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The Foundling
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Group Reads > The Foundling June 2018 Read: Chapters 13 to 26

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Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
How are you finding it? What do you think of Sale and his family?

Please avoid spoilers, use spoiler tags, or post spoilers in the spoiler thread. Thanks!


Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 373 comments I'm liking it. I prefer Tom and Belinda in small doses, but they are off-stage quite a bit thankfully. Gilly is charming. I understand his desire to escape his family and retinue, but I actually like them--even Uncle Lionel is not so bad. It's touching how much they care about him.

I'm looking forward to the return of the love interest and how all that is resolved, with Gilly surely relating to her differently after his experiences as Mr Dash of Nowhere in particular.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments I finished the book, but I agree that it’s touching how much everyone cares about Gilly (understandably, he’s adorable!)

Good point, it is fun to see him interact with Harriet after all of his adventures as Mr. Dash!


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Livers/edge? Liver/sedge? No matter where you draw the line, it's pretty amazing that Heyer manages to paint a portrait of a kidnapper/blackmailer who is somewhat likeable. I mean, really, those are two of the worst human occupations ever, but we have to stop and think about applying the titles to him!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1430 comments I love how she treats criminals as human beings, even in some cases charming! The wide range of human comedy is what endears The Foundling to me.


message 6: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Liversedge is perhaps the character that puts me off the book entirely. He is, as Karlyne says, a kidnapper and blackmailer, and would-be murderer, and he is grooming a vulnerable young girl for sexual purposes - even if only to act as a honey-trap.

And some readers applaud him, and hope he prospers in his chosen career, and find him charming!


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Exactly, Abigail! She has such a free and easy way of describing the characters that I fall into their crimes with an indulgent smile, without even thinking about it! And the fact that Liversedge was relieved that Gilly hadn't been actually murdered makes him seem such an admirable character...


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments We were writing at the same time, Rosina, and I agree with you, in that Liversedge in person would be a scary, horrible monster of a man. How does Heyer convince us that he is charming? With humor, which, for me, is pretty much irresistible. But, I think he is the reason I'm not quite as in love with this book as many others. I thought it was because Tom and Belinda are tiresome, but on re-reading this, they really aren't that bad - for me, it's that the charming villain really is a villain.


Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 443 comments Huh - I was about to come in here and say that Liversedge is my favourite character!

I think you're right Karlyne, it's the humour. Specifically I think, the brazen medacity of the man. It's the way that he's an out-and-out villain and yet still seems to think that he's generously doing everyone else a favour! And his brave and forgiving acceptance when they mess up his plans! It's the absurdity that makes it so funny.

Of course, Rosina is right: kidnapper, blackmailer, murderer, groomer. Let me correct myself then - I can only like him so long as he remains fictional! If he were real then it would be quite a different matter!


message 10: by Susan in NC (last edited Jun 04, 2018 10:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments I imagine we can all agree Liversedge is one of Heyer’s most memorable villains, if only for his brazenness!


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Nick wrote: "Huh - I was about to come in here and say that Liversedge is my favourite character!

I think you're right Karlyne, it's the humour. Specifically I think, the brazen medacity of the man. It's the w..."


Yes, I do NOT want to meet him in a dark alley some night!


message 12: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) I must be having a sense of humour fail, since I have never, from first reading when I was a teenager, found Liversedge funny, or charming, or even believable. He is incredibly one dimensional for a Heyer character!

As villains go, Lethbridge in The Convenient Marriage does have shades of black and grey, and is both interesting and villainous.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I think I just don't like villains in general. I will now go tra-la-la-ing down the tulip-strewn path of sweetness and light.


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
I could not appreciate Liversedge, even though he was able to function as a capable majordomo/butler. I can not forget his treatment of Belinda and Gilly. And I think he is a sociopath, and only able to see things as they affect him.

Possible spoiler:
(view spoiler)


message 15: by Jackie (new) - added it

Jackie | 1385 comments I was able to ignore the fact that Liversedge was an actual villain and laugh at him. (view spoiler)


Teresa | 1810 comments Karlyne wrote: "I think I just don't like villains in general. I will now go tra-la-la-ing down the tulip-strewn path of sweetness and light."

Tra-la-ing!!! I love it!!!


Teresa | 1810 comments Liversedge has what we term in Ireland as, 'some neck'.


message 18: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 547 comments Is that the same thing a New Yorker might describe as "chutzpah"?


message 19: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments I think what allows me to see humor in Liversedge is that he is written to be so over the top you can't take him seriously. He's not somebody that could exist in real life. He's a mustache twirling Scooby Doo level villain.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Amy wrote: "I think what allows me to see humor in Liversedge is that he is written to be so over the top you can't take him seriously. He's not somebody that could exist in real life. He's a mustache twirling..."

Yes!


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Who was the mustache twirling villain in Dudley Do-right? Was that Snidely Whiplash? Maybe if I picture Luversedge as him, I can cope.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Karlyne wrote: "Who was the mustache twirling villain in Dudley Do-right? Was that Snidely Whiplash? Maybe if I picture Luversedge as him, I can cope."

Oh my gosh, Snidely Whiplash, I haven’t thought of him in ages - perfect!

I was picturing Liversedge as an oily, tall, gangly, creepy guy, then in a few places characters refer to him as a big, almost fat guy, and that kind of clashed with the picture in my mind- mustache-twirling Snidely type villain! lol!


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
I think that Liversedge is seen by some as likable because his character starts out so thoroughly, shockingly bad, and then less despicable traits are revealed, making his character seem not to be so evil. We start out seeing and expecting the worst, and then only less awful characteristics emerge. So he can (by default) only improve.

The opposite is true for those people who you meet as loyal and true, and then learn that they are dishonest, scheming, betraying, etc and it seems like they are much worse because we expected the best from them.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Very true!


Teresa | 1810 comments Margaret wrote: "Is that the same thing a New Yorker might describe as "chutzpah"?"

Quite possible Margaret.


Teresa | 1810 comments I'm really enjoying this. I'm jauntering around the countryside trying to catch up with Gilly and it's all so comical. Glad I joined in with this one now. It's just what I need at the moment to give me a break from all the sadness.


message 27: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Kaso | 511 comments My husband is reading The Foundling now that I finished my re-read with this group. He was supposed to pick me up from my massage, & was 20 minutes late, not answering texts or calls, not like him at all, he is very considerate. I was getting worried. Finally, after I rang his phone over & over again, he picked up. He was at Starbuck’s, got so immersed in the book he lost track of time.


QNPoohBear | 1409 comments Oh my gosh Kim that's too funny! I'm glad to hear he's enjoying the novel. It is a captivating adventure.


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4484 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "My husband is reading The Foundling now that I finished my re-read with this group. He was supposed to pick me up from my massage, & was 20 minutes late, not answering texts or calls, not like him ..."

If your husband enjoys this Heyer, he may also love Jeffrey Farnol A lot of his titles are free on kindle.


Teresa | 1810 comments Ha ha!! That's hilarious.


Moloch | 208 comments Still enjoyable and pretty, but maybe it's a bit "too much" (too much adventures, too much chases, etc). I understand it's the whole point of the book, but it's not always handled very smoothly in this one (see the back and forth through time in the chapters where (view spoiler)).
Also, we didn't see much of Sale in the care of his well-meaning but oppressive relatives and servants, just some chapters in the beginning, so we are constantly told he was always sheltered and he can't bear it anymore, but we've seen little of it. I would have liked more chapters dedicated to his "normal" life before his adventures to fully appreciate the difference, but I understand the book would have been excessively long, as it's already (79%) starting to feel so for me.
I hate Tom, he's just ugly, and I don't like the shrugging off of his father's apprehension just because the man is supposedly "unlikeable" or "vulgar".
I like the Duke's family and I hope that the relationship between (view spoiler) will be further explored in these final chapters. The romance is (view spoiler), the two bethrothed are nice enough, but their relationship doesn't seem the main point of the story.


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Moloch wrote: "...Also, we didn't see much of Sale in the care of his well-meaning but oppressive relatives and servants, just some chapters in the beginning..."

The behavior of his relatives in those few short chapters, along with him not being allowed to go to 'boarding school' (Eton, Harrow, etc) as was the norm for the peerage and their heirs, along with accompanied to university quite filled my cup to the brim. Sent to college with someone to monitor your behavior, report back to your guardians about it, and to never allow you a moment's freedom!!

Imagine being prevented from doing the littlest thing without having aggressive dissent from your closest relatives. And not having the freedom of learning from making your own mistakes, or being swaddled like an infant, protected from having any life experience.

Tom's experience with his father mirrors the Duke's in that there are attempts by their family to force and/or shame them into repressing their natural behaviors. They both ran away, but 'rebelled' in different ways, perhaps showing the difference in their natural temperaments. Tom is naturally aggressive and hot-headed, and the Duke is more reserved and fair-minded. This is not purely a result of their upbringings, as placing the impetuous Tom in Sale's situation would have caused quite the battle with Lord Lionel.

I don't agree that Tom is ugly - he is young, immature, perhaps unlikable, but he does have some fine points - loyalty to Sale and some sense of being respectful to his father (at least feeling worried that he had disappointed him) and (view spoiler)


message 33: by Moloch (last edited Jul 28, 2018 01:22PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Moloch | 208 comments No, but I didn't mean the duke's want of freedom wasn't believable or justified enough, only that I wished to see more of the "status quo ante", if anything to appreciate even more all the author's accuracy in the details of every day life in a noble house. Or just because I really, really like the dynamics between the various members of the Sale family and the characterization of Uncle Lionel. But practically speaking it would have been very hard and made the book far too long.

I see the parallel between the Duke's and Tom's situation very well, it's been obvious from the start (that is, I understand why the author put him in the book), but I still strongly dislike the character. He's clearly written to be "liked" by the reader and be seen as a wild and troublemaker but "adorable" kid, and I know I may be in the minority here because I always, always dislike this "type" whenever I see it, in books, movies, etc.


message 34: by Jackie (new) - added it

Jackie | 1385 comments I don't mind Tom but I find Belinda more entertaining. The livestock race is OK but the preacher looking for the Duke and he knows he isn't up to the meeting is funnier.
Tom is only helpful because it suits his need for action, but that's a common male character in Heyer: off to the military!


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Moloch wrote: "No, but I didn't mean the duke's want of freedom wasn't believable or justified enough, only that I wished to see more of the "status quo ante", if anything to appreciate even more all the author's..."

Ah, I see!
I am so impatient, and was ready for Gilly to just run for it!


Moloch | 208 comments Liversedge has a "charm" (in a fictional world, mind you!) because, like someone said, he's shockingly over-the-top and he genuinely believes he can get away with anything. Maybe in the end this was stretched a bit too far for comedy's sake (now, act as the butler in the duke's house!) and of course Uncle Lionel is the one who's right, how can you possibly reward your kidnapper? But we're bound to see the humor in it because the characters themselves shake their heads and seem to think "how the hell did he manage to make us do that??"


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Moloch wrote: "Liversedge has a "charm" (in a fictional world, mind you!) because, like someone said, he's shockingly over-the-top and he genuinely believes he can get away with anything. Maybe in the end this wa..."

Exactly!


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