It’s hard to believe that beloved novelist Georgette Heyer wrote her first novel at the age of 15. Historical fiction would not be the same without Georgette Heyer’s Regency Romances. Mrs. Heyer wrote her first novel, The Black Moth to entertain her brother who was convalescing at the time.
In The Black Moth, Heyer introduces us to some very memorable characters. The highwayman, who just happens to be an Earl, Jack Carstares. The damsel in distress, Diana Beauleigh. The handsome Irishman, Miles O’Hara and ’The Devil’ himself, The Duke of Andover.
Jack Carstares left England in disgrace when he took the blame for his brothers indiscretion. Being considered a cheat was no laughing matter. Carstares eventually turns to the way of the highwayman to amuse and distract himself, giving the money to the poor. The Black Moth centers around the Earl’s return to grace, his love for the beautiful Diana and his relationship with his adversary, The Duke of Andover.
This was my first experience with a Georgette Heyer book. I had often heard of her in historical fiction circles and knew she sounded like an author I would enjoy. This book was excellent! Some people have a hard time with the style of writing from this period, the book was originally published in 1921, but I didn’t find it hard to follow at all.
The Black Moth had all the adventure and romance of any contemporary tale. The characters were well developed and the story did not move too quickly. I became invested in Diana’s character almost immediately. The young girl at the mercy of the handsome Duke. Not only that, but in love with a disgraced man. The stylish Earl dressed as a highwayman who couldn’t bring himself to rob women or old men, was also a very winning character. I even found myself wishing that ‘The Devil,’ The Duke of Andover would somehow find the straight and narrow path.
An great story, set in a decadent time period. What more can you ask for in a great romance?
Sourcebooks is reissuing several Georgette Heyer novels in 2010. Check them out at your favorite bookseller.
I give this book 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!