Georgette Heyer Fans discussion

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Heyer in General > The Heyer villains you love to loathe!

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Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4484 comments Mod
Just be aware there will probably be open spoilers in this thread, so enter at your own risk! :D

My all time favourite is probably Liversedge (The Foundling)
Dominca's (Beauvallet) aunt Dona Juana is quite definitely GH's best villainess.


message 2: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Ooh Dona Juana is a terrifying villain! Yet, I don't despise her?

Sir Monty from Friday's Child is thoroughly unsavoury - would not like to run into him!

There were three villains in A Convenient Marriage (view spoiler).

Eugenia Wraxton is a small villain, in her own way, but does not stand much of a chance when trying to oppose Sophy.


message 3: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
What was the name of the 'visiting friend' in The Tollgate? HE was quite the villain. Ack I am in the middle of The Reluctant Widow, and now I want to jump to different books...


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "What was the name of the 'visiting friend' in The Tollgate? HE was quite the villain. Ack I am in the middle of The Reluctant Widow, and now I want to jump to different books..."

I think his name was Nat Coats.


message 5: by Susan in NC (last edited May 05, 2018 05:49PM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Great idea for a thread! Francis was so intriguing, it got me wondering...and I can’t remember all the details you all have at your fingertips- but Dona Juana, yes, she stands out for me, I picture her dining with Francis, lazy, self-centered birds of a feather! I can’t despise her either, she’s too intriguing- like Francis! Anyone can be simply evil or mean. As villains, they went beyond that, I wanted to know what made them tick!


message 6: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 485 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "Eugenia Wraxton is a small villain, in her own way, but does not stand much of a chance when trying to oppose Sophy."

Yes, I found her irritating and presumptuous, but I was glad to see her beginning to bond with Sophy's tiresome and unwelcome suitor--they were much more each other's type!

(Incidentally, and off the immediate subject, the first time I read TGS, which was also my first GH, I had no idea that Sophy and Charles would end up together! I kept wondering whom she would ultimately pair off with, but I found out only in the last pages! On second reading, I began to catch clues and nuances.)


message 7: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 485 comments Now, for real villains, characters we love to loathe, there's that spoiled brat Tiffany, and there's Kate's Aunt Minerva.

Then, if the Francis that Carol mentions is The Hon. Francis Cheviot from The Reluctant Widow, as I recall, he's clever and, as one character calls him, dangerous; but he's not exactly villainous. He knows things but is covering up for someone else.


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4484 comments Mod
MaryC wrote: "Now, for real villains, characters we love to loathe, there's that spoiled brat Tiffany, and there's Kate's Aunt Minerva.

Then, if the Francis that Carol mentions is The Hon. Francis Cheviot from ..."


Hmmm, I would call Tiffany spoilt rather than a villain.

I haven't mentioned Francis in this thread but I would make the argument that he could be a villain if it served his ends. He murdered his best friend after all!


message 9: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 485 comments Carol, you're right--it was Susan, not you, who mentioned a Francis. In any case (spoiler coming!), wasn't Francis covering for his father? Must go back and reread!


message 10: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) MaryC wrote: "Carol, you're right--it was Susan, not you, who mentioned a Francis. In any case (spoiler coming!), wasn't Francis covering for his father? Must go back and reread!"

Not just covering for his father, but also acting in the interests of the UK, by disposing tidily of a French spy and putting an end to the disclosure of secret information. Which makes him a good guy, unlike Bedlington. De Castres, of course, is French, so allowed to spy for Napoleon.


message 11: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Rosina wrote: "MaryC wrote: "Carol, you're right--it was Susan, not you, who mentioned a Francis. In any case (spoiler coming!), wasn't Francis covering for his father? Must go back and reread!"

Not just coverin..."


Very true, which allows the family to see it as “avoiding scandal” as opposed to covering up a murder and treason...


message 12: by Susan in Perthshire (last edited Oct 14, 2019 04:22AM) (new)

Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1201 comments I think there are villains and then “villains”. I found Francis Cheviot absolutely fascinating and loved the scenes in which he participated. He is cold and clearly prepared to do anything to serve his ends (which happen to match Ned and John’s. There are other villains that I don’t find fascinating at all - just horrible. The horrid relative in The Toll Gate is one such. For me, a villain ceases to be interesting if he or she is entirely evil - there must be shades of light and dark to make them interesting.


message 13: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Yes, beautifully stated, thank you.


message 14: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Susan in Perthshire wrote: "I think there are villains and then “villains”.i found Francis Cheviot absolutely fascinating and loved the scenes in which he participated. He is cold and clearly prepared to do anything to serve ..."

I agree, Susan! The multi-faceted personalities are really what make a villain memorable.


message 15: by Barb in Maryland (last edited May 06, 2018 01:54PM) (new)

Barb in Maryland | 714 comments Susan in Perthshire wrote: "I think there are villains and then “villains”. ..."

That brings to mind cousin Basil in 'The Talisman Ring' and Tracy in 'The Black Moth'--both fascinating characters. However, in 'The Masqueraders' we have a real slime-ball in that rotter Markham.


message 16: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments I don't really care for any of the "real" villains - Maybe Basil in Talisman Ring, as a murderer. But Eugenia Wraxton and Tiffany Wield annoy me most satisfactorily! Possibly because Eugenia reminds me of a most annoying aunt of mine, always finding fault and thinking she knows best. Tiffany *is* spoilt but vanity over personal beauty really annoys me.


message 17: by Nick (new)

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 443 comments I agree that Tiffany is far and away the most annoying character that Heyer ever created! I want to slap her right out of the novel.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments What about the fortune-hunter "Stacy" (forgot his last name) in Black Sheep. Is he "just" a mere schemer or is he a villainous evil-doer?


message 19: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Theodore in The Quiet Gentleman - content to kill his close friend and cousin, and frame his younger cousin, just so that he has a chance with a pretty heiress.


message 20: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Ah I tend to forget Theodore. Mostly because TQG is not one I care much for. Stacy Calverleigh is definitely a bad guy. But in the context of the books being a fortune hunter wasn’t really high oj the bad scale was it? His villainy lay in trying to elope with Fanny.


message 21: by Sherwood (new)

Sherwood Smith (sherwoodsmith) | 92 comments Maith wrote: "Ah I tend to forget Theodore. Mostly because TQG is not one I care much for. Stacy Calverleigh is definitely a bad guy. But in the context of the books being a fortune hunter wasn’t really high oj ..."

Yeah, the narrator clearly despises that evil of all evils, a social climber, but his worst action was trying to woo Fanny for her fortune.


message 22: by Susan in Perthshire (last edited Oct 23, 2018 07:02AM) (new)

Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1201 comments I think there is a huge difference between the characters we find annoying or irritating and the ones who are real villains. Eugenia is just a nasty piece of work but a villain? No - she is slimy and underhand but would never do anything to risk her position in the ton. Mrs Scorrier in Venetia is more to be pitied as she is the victim of her own vulnerable position in a seriously rigid society. Cates in The Toll Gate, St Vire in TOS, Lethbridge in TCM -these are true villains. They are self interested, unconcerned about morals and willing to seriously hurt or even kill. I still think Heyer’s success is that by and large, she creates villains who are interesting and hold one’s attention. She makes the odd error but generally - she just cracks it!


message 23: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 1385 comments Rosina wrote: "Theodore in The Quiet Gentleman - content to kill his close friend and cousin, and frame his younger cousin, just so that he has a chance with a pretty heiress."

I think this is a great thread (how did I miss it before?) and have to agree Theodore was pretty bad. and yet totally (view spoiler).

it wasn't just the pretty heiress but the estate that he had loved and cared for all his adult life. so this clearly isn't a good enough reason for murder but it makes him a much more nuanced villain than, say, Stacy Calverleigh. and makes the solution to the mystery so surprising!


message 24: by Hana (last edited Aug 07, 2018 05:26PM) (new)

Hana | 652 comments Maith wrote: "I don't really care for any of the "real" villains - Maybe Basil in Talisman Ring, as a murderer. But Eugenia Wraxton and Tiffany Wield annoy me most satisfactorily! ..." Haha! Eugenia was a total pill, but I'm sure as Sophy says she and (view spoiler) 'will deal extremely'. I can't remember who winds up with Tiffany....whoever gets that tiresome creature is much to be pitied.


message 25: by Hana (new)

Hana | 652 comments That's a really good point about Theodore's motivations, Jackie. Of course (view spoiler)


message 26: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 547 comments Hana wrote: I can't remember who winds up with Tiffany....whoever gets that tiresome creature is much to be pitied.

(view spoiler)


message 27: by Hana (new)

Hana | 652 comments Oh, good! I didn't think GH was ever really cruel on purpose :D


message 28: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 714 comments My favorite 'loathsome villain' is Markham from 'The Masqueraders'.
What a slimeball! Can't think of a single redeeming characteristic... Nope, not a one!


message 29: by Hana (new)

Hana | 652 comments It's been ages since I read The Masqueraders. I'll look forward to re-reading it next time the group gets to it. I love a real slimeball villain. But I'll second Carol in voting for The Hon. Francis Cheviot as perhaps GH's most chilling and complex villain.


message 30: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Margaret wrote: "Hana wrote: I can't remember who winds up with Tiffany....whoever gets that tiresome creature is much to be pitied.

[spoilers removed]"

.
I have hopes that Laurie and she will actually bond. He is unimpressed by her tantrums, and the money would be welcomed ...


message 31: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Rosina wrote: "Margaret wrote: "Hana wrote: I can't remember who winds up with Tiffany....whoever gets that tiresome creature is much to be pitied.

[spoilers removed]"
.
I have hopes that Laurie and she will act..."


Laurie is too shrewd to be taken in by her. Plus he's a no-one socially - Tiffany wouldn't think seriously of marrying him unless she had zero other choices.


message 32: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments Rosina wrote: "I have hopes that Laurie and she will actually bond. He is unimpressed by her tantrums, and the money would be welcomed ... "

I liked that match too.

Or possibly and alternate universe where Adam marries her and then she dies immediately ... but on second thought Civil Contract ended up perfect just the way it was.


message 33: by Jan (new)

Jan (jan130) | 225 comments Yeah I didn't like Theo in The Quiet Gentleman much either. Really, there were no excuses for his behaviour. Whilst it's not in my top five, it is a book I enjoy reading. The H and h seem such an unlikely pair, but, love will find a way........ but yeah, Theo makes a very satisfactory villain.


message 34: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Why does Heyer do this?! I've always felt lukewarm towards The Quiet Gentleman, but started re-reading it yesterday (to look up Gervase's height!) and got sucked right in! And it's lovely! I can't imagine why I didn't think much of it!

Germane to this discussion - Theo Frant - I wound up feeling more sorry for him than anything. Even though what he did was beyond forgiveness, you can see his motivations.....


message 35: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Love TQG, and think Theo was the worse kind of villain - secret, come from behind, willing to throw other people's lives for his own ends, which by the way were from his delusional mind.


message 36: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) ❇Critterbee wrote: "Love TQG, and think Theo was the worse kind of villain - secret, come from behind, willing to throw other people's lives for his own ends, which by the way were from his delusional mind."

TQG is one of my favourites, so I was inspired for a re-read. I ought to know it well, but I was struck by a random thought - "Theo would have been really up the creek if he had killed Gervase in the attack on the bedroom, only to find that Martin had been in the village, staying at the inn because the weather was too awful for him to get back to Stanyon." I wondered if he too had been just waiting for sounds of Martin's return. But in fact, he doesn't know Martin is out, believing his excuse about a headache. And he is aggrieved! (view spoiler)


message 37: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 1385 comments I am already reading The Quiet Gentleman for September and I am glad to see the spoiler warning at the top of this thread!
I was done with the other group reads and wanted to re-read very, very slowly. savoring!


message 38: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Jackie wrote: "I am already reading The Quiet Gentleman for September and I am glad to see the spoiler warning at the top of this thread!
I was done with the other group reads and wanted to re-read very, very slowly. savoring!..."


Yes! That feeling when you dive deep into a Heyer, and just leisurely enjoy the story!


message 39: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Hana wrote: "It's been ages since I read The Masqueraders. I'll look forward to re-reading it next time the group gets to it. I love a real slimeball villain. But I'll second Carol in voting for Th..."

Oh yes, Francis truly gives me the heebie-jeebies! Soon as I saw this thread title, Francis popped right into my head...


message 40: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Rosina wrote: "❇Critterbee wrote: "Love TQG, and think Theo was the worse kind of villain - secret, come from behind, willing to throw other people's lives for his own ends, which by the way were from his delusio..."

Ok, you’re all making me really look forward to rereading The Quiet Gentleman- even though I remember the outcome and know who the bad guy is, I just enjoy Heyer’s writing. Let’s face it, even your lesser faves are much better than a lot of current writing out there....(at least, for me! That’s why I rarely read modern authors.)


message 41: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1430 comments I may reread it even though I read it only last year. I like the heroine and her family and wish we saw more of them!


message 42: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Abigail wrote: "I may reread it even though I read it only last year. I like the heroine and her family and wish we saw more of them!"

I have re-read the paperback so often that its pages are falling out. Now I tend to listen to it on audio, but keep the paperback because I put my name in it when I bought it. My maiden name: I'll have been married 46 years next Sunday!


message 43: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 714 comments Rosina wrote: "Abigail wrote: "I may reread it even though I read it only last year. I like the heroine and her family and wish we saw more of them!"

I have re-read the paperback so often that its pages are fall..."


Rosina--congratulations on your upcoming wedding anniversary!! My DH and I celebrated our 46th at the end of May. Doesn't seem like that long at all. I still have books with my maiden name in them, some with it written in very childish script! I do still have one or two Heyers from my college/bachelor-ette days; most of them fell apart from re-reads and were replaced.


message 44: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Oh, wow, that's great guys! That's longer than I have existed - and I cannot imagine being with someone for that long! Congratulations and much respect, both of you!


message 45: by Hana (new)

Hana | 652 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Let’s face it, even your lesser faves are much better than a lot of current writing out there....(at least, for me! That’s why I rarely read modern authors.)" Yes! And since The Quiet Gentleman is one of my all time favorites I'm really looking forward to this one!


message 46: by Hana (new)

Hana | 652 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "Oh, wow, that's great guys! That's longer than I have existed - and I cannot imagine being with someone for that long! Congratulations and much respect, both of you!"I'm so glad that some younger readers are joining in. Yes--happily ever after does exist--though not without lots of love, giving and hard work!


message 47: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Rosina wrote: "Abigail wrote: "I may reread it even though I read it only last year. I like the heroine and her family and wish we saw more of them!"

I have re-read the paperback so often that its..."


Congrats 🎉 , Rosina and Barb! I thought hubby and I were doing great coming up on 31 years this December, but we’re mere pups! I salute you!


message 48: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
31 years is a heck of a long time, too, Susan. Congrats early!


message 49: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Rosina wrote: "Abigail wrote: "I may reread it even though I read it only last year. I like the heroine and her family and wish we saw more of them!"

I have re-read the paperback so often that its pages are fall..."


Congratulations on the upcoming anniversary!


message 50: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Rosina wrote: "Abigail wrote: "I may reread it even though I read it only last year. I like the heroine and her family and wish we saw more of them!"

I have re-read the paperback so often that its..."


Congratulations! I was thinking 24 years isn’t too shabby and counting my blessings, but 46 is wonderful.


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