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message 1: by MashJ (last edited Nov 03, 2010 03:06PM) (new)

MashJ | 28 comments Published in 1935 this was the first of Heyer's Regency romances as her earlier books were about the Georgian period. So do you find this beginning of the genre an awkward misstep or a classic?

For me I have to admit that this is one of my absolute favourites. As I get older I appreciate the "alpha" hero a little less than I used to but you can hardly blame Heyer for giving Worth plenty of money and making him "in charge". After all in her own household the was the main breadwinner and money was pretty tight.

I have to admit I really liked Judith too- not for being beautiful but for the carriage race and thumbing her nose at society and trying to steal the march on Worth. I liked Worth's dry humour and the affection between both sets of siblings and the visit to Brighton and the Regent's palace (I have visited the palace too and the descriptions are wonderful). As usual with Heyer much of the best of the book is in the conversations.

Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer

message 2: by chinami (new)

chinami | 108 comments Regardless of how the characters stay poised with the story, regency buck is a beautifully written classic. Her books are opulent in exact description and language and i feel Regency Buck is one amongst it. For that matter i didn't like the pairings in April lady either. But one common factor that sets it apart from her other novels is the flawless lexis.
The biggest drawback in Regency Buck was that of Julian Audley's domineering attitude towards Judith. As such Judith did nothing to impress me; If there was any credit to her nature, it was as you expressed, her ardor for carriage racing which Julian barely tolerated. If Brummell could encourage her and amuse himself in her favorite fancy, then why cant Julian?. How could he feel shame at the only positive part of her? The very match was in my eyes displeasing for Judith could perambulate for hours together and her temper got more uncontrollable as her constant companionship with Mrs Scattergood had a negative impact on her. She may not be wide eyed and innocent but her opinions and ideas drove me mad.
When i recall my reading experience of that book, I'm reminded of how the thought of Julian kidnapping perry and killing him prevailed upon my head. But my entire theory shattered the minute Bernard abducted Judith. I find myself frequently in conflict with officious heroes and heroines who cannot compliment with proportionate ripostes. The combination as a result becomes dreary. Furthermore, her disposition had underwent no change in An Infamous Army and i could never forgive Judith for her unmerited behaviour towards Barbara. On the brighter side, Julian was less boring, his scarce appearance made AIA light weighted.
Aside from these minor disappointing aspects, the conversations had its irony and humor that renders the read not all too futile.

message 3: by MashJ (new)

MashJ | 28 comments I thought I'd better reread to comment accurately so I'll report back later today! I must have read this for the first time when I was about 13 and loved it and that probably is why I may find it difficult to pick holes in it now.

Some context- the books was written in 1935 ie in the inter-war years and is her 6th book still in print. Heyer was in her early thirties and living in England at the time after marrying at about 25 and then spending some years overseas. Her previous book was The Convenient Marriage.

I did find Judith very disappointing in An Infamous Army- maybe Georgette Heyer was looking back on one of her earlier books and wasn't too taken with her characters? I did like Judith in RB though- she's spikey and there is a lot of spark between her and Worth.

As for Worth it's difficult to interpret him as we get very little insight into his thinking (typical British male!). I felt him not telling her what was going on was a mixture of plot device and his controlling nature. You get the impression that he didn't talk to anyone except maybe Charles Audley.

As to him being a nasty character with the kidnapping of Perry- yes, I agree although he did it with the best intentions Judith was (not surprisingly) very worried. I guess that he would say that the ends justified the means and he didn't feel that he could trust her because of her developing relationship with Taverner. Perhaps he didn't want to be tainted by telling her bad news about Taverner?

I think that Heyer was trying to make Worth a slightly dark character but that didn't really combine well with the whole upright gentelman/sportsman image. She wanted to mislead the reader I think as to who the bad guy was (a frequent motif in her novels-leading the reader astray!). So I tend to think that Heyer got tangled up in her plotting and didn't fully develop Worth's character.

message 4: by chinami (new)

chinami | 108 comments I like the way you describe Julian. I could only sum up his character into a single word, 'annoying' and it never occurred to me to look at him beyond that. I guess all the while i got so consumed with Judith that i failed to perceive in any other angle and not giving due considerations to the reasons therefor.
This calls for a reread so that i can be more transparent and accurate with my views and all i can remember for the moment is the captivating language. I dont think worth's character was partially developed. For that matter, Giles Merion,Edward carlyon and Phillip Jettan had a strong preference for satire in its purest form. Their chief talent lay in their distinct sense of humor that intended antagonizing and belittling the weak and the unwise. It is also their superior view of their own sex that is portrayed with exactitude which Heyer cannot have belied, as a result we are offered with domineering, reserve and sinister male counterparts bonded with frenetic,insufferably feeble female protagonists who can scarcely equate the satire and cynicism in the conversations with the former. And I must confess, I really appreciate this combination to whatever that is written in today's 'Regency Novels'. It's also that heyer is one amongst the old writers who adheres to providing true facts than only fiction and i feel somehow the least inclination to question the dramatis personae.
Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer Regency Buck (Unabridged Audiobook on 10 Audiocassette Tapes) by Georgette Heyer

message 5: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Well, I just finished Regency Buck, & I've got to say that I did enjoy it. Worth's kidnapping of Perry was high-handed to say the least, but it's more plausible when I remember that crime and punishments were very, very different 200 years ago. The very fact that it was Lord Worth doing the kidnapping gave the whole affair a plausibility that it would have lacked if the hero had been a nobody who would have had to answer to the law. Today's hero acting like that? Call out the SWAT team!

message 6: by Barbara (last edited Oct 21, 2011 09:49PM) (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 435 comments I just caught up with this thread and I must say how much I enjoyed the nuanced discussion of Worth's and Judith's characters. I never liked the really masterful hero types as much as the funny self deprecating ones ( Freddy and the lovely Hugo for instnce) and even on re-reading find Worth rather cold and uninspiring and full of his own importance . By the time Judith reappears in Infamous Army she too is rather cold and conventional ( Tho Babs Childe and all her family would be terribly hard to deal with don't you think ?

message 7: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 215 comments Barbara wrote: "I just caught up with this thread and I must say how much I enjoyed the nuanced discussion of Worth's and Judith's characters. I never liked the really masterful hero types as much as the funn..."

I agree, Barbara. I find neither Worth nor Judith particular sympathetic main characters. I've read Regency Buck a few times, but it's not one of the novels I return to regularly.

message 8: by Sophia (new)

Sophia (sophiarose) I enjoyed this novel though I admit that I found Judith's blindness a bit annoying. There are little hints that 'the man of the world' Worth though proud might have perfectly good reasons for thwarting her. I think there is a sense in which he is fighting his own feelings at first probably because he is afraid to have them and then when he discovers her partiality for her own enemy, he cannot be open with her.
Judith is just up from the country knowing not a soul and yet she trusts one new acquaintance over another just because the other slighted her (ala Lizzy Bennet of P&P fame).
Their spirited exchanges are my favorite parts in the book though.

message 9: by Barbara (last edited Nov 01, 2011 10:54PM) (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 435 comments True, true Sundee - but I can't help being a bit cross at the way we are kind of invited to find Worth's high-handedness completely understandable - tho I do take your Elizabeth Bennet point.

message 10: by Claire (new)

Claire | 46 comments I have always felt that Worth was an Avon "light" and as a consequence
this is not one of my favourite rereads,

message 11: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 435 comments Yes, less interesting and certainly less sexy!

message 12: by Teresa (last edited Jun 26, 2012 07:06PM) (new)

Teresa Edgerton (teresaedgerton) | 151 comments I recently gave this book another try, although it's been one of my least favorite among her regencies for a long time. I found Worth more palatable this third time around (he's the reason I haven't liked the book), but I feel like she was trying too hard to get every bit of research onto the page, and that made for a slow pace. I really didn't care about the royal dukes, etc.

This time, however, I was really struck by the style of the dialogue, which I like very much -- more so than any of her other books. While I know that over the years Heyer did an immense amount of research (letters, etc.) to get the language just right, and this one may sound like a novelist's idea of how people spoke during that era -- the novelists it reminded me of were the writers of the period. There was a strong flavor of Jane Austen.

message 13: by Helen (new)

Helen (helenma) | 29 comments I read this back in the 1970s and just recently reread it. I have to say I liked it. I thought it seemed a little more gothic novel like than her other Regencies which might explain the way Worth is portrayed. As in gothic novels Worth is set up to look like the villain and is portrayed as unsympathetic until at the end all is explained and we find he had reasons for his actions. Gothic heroes never explain to the heroine! What makes this novel so fun to me is the exchanges between Worth and Judith, particularly when he meets her on the country road after the prize fight. I laughed at the scene in London when Perry and Judith discover he is their guardian. Judith asks if he has any rules for them and Worth says he does not want her to stay in villages where prize fights are being held. In this reread I have the sense that Worth is reserved and standoffish because he does not feel it is honorable behavior for him to court Judith while he has control over her. The mystery was good, I enjoyed the pisoned snuff and the way Worth dealt with it. The appearance of Brummell is interesting. Do we see him, as opposed to just hearing about him, in any of her other novels? Like the above comment I thought this novel was more consciously historically accurate than the others. The other novels seem easier and more relaxed in the dialogue and action.

message 14: by Donna (new)

Donna (earthreader) | 47 comments Helen wrote: "I read this back in the 1970s and just recently reread it. I have to say I liked it. I thought it seemed a little more gothic novel like than her other Regencies which might explain the way Worth..."

I like your analysis of this book. I read it a few years ago, so I don't remember all the details, but you have brought a lot of it back to me. Unfortunately, what kind of ruined things for me concerning this book was the portrayal of these characters later on in the Infamous Army, especially Perry. What a disappointment he turned out to be. It makes everything he went through in Regency Buck, wanting to be with the woman he loved, seem as if it were for nothing. I wish that I never read the Infamous Army for that and other reasons. Charles Audley certainly became a whole different man in that book, as well. Though the circumstances of there being a war on dictated that he wouldn't be full of good humor as he had been in the former book.

message 15: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I haven't read the Infamous Army in years, and now I think I won't be reading it again for years!
I agree, Helen; I noticed, too, that Regency Buck takes a long time to "get to the story". There seems to be much more history in it than most of her other Regencies. I felt as though she took a very long time to get the setting right, but I'm not quite sure why. The first part of the novel seems a bit unfocused, a bit jumpy.

message 16: by Helen (new)

Helen (helenma) | 29 comments Donna, I agree about An Infamous Army, I was very disappointed at the way Perry turns out. I thought on this reread of RB though that there are indications that Perry is just too young to marry, he seems very immature. The marriage had to be arranged for the plot of the murder to go forward but I felt an uneasiness in the author. I have not reread An Infamous Army yet (like Regency Buck I read it in the 1970s) but I plan to after I reread Devils Cub.

message 17: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Usually, no matter how many times I've read it, I have no trouble staying on track with a Heyer. But I've wondered off from Regency Buck several times. I think that there is just not enough humor for me in this one!

message 18: by Talltree (new)

Talltree I loved this book and have reread it many times. The character of the h being beautiful and an heiress is done a lot, but her being a termagant and spirited - I liked that Judith Taverner stood up for herself every time. She had her heart , and head, in the right place.

The hero, a guy who goes around kissing random pretty women, who doesn't bother to communicate clearly with his wards and seems to excel in setting their backs up, I didn't like him all that much and I don't know why the h fell for him. Yes he's handsome, rich and a typical marriage mart prize, but i wish she'd found someone else.

The only bad judgement IMO the h displayed was in being blind to her cousin's intentions and yes the Earl saved Peregrine and her, so at least he did his duty as a guardian.

Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments I liked how Worth could always Rile Judith. Ha

message 20: by Talltree (new)

Talltree Yes, he never failed.
I guess it was hate turned love at least on Judith's side, though I wondered what Worth found loveable about her- apart from her looks. She didn't always show her best side to him, although sometimes he brought it on himself.

Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Yes, Worth did not bring out the best in Judith.

message 22: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments Wouldn't you love to read some day a Heyer-type romance in which, when the heroine's domineering and sharp-tongued guardian "declares himself" to her, she tells him to go jump in the lake?

message 23: by Talltree (new)

Talltree I would definitely pay to read that!
I think I have actually read a contemporary where that happens, but it would be more awesome in a Heyer type historical not least bcos I know women had less rights and freedom in those days.

message 24: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4450 comments Mod
Hi are we starting Regency Buck now? I thought we were starting on the 1st of May with the group reads format, then an Infamous Army on the 1st of June.

message 25: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments ***Carol*** wrote: "Hi are we starting Regency Buck now? I thought we were starting on the 1st of May with the group reads format, then an Infamous Army on the 1st of June."

Ha! Carol, I was just going to ask when we were starting Regency Buck, because I'm debating on what I should read this week. I'll wait for May for it and find something else for now!

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