. This is a rather big flaw in her character. But I think Alverstoke will put her right there."

He does, early on the book, and she doesn't believe him when he says Charis told him that she prefers country society to London. And even at the end, when everyone is saying that she must accept the marriage, she 'sighs' her relucant agreement, and '"Very well," Frederica said listlessly.' I know it's because she's tired and emotionally drained, but the final effect is that she is still not convinced, and would object if she could.

Since Heyer is skilled, I think that the warnings that Alverstoke gives are meant to cue us to the unreasonableness of Frederica's behaviour with regard to Frederica. Charis might not be totally sensible (but both Alverstoke and Frederica, with the help of Mrs Dauntry have stoked up the fears of the young lovers), but Frederica isn't blameless, and Heyer points this out.


message 29: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1584 comments Haven't finished it yet.


message 30: by Sheila (in LA) (new)

Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 344 comments I've just made it to chapter 15 and have to say I think this is one of Heyer's best portrayals of "falling in love." Every scene between Frederica and Alverstoke seems to push them just a little ahead of where they were before, but so delicately done. It is easy to like them as a couple.

I haven't yet made up my mind about Frederica and Charis--there was an earlier passage (at Alverstoke's ball) when I thought her preoccupation with Charis was a little too much--but Alverstoke himself calls her on it (nicely) "Have you no concern for yourself, Frederica?" etc. Also, 24 really doesn't seem old enough for the "on the shelf" label. I don't think I could feel as resigned to her fate (the unmarried, mother stand-in) as Frederica appears to be.


message 31: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I think Frederica is quite intelligent, although preoccupied with her responsibilities, and she'll figure out just how far those responsibilities ought to extend.


message 32: by Elza (last edited Oct 08, 2017 04:17PM) (new)

Elza (emr1) | 296 comments Frederica does give Charis due credit -- she tells Alverstoke that Charis "has a great deal of commonsense, I assure you! Much more than I have, for she knows how to hold household, besides sewing exquisitely, and being able to dress a joint, and -- oh, all manner of useful things!" (ch. 13)

I think Frederica's insistence on the London season is to make sure that her sister has options -- a completely understandable concern. She doesn't want Charis to have to settle for the limited selection of potential husbands in their small community. However, I think she doesn't take seriously enough the truth that Charis doesn't share her dream. Interesting that Frederica herself (view spoiler) while trying to ensure an alliance for her sister to provide the social and financial security which she, not Charis, considers so necessary.


message 33: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Elza wrote: "Frederica does give Charis due credit -- she tells Alverstoke that Charis "has a great deal of commonsense, I assure you! Much more than I have, for she knows how to hold household, besides sewing ..."

She may have said that, but clearly the impression Alverstoke takes away is different. Three chapters later he is quite savagely condemning Charis for forcing her poor sister to refurbish her own clothes, while every available groat was squandered on Charis's dresses. In all his conversations with Frederica he hasn't learned that it is Charis, not Frederica, who makes and mends clothes, and still believes that other than beauty she has nothing to recommend her. Which is a trifle odd, since at his first meeting with Charis she is taling about sewing buttons back on Felix's coat.


message 34: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I do feel sorry for Charis! It is terrible to have to feel that you should be grateful to someone - especially for something you didn't care about in the first place. She loves Frederica, and wants to feel the proper respect and gratitude due to her, but, on the other hand...


message 35: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1584 comments Yes maybe she's a bit of a ninny because she's not actually allowed to be herself. She seems sensible enough in some ways. Her head is not easily turned no matter what Frederica thinks. She genuinely loves Endymion.


message 36: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1584 comments Yes maybe she's a bit of a ninny because she's not actually allowed to be herself. She seems sensible enough in some ways. Her head is not easily turned no matter what Frederica thinks. She genuinely loves Endymion.


message 37: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) In my more anti-Frederica moments, i do wonder if her main objection to Endymion was that unless Alverstoke married and had children marriage to Endymion would make Charis a Marchioness, far outranking her own family. In fact, other than being not very intelligent, it is hard to see why Endymion is so unsuitable a suitor.


message 38: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1584 comments Yes maybe she's a bit of a ninny because she's not actually allowed to be herself. She seems sensible enough in some ways. Her head is not easily turned no matter what Frederica thinks. She genuinely loves Endymion.


message 39: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Good point, Elza! Does Frederica think that Charis is incapable of lasting feelings, and so as long as she marries the "right" type (according to Frederica's ideas), it won't matter whom? Does Frederica reject her own suitors because she doesn't really believe in "true love"?


message 40: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I think Frederica just can't believe anyone could be happily married to such a block!


message 41: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3372 comments Karlyne wrote: "I think Frederica just can't believe anyone could be happily married to such a block!"

Hah, good point, Karlyne - I thought Frederica also was concerned that Charis wasn’t really in love and would forget him easily, I got the impression Charis had been “in lerv”, as Barb says, many times - even her brothers joke about it!


message 42: by Jan (new)

Jan (jan130) | 195 comments Yes that's my impression too, Karlyne. Endymion is good-looking but dumb, and Frederica thinks Charis can do much better. She also doesn't think it's 'real love' as Charis seems to have fallen in love several times before, then happily forgotten about the 'love' once they're out of sight (and out of mind).

But it seems as if this time Charis really IS in love, but Frederica just doesn't realise/ believe it. I think if Frederica had been convinced Charis and Endymion were genuinely in love, she wouldn't have stood in their way. She really does want the best for Charis.


message 43: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Jan130 wrote: "Yes that's my impression too, Karlyne. Endymion is good-looking but dumb, and Frederica thinks Charis can do much better. She also doesn't think it's 'real love' as Charis seems to have fallen in l..."

Charis is still a teenager, and has had suitors before. Because she is kind and biddable and not wishing to offend, she is polite and doesn't reject them immediately. That seems to be what Harry and Frederica are taking for instablity of affection. This time, Charis says, it's different, true, lasting love,

Frederica is not wrong not to want Charis to leap into marriage, without a pause for reflection, and settlements etc. She is wrong to tell Charis that her loved one is a clothhead, that she and all his relatives are inimicably opposed to the marriage .... and here's someone very nice who you will be comfortable with.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments I don’t think it’s wrong to tell Charis that Endymion’s Family is opposed to the marriage. But i agree it is not right to tell Charis he’s a clothhead.


message 45: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "I don’t think it’s wrong to tell Charis that Endymion’s Family is opposed to the marriage. But i agree it is not right to tell Charis he’s a clothhead."

It's a bit of a bouncer to say that Alverstoke is opposed to the marriage. He doesn't initially care who his cousin marries, although Frederica is beginning to recruit him to her side, so soon he will issuing threats to Endymion to please Frederica.


message 46: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Never, ever malign someone who may end up in your immediate family!


message 47: by Howard (new)

Howard Brazee I wonder what razor types they had:

"The Marquis contented himself with the shave. He regarded with considerable misgiving the oldfashioned razor which Judbrook lent him, but although it felt clumsy in his hand its blade was well-honed, and he managed to shave himself without mishap. "


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Karlyne wrote: "Never, ever malign someone who may end up in your immediate family!"

Exactly!


message 49: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3372 comments Howard wrote: "I wonder what razor types they had:

"The Marquis contented himself with the shave. He regarded with considerable misgiving the oldfashioned razor which Judbrook lent him, but although it felt clum..."


I pictured a straight razor? Always makes me nervous in old films when men shave with those!


message 50: by Howard (new)

Howard Brazee The first safety razor was made in 1880. Straight razors are still manufactured today. So I'm wondering what was the difference between the two razors mentioned.


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