Having finally noticed that Arrow Books had re-jacketed six Georgette Heyer titles I got mildly excited,
certainly excited enough to make a cheeky request for review copies and the charming lady at Arrow was kind enough to oblige. I've said it many times before but I love Georgette Heyer - her books have never failed me and I think she is in her way a writer of rare genius.
I do already have a complete set (suppressed novels excluded) of Heyer's fiction, the romances all being the pan editions from the mid 1980's (I am half minded to collect the slightly earlier pan paperbacks which I judge to come from the late 60's early 70's because they're gloriously camp) which was partly why I felt cheeky asking for new copies but I really wanted to have a good look at these new copies. I think the new cover designs are great and hope that they get rolled out to the rest of the series - the last lot of jacket designs are inoffensive but convey none of the fun of a Heyer book, these new ones do. The cover for 'The Convenient Marriage' with it's rococo blue and gold and bold black silhouettes seems to me to reference both the 18th century setting and the original 1930's publishing date as well as looking suitably contemporary - in short it looks like a job well done.
Another reason this selection attracted me is that (with the exception of 'The Grand Sophy' none of these titles were particular favorites when I was first reading them which makes it easier to approach them now without any particular prejudice. Settling down with 'The Convenient Marriage' was a treat. After reading a pile of M C Beaton's regency romances I can appreciate all over again the quality of Heyer's writing. She might deal in cliche's and stereotypes - her hero here is handsome (in a tall dark smoldering way), handy with a sword, intelligent, is conveniently wealthy, and has a sense of humor (like so many of the men I meet...) her heroine is small, dark (with heavy eyebrows) a stammer, a gambling habit, and a no nonsense attitude. It could all be rubbish, but it isn't, because Heyer makes me laugh. She also makes me feel safe and convinces me that all is well with the world. I am a more sophisticated reader now than I was at 13 when I first discovered these books but the joy i get from them is just the same - happy escapism.