Georgette Heyer – Regency Buck and Bath Tangle

13 September 2009

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We all like a bit of conflict in our books don’t we? Well, this is something that Heyer excelled in. It seems like she liked to match up different characteristics so you will have a Type A Heroine like Hero in Friday’s Child (young, lively, inexperienced) and Type A Hero like Freddy in Cotillion (young, charming, good natured) then Type B heroines like Sophy in The Grand Sophy (fun loving, highly intelligent) and Type B Heroes like Sherry in Friday’s Child (immature, self centred) and so on.

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Today’s picks from my favourites come from what I am going to call Type G or rather Type Grumpy. On one hand we have the red headed termagant Lady Serena in Bath Tangle, battling against both the constraints of society and also her bad tempered jilted fiancé, Ivo, Marquess of Rotherham who has been unaccountably been named her guardian by her recently dead father and on the other we have the fiery obstinate Judith Taverner from Regency Buck, who is also an unwilling ward, this time of the much older, extremely haughty and selfish Julian, fifth Earl of Worth.

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If you like your romances peppered with rows, misunderstandings, fury, impotent rage and the slamming of doors then these are the books for you!

Bath Tangle
is probably one of the least popular of Heyer’s Regency books but I love it. Not just because the heroine is redheaded (always a plus to me) but because I love the combat between Serena and Ivo and the way that they really, really seem to hate each other while clearly being besotted at the same time. One can only speculate about how their marriage turns out but I expect it involves plenty of smashed vases and redfaced footmen backing away from doorways.

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On the other hand, we know how beautiful blonde Judith and Julian turn out because Regency Buck has a sequel of sorts in An Infamous Army. Judith and Julian row less than Serena and Ivo but you can definitely imagine Serena driving herself from London to Brighton just to spite Ivo, just as Judith does to Julian. It’s a shame really that while Serena remains a spitfire to the end, Judith ends up losing her fire somewhat in the latter parts of the book and seems all set up to be a virtuous and obedient wife.

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