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Heyer in General > Heyer Heroes: Types, Similarities and Disparities

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message 1: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
As mentioned in the spoiler thread of the current group read The Foundling:

How many Hero 'types' did GH write in her historical novels? As Carol mentioned:
"GH put herself down & said she only had 2 types of heroes, but I think she had at least 4."

That made me think of the heroes that she has created. I know we all have our favorites - do you see only 2 types? 4? More? Fewer? Such a rich subject might clog up the discussion threads of individual books, so how about we discuss it here?

This thread might have spoilers concerning various GH books, so proceed with caution!


message 2: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Immediately, I would say that Oliver Carleton from Lady of Quality and Miles Calverleigh from Black Sheep and certainly the same type, but the stories are also very similar. What would that type be called? The 'independent, wealthy scoundrel' type?


message 3: by Critterbee❇ (last edited Jun 25, 2018 04:38PM) (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
So there is

the big, quiet, wise type,
Hugo The Unknown Ajax
Jack The Toll-Gate
Anthony The Masqueraders

the independent wealthy scoundrel type,
Miles Calverleigh Black Sheep

the brash, temperamental alpha type,
Ivo Bath Tangle
Max Faro's Daughter
Charles The Grand Sophy
Sylvester Sylvester
Oliver Lady of Quality

the cool, collected alpha type
Carlyon The Reluctant Widow
Tristam The Talisman Ring
Worth Regency Buck
Rule The Convenient Marriage

the mature, wise, considerate type,
Sir Gareth Sprig Muslin
Gervase The Quiet Gentleman
Waldo The Nonesuch
Ashley Charity Girl
Adam A Civil Contract
Charles An Infamous Army
Richard The Corinthian

the young, sweet, calm type
Freddy Cotillion
Kit False Colours
Gilly The Foundling

the young wild child with a good heart
Sherry Friday's Child
Philip Powder and Patch
Dominic Devil's Cub

the swashbuckler
Beauvallet Beauvallet
Jack The Black Moth

the older, jaded type
Alverstoke Frederica
Beaumaris Arabella

the rake
Dameral Venetia

the Duke of Avon type
Justin These Old Shades

hmm, still thinking... am I overthinking this with too many categories? Can some of these be combined? What have I gotten wrong?

*edited to move Oliver from 'the independent wealthy scoundrel type' to 'the brash, temperamental alpha type'*
*edited category name from 'the older, wise, considerate type' to 'the mature, wise, considerate type.'*
*edited cold to cool in 'the cool, collected alpha type'*


message 4: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) I would disagree about Charles Rivenhall - he is neither brash nor temperamental, but a moderate, sensible man driven to distraction by foolish family members (and by Sophy ...) Sylvester is however a temperamental alpha type, as is Max Ravenscar in Faro's Daughter.

My general view is that although there are extremes, most Heyer Heroes come in various shades on different axes - arrogance, humour, consideration, intelligence, etc - and are not as interchangeable as her imitators' versions.


message 5: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Interesting point about Charles - I just remember him being so consistently exasperated and snappish.
And Sylvester - at first I was hesitant to add him because I did not love that book.


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4484 comments Mod
Great idea for a topic Cindy

I do see Miles as being quite different from Oliver (although Lady of Quality is an uninspired knock off of The Black Sheep) I think he is unique among GH's heroes as he has been in trade.

I would put Oliver with the other alphas


message 7: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
It is so interesting to hear how people group or separate these heroes!

Carol, would you consider Oliver one of the brash alphas? If I had to choose between 'brash, temperamental alpha' and 'cold, collected alpha,' I guess I would stick him with the brash.

Looking at my sorting, I am surprised that I found only real rake, and maybe he isn't really a rake, in Dameral.


message 8: by Jan (new)

Jan (jan130) | 225 comments Ha ha ha. I see you put Justin Alastair in a category of his own, Critterbee. Surely he is a rake, too? And older and jaded?

And Charles Audley. Hmm. Not sure whether he really fits in your category. His sudden and intense passion for the racy Barbara is not really considered either wise or considerate by those around him. Oh Charles. *sighs* He's one of my favs. A man of deep integrity but OMG so sexy too.

I do see Miles and Oliver as being in the same general category, although yes there are differences. But in my head I feel the similarities between them. Carol, Lady of Quality may be a 'knock-off' of Black Sheep, but I still really like both books and don't mind that at all.

Yes, this is a fun topic. Looking forward to reading others' views.


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4484 comments Mod
❇Critterbee wrote: "It is so interesting to hear how people group or separate these heroes!

Carol, would you consider Oliver one of the brash alphas? If I had to choose between 'brash, temperamental alpha' and 'cold..."


Oh I would put Vidal & Avon as rakes.

Oliver seems much like Max & Ivo to me.


message 10: by Jan (new)

Jan (jan130) | 225 comments Oh yes. Vidal is a rake.


message 11: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
I did not know how to categorize Avon! To me, he is just in a category by himself, haha! People call him the devil, after all!

Vidal is rakish, but then wants to avoid ruining Mary, only he is so hot-headed. Wouldn't a rake just 'ruin' and leave?


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4484 comments Mod
❇Critterbee wrote: "
Vidal is rakish, but then wants to avoid ruining Mary, only he is so ..."


I think that is just a code of conduct he has been brought up with. I don't find him a kind person at all - except towards Mary. He loves his mother, but won't change his ways for her.


message 13: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 485 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "[A]m I overthinking this with too many categories? Can some of these be combined?"

I think that some of them at least overlap.



Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4484 comments Mod
MaryC wrote: "
I think that some of them at least overlap."


We need a mathematician to do a Venn diagram! :D


message 15: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "
the Duke of Avon type
Justin These Old Shades.."


Congrats. Best post. You won the internet today.

Dominic - I would consider him a rake. That is if I was being nice. I don't know if swear words are allowed on here so I'm being cautious but I really disliked him.

I really agree with your categories overall though. I think Sylvester and Charles Rivenhall would be hard to place but I don't disagree with where you have them. They are just very much their own persons.

I could see Carylon and Tristram in the older considerate category.

Give Sylvester and Charles Rivenhall a few years of maturity and they'll be there too.


message 16: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) I think one can be confused by the similarities between Annis and Abigail (and with Black Sheep and Lady of Quality) into finding Miles and Oliver similar. I don't find them at all alike, perhaps because the things I like most about Miles are missing from Oliver, particularly the sense of humour. Oliver is rude, not funny, and imperious rather than devil-may-care. In fact, while Miles is thoughtful and considerate under the humour, Oliver often comes across as abusive and controlling.

So for me, Oliver is in the same box as Ivo, while Miles belongs with the cool, considerate type.


message 17: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Carol ꧁꧂ wrote: "MaryC wrote: "
I think that some of them at least overlap."

We need a mathematician to do a Venn diagram! :D"


Not a Venn diagram, but a matrix like the Political Compass, only with even more axes and dimensions!


message 18: by Emilia (new)

Emilia Barnes | 146 comments Rosina wrote: "I think one can be confused by the similarities between Annis and Abigail (and with Black Sheep and Lady of Quality) into finding Miles and Oliver similar. I don't find them at all alike, perhaps b..."

I totally agree. There should a be "the rude type" category of its own. It should contain Oliver and Ivo at least, and possibly Max as well! And probably all of her detective novel heroes too, but we're not counting them I suppose.


message 19: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) Emilia wrote: "There should a be "the rude type" category of its own. It should contain Oliver and Ivo at least, and possibly Max as well!"

A 'rude' axis on the Hero Matrix, with Oliver (who boasts of being the rudest man in London) at one end, and possibly Kit (False Colours) and Freddy (Cotillion) at the other end. It would run close to the Arrogance Axis, but is not identical, since Sylvester, high on Arrogance, does claim to be unfailingly polite ...


message 20: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Amy wrote: "...I could see Carylon and Tristram in the older considerate category.

Give Sylvester and Charles Rivenhall a few years of maturity and they'll be there too..."


I can totally see Tristam going fully 'older, wise, considerate type' - Sarah is already an excellent influence on him, as seen during the story. Tristam is one of my fav heroes - he learns to have a sense of humour about himself, and you can see his heart unfreezing towards the world.

Carlyon - he always struck me as a bit too aloof, as part of his innate character. While he is not malicious, I cannot see him being very considerate near the level of Sir Gareth, Richard, or even Waldo.

Sylvester - well, that ego! I don't know that he will ever have consideration for those he does not love. At least he has a sense of humour, and appreciation for the ridiculous, which is a great sign. His mother, though, might be my favorite mother that GH has written.

Charles will always be headstrong and hot-tempered; hopefully he will not exhibit his father's 'flying into a towering passion' in his later years.


message 21: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1430 comments Well done, ladies, for the original thread idea and for Critterbee's masterful (and endlessly debatable) analysis. I'm one of those who hates Charles Rivenhall, no matter how much he is henpecked, because he is so controlling. So I would class him with Worth. I am more forgiving of sulky boys like Vidal (which is weird because I have no use for them outside the pages of a novel), so I enjoy both Devil's Cub and Sylvester a lot. Of course, I'm notoriously a sucker for the physically massive and utterly calm ones (give me one of those in real life) so among my favorites are Hugo Darracott and Sir Anthony Fanshawe. I guess the thing I find sexiest is a situation that requires the hero to be heroically restrained and misunderstood because his ethics require him to be so--if that makes any sense: pain drugs still weaving around my synapses. But I am home at last from hospital and rehab--woohoo!


message 22: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
It is possible that I lumped Oliver and Miles into the same category because of the similarities of the two stories. More reflection needed!


message 23: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Jan130 wrote: "...And Charles Audley. Hmm. Not sure whether he really fits in your category. His sudden and intense passion for the racy Barbara is not really considered either wise or considerate by those around him. Oh Charles. *sighs* He's one of my favs. A man of deep integrity but OMG so sexy too."

Charles does seem wise, regardless of his passion for Barbara. He understands her, more than anyone else, and he realizes that his passion is out of control. I think that wisdom allows him to fully recognize that they do belong together.

He might need to be the middle of a Venn diagram of swashbuckling and wise!


message 24: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1409 comments Miles is a devil may care rogue. Oliver is an alpha hero. Big difference. We need a rogues category or rakes and rogues category. Miles was a rakehell in his younger days. That's a little different from a plain old rake but rakish for sure.

Damarel is older and jaded as well. He just as a bad reputation as a rake. He never actually participates in rakish behavior after the "meet cute" scene.


message 25: by Jan (last edited Jun 23, 2018 04:09PM) (new)

Jan (jan130) | 225 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "It is possible that I lumped Oliver and Miles into the same category because of the similarities of the two stories. More reflection needed!"

I'm feeling the same way, Critterbee. Frankly, it's a while since I read either book. Remember loving them both, though, and their H's.


message 26: by Jan (last edited Jun 23, 2018 04:11PM) (new)

Jan (jan130) | 225 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "Charles does seem wise, regardless of his passion for Barbara. He understands her, more than anyone else, and he realizes that his passion is out of control. I think that wisdom allows him to fully recognize that they do belong together.

He might need to be the middle of a Venn diagram of swashbuckling and wise! "


Ha ha. Yes, there is something in what you are saying.


message 27: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 714 comments Critterbee--great list and analysis. Sorry I'm late to the party!
As I am very fond of Rule (The Convenient Marriage), I'd never call him cold*; I'd almost put him in the older, wiser group. He is so patient with Horry and he has a really sly sense of humor. The scenes he has with his politically ambitious young secretary are a delight. He's even marginally tolerant of his cousin (until said cousin goes too far, that is...). And I love, love Tristam--once again, not so much cold**, as having little patience with nonsense.
* maybe call that group the 'cool, calm, collected' Alphas.
**cold, for me, is Avon. Now, there's cold!

And poor Phillip Jettan--so nice, and calm--silly Cleone's biggest objection to him is that he isn't exciting, wild or fashionable. All the scrapes he gets into are due to his efforts to change himself to impress her! (silly Phillip... )


message 28: by Alathea (new)

Alathea Jane (vronlas) | 56 comments Adam and Kit are two of my favourite heroes. I don't think I'd have put Adam as "the older, wise, considerate type". He's young and naive at the beginning of the book, and gains wisdom in the course of it. I don't think I'd have put Kit as "the young, sweet, calm type" either. One of the things I like about both of them is that they don't just live off their family money. Adam is improving his land, Kit is in the diplomatic service.Can we have a single "kind, considerate and responsible (but not old)" category for the two of them?


message 29: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 459 comments I feel like I need to read them all again to classify them properly!


message 30: by Critterbee❇ (last edited Jun 24, 2018 07:13PM) (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Alathea wrote: "Adam and Kit are two of my favourite heroes. I don't think I'd have put Adam as "the older, wise, considerate type". He's young and naive at the beginning of the book, and gains wisdom in the course of it. I don't think I'd have put Kit as "the young, sweet, calm type" either. One of the things I like about both of them is that they don't just live off their family money. Adam is improving his land, Kit is in the diplomatic service.Can we have a single "kind, considerate and responsible (but not old)" category for the two of them?"

True, Adam is not really 'older,' although he strikes me as such.
Adam is 26, and Kit is 24, while
Richard and Ashley are 29,
Gervase is 30,
and
Sir Gareth, Charles Audley and Waldo are 35

Hmm, I think changing the category name to 'mature' might suit, because that does not always refer to age. I like Kit in the young and sweet category, but feel that Adam, while considerate, is not at all sweet.


message 31: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
**Also, any ideas about where Cardross from April Lady would fit?? I read that so long ago that I rather forgot about him!


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4484 comments Mod
❇Critterbee wrote: "**Also, any ideas about where Cardross from April Lady would fit?? I read that so long ago that I rather forgot about him!"

Also a long time since I have read but I would say calm, collected alpha.


message 33: by Jan (new)

Jan (jan130) | 225 comments I'm really enjoying this discussion.


message 34: by Mela (new)

Mela (melabooks) | 71 comments Louise Sparrow wrote: "I feel like I need to read them all again to classify them properly!"

Exactly! Me too! ;-)

Great discussion.


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1201 comments Interesting to see how others define Heyer’s heroes. My favourites are the strong alpha males with a heart of gold. What I love in fiction - is not necessarily what I would chose in real life! Dominic and Avon remain my top 2 of all of them!
I actually find it difficult to separate the hero from the heroine. Alverstoke is magnificent because of his pairing with Frederica. Similarly Dameral’s appeal and place on the axis is modified by his relationship with Venetia. Charles self imposed sense of responsibility which manifests itself in cold control is ameliorated by loving Sophy, and if you’re the victim of a perceived marriage for money - I can think of no better sophisticated older alpha male than Rule to be guided by. Fascinating discussion. A tribute yet again to Heyer’s ability to (in the main), create realistic, interesting characters.


message 36: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Susan in Perthshire wrote: "...I actually find it difficult to separate the hero from the heroine. Alverstoke is magnificent because of his pairing with Frederica. Similarly Dameral’s appeal and place on the axis is modified by his relationship with Venetia. Charles self imposed sense of responsibility which manifests itself in cold control is ameliorated by loving Sophy, and if you’re the victim of a perceived marriage for money - I can think of no better sophisticated older alpha male than Rule to be guided by. Fascinating discussion. A tribute yet again to Heyer’s ability to (in the main), create realistic, interesting characters."

Well said, Susan! The heroes are often shaped by their heroines. Imagine being stuck in a marriage for money with Ivo! Sarah Thane enables Tristam to appreciate the eccentricity of Eugenie and the absurdity of their entire situation. And Sophie is confident enough to be undaunted by Charles' imperious attitude and quick temper.


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4484 comments Mod
Susan in Perthshire wrote: "Interesting to see how others define Heyer’s heroes. My favourites are the strong alpha males with a heart of gold. What I love in fiction - is not necessarily what I would chose in real life! Domi..."

That's interesting because although I love the books you mention, I'm fond of Philip (Powder & Patch) not so crazy about Cleone.

My least favourite (Charity Girl) one of the many flaws for me is Ashley is too perfect & GH doesn't give the heroine (Henrietta) a distinct personality.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "So there is

the big, quiet, wise type,
Hugo The Unknown Ajax
Jack The Toll-Gate
Anthony The Masqueraders

the independent wealthy scoundrel type,
Miles ..."


I love your list.

I especially like that Avon gets his own category! ;-)


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Critterbee--great list and analysis. Sorry I'm late to the party!
As I am very fond of Rule (The Convenient Marriage), I'd never call him cold*; I'd almost put him in the older, wiser group. He is ..."


I like Rule as well.

He is so funny!


message 40: by Jan (new)

Jan (jan130) | 225 comments *puts hand up*

I like Rule as well.


message 41: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2724 comments Mod
Taking into account Horatias brother's warnings about Rule, the fear that Mr Drelincourt and Horry herself had of him, the way that he calmly handled everything and the way that men in Georgian times conducted themselves (above it all, unflappable, unruffled, etc) strike me as cool.

All that said, he did try to take care of Horry, even though she continuously got into scrapes anyway.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Rule is a very “smooth” customer!


message 43: by Jan (new)

Jan (jan130) | 225 comments Sexy, too, in that mature, understated way.


message 44: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Love the discussion! Avon is most certainly his own category - my favorite, no matter how many times I read the books! I think Avon of DC is even better than the Avon of ToS - love the cool, sarcastic type.

Another distinction between Heyer heroes seems to be their reputation re: ladies -quite a binary. In the negative bracket: the rakes such as Damerel, Avon, Dominic, Alverstoke etc. In the positive: Charles (too upright), Kit (too nice), Freddy (clueless?), Hugo etc.


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1201 comments I don’t think any of the heroes are true “rakes”. A rakehell was someone who womanised, gambled, spent his fortune unwisely and was regarded as totally immoral. I can’t think of anyone other than Dameral who comes close to that. All the male heores who have been described as ‘rakes’ in this thread, actually seem to have a long-term mistress rather than spreading their favours among many woman of ill repute! I can’t think of any who have gambled away their fortune or who spends all their time becoming inordinately drunk. I may be a naive romantic, but I have always viewed these guys (Vidal, Avon, Rule, Dameral, Ravenscar and Alverstoke as men who are just ready to be redeemed by falling in love with the right woman. Avon remains my absolute numero uno - and I still love him - some 56 years after first encountering him in TOS and DC. What a fantastic creation from GH. Amazing.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Jan130 wrote: "Sexy, too, in that mature, understated way."

Jan,

If you are talking about Rule, I agree.

Both Avon and Rule manage to be sexy in those 18 C fashions (wigs, lace and high-heels, etc.)


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Susan in Perthshire wrote: "I don’t think any of the heroes are true “rakes”. A rakehell was someone who womanised, gambled, spent his fortune unwisely and was regarded as totally immoral. I can’t think of anyone other than D..."

Susan,

I think that in addition to Demerel, Avon and Vidal are rakes as well.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Susan in Perthshire wrote: "I don’t think any of the heroes are true “rakes”. A rakehell was someone who womanised, gambled, spent his fortune unwisely and was regarded as totally immoral. I can’t think of anyone other than D..."

Susan,

I don't know if you are reader of current mainstream HR (a lot of GH fans over here don't read it, i'm aware) at all.

Your observations of what a rake "really" is/does are spot-on. Currently in mainstream HR, a lot of the heroes are " called" rakes and the books even have the word "rake" in the title, but the heroes are actually tremendous wusses. It seems that mainstream HR readers NOW want a 21 C politically correct male feminist for a hero. The readers don't really want to see the hero keeping opera dancers and frolicking in bordellos. They don't want to see "real" rakes.


message 49: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Susan in Perthshire wrote: "I don’t think any of the heroes are true “rakes”. A rakehell was someone who womanised, gambled, spent his fortune unwisely and was regarded as totally immoral. I can’t think of anyone other than D..."

Most of the ones listed as rakes did have a sufficiently bad reputation ...I can't see Heyer being explicit but Avon for example, is shown to visit brothels, has at least one mistress in the book, and has lost and won a fortune at play...Alverstoke is also shown to have just dismissed one mistress, invites another to his dinner and sets up a "flirt" during the book - Mrs. Ilford may have been no more than a flirt (I think he was in love with Frederica by then) but their world certainly thought she was more than that.


message 50: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1409 comments Damarel gets a bad rep based on gossip and one stupid mistake in his youth. The devil type like Avon and Vidal is different from the rake. A rakish hero would be Miles in Black Sheep. He had a colorful misspent youth and knows lots of disreputable characters. He was a bit of a rakehell in his day.


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