18/04/2002

The Unknown Ajax (by Georgette Heyer)

I do like Georgette Heyer! I started collecting her historical novels when I was in my teens, gradually found almost the entire collection - mostly second-hand - and have read and re-read them all many times. She is the absolute master of light Regency romances, with very clever plots, realistic and believable settings, and the most delightful characters.

'The Unknown Ajax' features Hugo Darracott, who unexpectedly becomes heir to the family estates, even though most of the family have never heard of him. His grandfather, who knows of his existence, expects him to be common and illiterate, since his mother was a weaver's daughter.

Hugo turns out to be a very large soldier with a dry sense of humour, who eventually sorts out various serious problems amongst his male cousins, and becomes very friendly with his female cousin.

Light-hearted, set in a smuggling area, fast-moving, and very enjoyable.

Highly recommended. Still in print in the UK, although apparently not in the USA.

(I wrote a longer review of 'The Unknown Ajax' when I re-read it in 2007)

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