All of Heyer: The Great Roxhythe

allheyericonPublished: 1922

“It is probably the worst book Georgette Heyer ever wrote.” – Jane Aiken Hodge

Have you ever read a book and it was kind of awful, but you kept reading it because it had to get better?  And then it never does?

The Great Roxhythe

Cover of the first edition

It pains me to say that about The Great Roxhythe. It pains me to say that about any of Georgette Heyer’s novels. She is a favorite, as the Marquis of Roxhythe himself was a favorite of Charles II, and one does not like to think ill of one’s favorite; but I suppose that every author–even a favorite–is entitled to a dud. And even while I didn’t care much for Roxhythe, it is not a dud, not completely. And even bad Heyer is better than a lot of other books.

 “The Great Roxhythe, The Transformation of Philip Jettan (later retitled Powder and Patch) and Simon the Coldheart were all published by 1925. They are all interesting as early experiments in the historical mode, and it is also illuminating that she later suppressed The Great Roxhythe and Simon the Coldheart. They were experiments in a direction that was not to prove propitious for her.” – Jane Aiken Hodge

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All of Heyer: A Note on Copyright

allheyericonGreetings, Gentle Readers. A question about the copyright of Georgette Heyer’s books came up on Twitter, and I thought it worth dedicating a blog post to it. I hasten to add that I am not a lawyer, nor an expert on copyright. I am just putting together the information I know.

The Black Moth was published in 1921. My understanding of copyright is that any book published prior to 1923 is in the public domain. The text is available on Project Gutenberg, which lends credence to this idea. However, my paperback copy of The Black Moth, published by Harlequin in 2003, has a copyright statement of “Copyright 1929 by Georgette Heyer.” Was the copyright re-registered in 1929? Does the pre-1923 original publication trump that re-registration? Perhaps. Like I said, not an expert. Sourcebooks is keeping it in print, and no doubt pays royalties to the Heyer estate, if one is scrupulous about such things. Continue reading

All of Heyer: The Black Moth

allheyericonPublished: 1921

“The drawing room was tacitly regarded as our private domain and there we acted play after play…all dialogue completely impromptu, of course, but the plots always produced by Georgette…I can still recognize some of the plots in her books, particularly Beauvallet and The Masqueraders and The Black Moth!” – Jane Aiken Hodge, quoting a childhood friend of Georgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer published her first book, The Black Moth, when she was 19 years old, as she said, “First crack out of the bag.” It is a remarkable feat for any writer, all the more so because in Heyer’s case it was the fulfillment of an ambition to write, though in perhaps an unexpected way. She didn’t set out to write a novel when she came up with this tale, but she produced a cracking good read anyway.  Continue reading

An Ambitious Project

allheyericon“I have indulged myself, for the purposes of this book, in reading her entire output in chronological order, and it has proved a rewarding experience as well as a delightful one.” – Jane Aiken Hodge, The Private World of Georgette Heyer

I’m embarking on a reading (and writing) project that I’ve been thinking about for a while: reading all of Georgette Heyer’s novels in order of publication, including the “suppressed” novels and the mysteries and the historicals and the anthologies and, well, all of them! I’m also going to be blogging about the books as I go along, because why not? Continue reading