September 12, 2011

Like Jane Austen, but funnier


For those of you unfamiliar with the author Georgette Heyer, I'd generally sum up her books as "like Jane Austen, but funnier." They are mostly romances, mostly set in Regency England, and they are historically precise, brilliantly written, and sometimes laugh out loud funny. I'll try not to review too many of her books here at Quirky Bookworm, but it's going to be hard to resist, since I would unhesitatingly classify Heyer as my favorite author.

This particular novel, The Nonesuch, is Heyer at her witty best. The protagonist, charming and logical Ancilla Trent, is a lady of Quality, but her family's tightened financial circumstances mean that she has had to become a governess/companion. Her current charge is the self-centered and extremely beautiful Miss Tiffany Wield, who is firmly convinced that every man who meets her must be in love with her. 

Ancilla's life seems to be set on a mundane course of social rounds in their small Yorkshire town and trying to control Tiffany's outbursts. However, the town is set on its ears when Sir Waldo Hawkridge, otherwise known as The Nonesuch, arrives. He is there to see to an estate left to him by an elderly relative, but Tiffany quickly decides that Sir Waldo--athletic, charming, leader of London society, and obscenely wealthy--would be the perfect foil to her own beauty. Unfortunately for Tiffany's schemes, Sir Waldo has his eye on her intelligent and amusing governess instead... 

Are you a Jane Austen fan? Have you ever read any other Georgette Heyers? Tell me in the comments!

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