Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: The Private World of Georgette Heyer

The Private World of Georgette Heyer by Jane Aiken Hodge

Publication Date: August 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Genre: Non-fiction/ Biography
Pages: Paperback, 256pp
ISBN-13: 9781402251924

(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Jane Aiken Hodge on the WEB: website (wikipedia), book information (fantastic fiction)

Excerpt from The Private World of Georgette Heyer

In honor of Georgette Heyer's birthday, Sourcebooks is offering her entire list of titles in e-book format for $1.99 per book. That's an incredible price if you are Heyer fan and don't have all her books or for those who have not experienced her writing before.


An internationally bestselling phenomenon and queen of the Regency romance, Georgette Heyer is one of the most beloved historical novelists of our time. She wrote more than fifty novels, yet her private life was inaccessible to any but her nearest friends and relatives.

Lavishly illustrated and with access to private papers, correspondence and family archives, this classic biography opens a window into Georgette Heyer's world and that of her most memorable characters, revealing a formidable, energetic woman with an impeccable sense of style and, beyond everything, a love for all things Regency.


In commemoration of Regency romance writer Georgette Heyer's birthday (Aug. 16) it is only fitting that Jane Aiken Hodge's biography of Heyer's life to be back in print. Hodge, who died in 2009 was given the opportunity to bring a very private author into the public eye once again. With interviews from family and friends, correspondence with editors, and access to Heyer's own writings, Hodge is able to piece together the story of one of the most prolific writers of her time. A must read for all Heyer fans!

Jane Aiken Hodge was able to do something that most people have not had the opportunity to do. She was able to delve into the private life of a very popular author. Georgette Heyer is considered the ultimate author when it comes to Regency romance. Anyone who writes in that genre now, must pay homage to Heyer and the road she paved with over fifty novels. Her impeccable research and attention to even the smallest details, gave her work an authenticity that is often missing in the today's Regency titles, but she was never one to allow the general public to see what went on in her private life. Hodge took the opportunity to give readers an inside look into just what made Georgette Heyer tick.

Hodge portrays Heyer as a woman with strong morals, a enviable work ethic and some very strong opinions. Heyer was one of those people who believed that your private life should stay private. She didn't do a lot of interviews or articles about why she wrote, her inspiration, or anything like that. She just wrote, book after book and put it out there for the public to read, and to make their own opinions about. I liked the way that Hodge used not only the impressions of Heyer's family and friends but also her publishers and people she worked with. She got a very different set of opinions about Heyer from these different people.

There were several things I liked about Hodge's biography, including the large amount of photo's and illustrations she used. But I think the most interesting parts were the quotes attributed directly to Heyer. By using these quotes the reader is able to get a very definitive impression of Heyer's ideas and opinions about a lot of different things, including what she thought about the actions of other writers, how she felt about the publishing industry in her time, how impatient she could be when she was faced with stupidity, etc. etc. etc. I felt like I knew so much more about the woman behind the writing when I had finished this one.

There are some detailed summaries of Heyer's books in this biography, and if readers haven't read them yet, they might be considered spoilers. But I think this book will endear Heyer even more to her fans and allow a new audience to fall in love with Heyer's voice and her work. It certainly made me look over the Heyer titles that I have and want to read them all over again!

I recommend this one to Georgette Heyer fans and to those who have always heard the name but didn't know what all the hype was about. If you've never read a Heyer title, this book will make you want to. If you are a fan of the Regency romance, this isn't a biography you'll want to miss. Every Regency writers owes a little something to the indomitable spirit of Georgette Heyer.

The Private World of Georgette Heyer is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

For more information on the author Jane Aiken Hodge please see the links in the beginning of the review.

1 comment:

Mystica said...

This one sounds fabulous!