Thursday 11 February 2016

Powder and Patch by Georgette Heyer

The blurb: Cleone Charteris's exquisite charms have made her the belle of the English countryside. But Cleone yearns for a husband who is refined, aristocratic and who is as skilled with his wit as he is with his dueling pistols.... Everything Philip Jettan is not. As much as she is attracted to the handsome squire, Cleone finds herself dismissing Philip and his rough mannerisms.
With his father's encouragement, Philip departs for the courts of Paris, determined to acquire the social graces and the airs of the genteel -- and convince Cleone that he is the man most suited for her hand. But his transformation may cost him everything, including Cleone....

As I was drawn into Ms. Heyer’s richly coloured and vivid world, twirling and flouncing in the “forsooths” and the swooning and bowing and ever so correct ladies and gentlemen, I wondered how, with any moral integrity, this relationship could succeed? After all, once you have rejected a man because he is not refined or aristocratic enough, how do you swear true love if he does manage to transform? Who is it exactly that you are now deeming worthy of your affections?

Oh me of little faith. Ms. Heyer is the master of plot resolution. She seems to delight in creating a regency pickle, and then with unswerving deftness and calm and reasonable logic, the thread unravels, and all is right with the world.

Powder and Patch did not disappoint in this way. And as an added bonus, we were treated to the delightful lecture from the elder (aunt, I think) who explained how a woman can hold two contradictory thoughts together. It made sense too. Remarkable.

My relationship with these books will continue – one or two a year - for the language, the setting, the charm and the wit that I devour with such appreciation.

ISBN: 9780553047325

4 stars

You may also enjoy The Whip by Karen Kondazian or Kit by Marina Fiorato, or any of Georgette Heyer’s other books.

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