02/06/2007

Regency Buck (by Georgette Heyer)

I love Georgette Heyer's novels, particularly those set in Regency times, and re-read them all periodically. This week was the turn of 'Regency Buck', a book I last read in 2001.

I found I had entirely forgotten the beginning, which features a strong-minded young woman - Judith - and her talkative brother Perry, setting out to visit London. Since the death of their father they have been wards of the Earl of Worth, although they don't know him at all.

I found the book a bit slow to get going, and there is really too much talk about fighting - particularly boxing - for my tastes, although I suppose the detailed descriptions of matches help to consolidate Perry's character as a typical young man of the time. However I skimmed most of them.

Eventually the pace picks up, with Perry finding himself in several dangerous situations, and nobody quite sure who to trust. Judith, who is quite an heiress, finds herself courted by several unsuitable gentlemen, as well as her cousin Bernard and her guardian's brother Charles. There's a bit of ironic humour as ever with these novels, and the characterisation is excellent, although I didn't particularly empathise with Judith.

The plotting, too, is particularly good in this novel, with the reader kept guessing until the end about who really is on Judith and Perry's side, and who is not. I did remember the outcome, but it didn't spoil the book at all - indeed, it helped me see 'clues' along the way, and admire the writing.

A good read, but not one of my favourite of Heyer's novels.

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