14/08/2002

Cotillion (by Georgette Heyer)

I try to limit myself to only one or two Georgette Heyer books at a time, as I like to read them all sporadically, but to leave a gap of at least four or five years each time I re-read one. However this is the third I have read in a row; once started, it's difficult to resist others!

'Cotillion' features Kitty, the orphaned ward of Mr Penicuik. He calls the family together to announce that he has decided to leave his fortune to Kitty, if she marries one of his great-nephews.

Kitty thinks she loves Jack, and he is Mr Penicuik's favourite great-nephew, but Jack does not turn up for the meeting, nor does he offer to marry Kitty. So she suggests a pretend engagement to Freddy, her dandy cousin who lives in London. This is because she wants to escape from the restrictive lifestyle imposed by Mr Penicuik, and spend a season in London.

Freddy, who is very good-hearted, agrees reluctantly. Then he finds his hands much fuller than he expected trying to guide Kitty in matters of fashion and etiquette.

Lots of humour, interesting people, and a most satisfactory ending. Definitely recommended. Still in print in both USA and UK.

(You can also read a longer review of 'Cotillion', which I wrote on re-reading the book five years later)

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