Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer

 Friday’s Child is the first book I’ve read by Georgette Heyer. It is completely different from the type of  books I normally read and at first I thought I wouldn’t like it but I soon changed my mind. It’s a light-hearted novel that’s easy to read, although full of Heyer’s Regency slang.

In 1943 when she was working on Friday’s Child Georgette Heyer wrote  to her publisher describing it as

a Regency society-comedy quite in my lightest vein. … Nothing mysterious or very exciting happens, but I think it is pretty lively.

Twenty years later she described it as ‘my own favourite’.  I found it entertaining and amusing. Lord Sheringham (Sherry) is rejected by the Incomparable and outstandingly beautiful Miss Milborne and vows to marry the first woman he meets. Fortunately this happens to be Hero Wantage (Kitty), a young and naive girl who has loved him since childhood. Although he is not in the least in love with her they elope.

The story is quite predictable, but none the less enjoyable, as Kitty and Sherry embark on a series of mishaps, mayhem and scrapes. The  trouble is that he doesn’t realise she loves him and carries on as though he were still single and she takes what he says as the gospel truth, resulting in chaos and disaster. Eventually she takes the drastic step of running away from him aided and abetted by his friends, George, Lord Wrotham, Mr Ringwood and the Hon. Ferdy Fakenham. The end result as Sherry desperately tries to find her is very much in the vein of a Whitehall farce, with disguises and mistaken identities.

Georgette Heyer’s portrayal of Regency England is superb in detail and atmosphere.  The beauty and skill of this elegant, romantic novel is that it transported me back in time to Regency England, a time of dashing heros and enterprising heroines. I’m now looking forward to reading more.

My first book for The Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge.

Teaser Tuesday – Huckleberry Finn

The Teaser Tuesday rules are:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) ‘œteaser’ sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’™re getting your ‘œteaser‘ from ‘¦ that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’™ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!
  • I’ve not followed all the rules for today’s Teaser because I haven’t opened Huckleberry Finn at random.

    I’m currently up to page 43 and as I didn’t want to open the book beyond where I’ve read, I opened it at page 43 at the bookmark. The two sentences I’ve picked between lines 7 and 12 are:

    ‘Have you got hairy arms and a hairy breast, Jim?’

    ‘What’s de use to ax dat question? don’ you see I has?’

    Jim first started to tell Huck what had happened to him on page 41 and I’m still finding it awkward reading what he says – I reck’n I’ll git used to it b’fo too long. Oh, and Jim says

    ‘Ef you’s got hairy arms en a hairy breas’, it’s a sign dat you’s agwyne to be rich’.

    There, I’ve broken the rules again – more than two sentences and one not in the right place!

    Tuesday Thingers – Multiple Works

    Today’s question: Work multiples. Do you own multiple copies of any books? Which ones? Why? Can you share your list?

    You can find the link under Statistics on LibraryThing, from either your home page or profile.

    I have a few, mainly because I have old copies of these books (belonging to either my parents or D’s parents) and have bought newer editions or paperbacks. My favourite “multiple” is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. My copies are both hard backs.

    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    This is one I bought in a box set, along with Emma and Sense and Sensibility.

    And this one belonged to my mother – she loved it too.

    The others are:

    • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – I bought the paperback after the TV series was broadcast and not read either copy yet.
    • Tom Jones– Henry Fielding
    • The Pilgrim’s Progress -John Bunyan
    • Notre-Dame de Paris – Victor Hugo (paperback version) called The Hunchback of Notre Dame in my hardback copy – I’ve not read either book yet.
    • Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
    • Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales by Hans Andersen – another old favourite
    • The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas – both copies unread.

    The Sunday Salon – Reading Today …

    This morning I began reading Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) was born 30 November 1835, so reading this book takes me back nicely into the Celebrate the Author Challenge, a challenge where you “celebrate” an author’s birthday each month by reading one of their books during their birthday month. Huckleberry Finn is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read for years and never got round to it – so this November I am. So far Huck has left Miss Watson’s house, stifled by being “civilised” but now his drunken brute of a father has got him locked inside his cabin. I plan on reading a few chapters a day.

    Next up is Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge, letters between Gladys Taber and her friend Barbara Webster (Shenton). Today I read a few of their letters written in June and July – so very different from the season outside my window. At Sugarbridge Barbara is writing about the way the garden runs riot in the summer, particularly after prolonged heavy rain followed by a hot spell. I do like the way she describes it:

    A wave of vegetation sweeps over everything. In a twinkling grass and weeds grow up the gravel drive, poison ivy impudently snakes its vined tongue up the very front steps, the creek bank is a jungle, and what has happened to the garden? Weeds tall as trees wave a united front there … The worst of it all is that midsummer languor has descended, and I have no longer the enthusiasm I could muster earlier in the season. Things have got beyond me. I admit it; I am beaten. So I take refuge in philosophy, always the shelter of defeat.

    She could have been describing our garden, which has been really neglected this year. Not that we have had the hot spell she describes – just the heavy rain.

    Gladys, meanwhile, on a hot July day is looking forward to Barbara’s visit:

    We shall go right to the pond as soon as you unpack your bathing suits. On the terrace the ice bucket will be frosty and fresh mint leaves will be ready for your glasses, and we shall stay ourselves with cheese and crackers and smoked tid-bits  so we won’t have to rush dinner.

    It sounds perfect. And I like Gladys’s idea of bringing a book to read aloud after dinner. As she wrote:

    I feel reading aloud is an art which we have almost lost sight of, and it is a great pity. Nothing is better than to sit quietly and share the experience of a good book.

    This sounds wonderful:

    The quick lanterns of the fireflies make a pattern of flickering gold tonight in the meadow, the sky is deep with stars. After a hot day, a summer night is dramatic and wonderful. The cool breath from the heart of the woods slides so softly over the lawn, the world is very still as if the heat of the day had tired it. One feels suddenly the urge to stay up all night, following the moonlit country roads to the pale edge of the horizon. Surely, if we did that, we should find something strange and wonderful!

    I can just picture myself there!

    Later today I’ll be reading more from Les Miserables. I’m making good progress and am about halfway through now, so I’ll easily finish it this year. Although there are many digressions from the story it does move along quite quickly. I have to keep reminding myself who all the characters are, though, as there are so many. In my last reading session after a longish description  of what was happening in Valjean’s life after he evaded being re-captured by Inspector Javert, I met Marius, who is going to be another major character in the story, I think.

    R.I.P.III Challenge Completed

    Carl’s R.I.P. Challenge ended yesterday and I completed it, finishing four books for Peril the First.

    I picked a long list to choose from and read two books from my original list and added two more. The four books I read are (click on the title to read my review):

     

    My favourite book has to be The Gravedigger’s Daughter.

    They’re all very different books and vary in the amount of “peril” they contain. None of them are scary. Chocky has a definite supernatural element; the others are full of suspense. There’s a fair amount of horror in The Gravediggger’s Daughter ; The House on the Strand is dark fantasy; and Tales of Terror are suitably gothic and dark.

    I didn’t get to the other books on my list during the Challenge, but they are all books I hope to read before long:

    • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James – I’™ve been meaning to read this for ages.
    • The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly – apparently creepy and disturbing.
    • The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeir – a mystery surrounding the afterlife.
    • The Collector by John Fowles – haunting and darkly melancholic.
    • The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks – macbre and bizarre.
    • Not Dead Enough by Peter James – murder and deception.