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Heyer in General > Jennifer Kloester has a speaking engagement...

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message 1: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (last edited Sep 16, 2019 12:04PM) (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4328 comments Mod
Hi Everyone

Rosemary has asked me to put this up.

For any of our Australian members, Jen is giving a free talk here

Fri., 11 October 2019
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
34 - 38 Kay Street
Traralgon, Vic 3840

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/still...

I heard Jen speak at the GH Conference in Sydney a few years back & she is a warm & engaging speaker. If you live in this area I would recommend attending!


message 2: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 7 comments Thank you Carol! I went to Jennifer Kloester's talk "Still Selling: The Enduring Appeal of Georgette Heyer" today and really enjoyed it.

A lot of the content I already knew, but I loved hearing it presented in such a friendly and lively way. When I read Jen Kloester's biography of GH I was fascinated, but could only recommend it to GH fans as it was a bit heavy going. No such criticism of her talk today - it was very accessible, accompanied by lots of colour photos of things like the various places GH lived and first edition dust jackets.

I'm intrigued to read "Acting on Impulse" which is a collection of GH juvenilia coming out this year. Also I'd love to get hold of suppressed GH novel "Barren Corn" (which Jen Kloester says a lot of people hate!) which is a tragedy exploring class conflict. The copyright has expired in the US so it has been published there, but not in UK or Australia.

The talk also reminded me that I don't pronounce GH's name correctly, which I've known for years but can't break the habit. Jen Kloester pronounces "Georgette" with a French accent, and "Heyer" should be pronounced "Hare".

Jen Kloester's forthcoming novel "Jane Austen's Ghost" also sounds good.


message 3: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4328 comments Mod
So glad you enjoyed the event Rosemary!

Did Jen talk about the other three suppressed GH contemporaries?

I found Barren Corn well written but depressing.


message 4: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1350 comments Awesome! Thanks for the report. I'm super jealous but happy that someone could come back and tell us all about it.


message 5: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 7 comments Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ wrote: "So glad you enjoyed the event Rosemary!

Did Jen talk about the other three suppressed GH contemporaries?

I found Barren Corn well written but depressing."


Ok interesting to know. I think Jen briefly mentioned all the suppressed GH contemporaries and also showed us a photo of GH's copy of her second book "The Great Roxhythe" with her note on the flyleaf "This lethal and immature work" (GH really hated it).

It was also interesting to see this photo of GH taken in 1923 by a very famous photographer, E.O. Hoppe whose subjects included many European royals, and compare it with the better known one taken the same year. She was 21 in both pics.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/boo...

https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...


message 6: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 7 comments QNPoohBear wrote: "Awesome! Thanks for the report. I'm super jealous but happy that someone could come back and tell us all about it."

No problem! Jen is definitely worth hearing.


message 7: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
Oh my, she looks so young and a bit mischievous in the Hopp photo!
Can not believe that they were both taken the same year - she looks so polished and elegant in the Heinemann photo.


message 8: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 7 comments Critterbee❇ wrote: "Oh my, she looks so young and a bit mischievous in the Hopp photo!
Can not believe that they were both taken the same year - she looks so polished and elegant in the Heinemann photo."


Apparently Hopp wouldn't let his subjects wear makeup or get their hair done and GH didn't like the photo much, so she got the more elegant one taken! :)


message 9: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
Interesting! I think that 3/4 angle was not the best, but her eyes do look so intelligent. Two different views of the same person - thank you for sharing that Rosemary!


message 10: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK I'm surprised to find anything favourable about GH in the Guardian! I'd have thought they'd have been really snitty and snotty about her!


message 11: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 7 comments I'm with GH, I think the Heinemann photo is much more flattering. But fascinating to have the comparison.

Beth that's interesting about the Guardian, I'm used to dead silence on GH from my usual media outlets. :)


message 12: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK Re the Guardian, I truly would have rather expected some rather snide and patronising comments about GH - something about her being (a) elitist and privileged, both in her background and her attitudes exemplified in her novels and (b) trashy simply because she was writing 'romance' at all!

I used to like the Guardian, but find it more and more objectionable these days, as it has become smug, virtue-signalling and utterly obsessed by the curse of the left (and, sigh, just about everyone else as well, including, for all the wrong reasons, the far right!) identity politics. The more they bang on and on and on on and on demonstrating how 'right on' they are, and just blatantly sucking up and, as I say, obsequiously 'virtue-signalling', the more I dislike it. To my mind they help create the very situation they deplore, and 'create problems' where none may actually exist. Hey ho.

I think they are best on economics, and their business section is usually pretty good (including global warming etc etc).


message 13: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK But you're right about the 'dead silence' across the board re GH (and 'light' women's fiction in general come to that!)(anything that isn't dystopian or sunk in gloom or banging on about how dreadful the lot of women is, blah blah blah) (yup, I'm cynical in my old age!!!!)

It seems that not much has changed since Austen's day - 'women's fiction' is still derided and dismissed. And so often it is women themselves who do the deriding and dismissing, as they are 'sucking up' to the male-dominated 'literary establishment'. (There was quite a good and pungent discussion on this topic in the Group a month or so ago, kicked off by a GH biography I think?)


message 14: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK Re the Guardian again, I suspect that part (all?????!!!!!) of my dislike stems not from the Guardian changing, but, er, me!

Shades of that brilliant quote from Mark Twain along the lines of:

'When I was young I pretty much disapproved of everything my father believed in, but now I'm older he's pretty much come round to my way of thinking'.....

Love it! :) :) :)


message 15: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 7 comments Such a shame GH still hasn't had the serious recognition she deserves. (Apart from An Infamous Army being used as a text book at Sandhurst). At least she has been continuously in print except for the suppressed stuff.

Interestingly there were a few men at Jen's talk, a minority, but some.


message 16: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK Is AIA used as a textbook at Sandhurst? Wonderful! I hope GH knew that. :)

As for 'serious recognition' well, I guess, in a way, however expertly, she did write 'light fiction', which was for entertainment and leisure, rather than 'serious, ie, literary, fiction' for 'art'.

The problem would be, to my mind, is if 'light fiction' written by women is 'disdained' more than any other kind of light fiction (eg, crime novels, spy novels, westerns, thrillers, etc etc)

However, I still think a lot of folk who have never bothered to try out GH's novels still think of them as no more than Barbara Cartland (or other more contemporary and 'fluffier' writers.)

It's a tricky business, to my mind, trying to distinguish between 'well written light fiction' and 'badly written light fiction'.....there is the 'lightness' of the subject (eg romance/thrillers, etc) and the 'skill' of the author.

I think I would probably prefer to read well written light fiction than badly written 'serious' fiction?

And just what it is that makes a book badly written is even trickier to determine. I would say most of us know a badly written book when we read one (or stop reading one!), but I would find it hard to put it into words just what it is that makes it badly written to my mind.

There is also the issue of style, irrespective of quality of writing. For example, I love the novels of Brenda Jagger, but her writing style is very distinctive, and not everyone may take to it. I could understand if some readers find it irritating. Conversely, many people devour Barbara Taylor Bradford, but I find her style unreadable myself, however good her plots etc.

It's not a question, in terms of writing style, of 'well or badly written' but just what appeals to an individual.

Tricky though!


message 17: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary | 7 comments According to this blog, GH was invited to lecture at Sandhurst: https://thebeaumonde.com/an-infamous-...

In my opinion GH deserves the same literary recognition as Jane Austen. I think she sought that, which was why she kept working on My Lord John, which is not one of my favourites.

I think what sets her apart is not her immense knowledge of the period, but her light-handed use of it (not the case in MLJ).


message 18: by Beth-In-UK (new)

Beth-In-UK I wouldn't say she was literary per se, but she was an extremely good writer of quality historical light fiction.

And yes, I agree she wore her immense knowledge very 'lightly'.

(I also agree about MLJ - I did read it once, and found it interesting that she presents Katherine Swynford, the last Duchess of Gaunt, as a 'great lady', when in the famous Anya Seaton novel of Katherine she is most definitely not a 'great lady'.)


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