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Though my mother owns almost all the Georgette Heyer books, I would not dream of separating them from her. More so because I am a book lover, and I stay in a city quite far away from hers. I can understand the pain of being separated from a book you would like to re-read.

And so, after years of thinking about it I bought my first, very own, Georgette Heyer. And the book was Regency Buck. It re-ignited my interest in the author and her wonderful works.

(Jump to my Ratings at the bottom of this post)

Regency Buck is what I consider a classic Heyer novel. Prior to reading this, I had been devouring Jane Austen. And this book formed the perfect foil for it.

If you want to read a “happy” book, this is it. The main characters all rich, unimpeachable in birth, and “pink of the Ton” as Heyer would say. So they savour the best Life can offer them, and we witness them.

The Girl, though not fashionably dark, is a classic Blonde Beauty (rare in Heyer books) – though not ‘ethereal’; and of course, the Hero is handsome, fashionable, a trifle older, and “a complete hand”, or “an out-and-outer” if you wish.

It starts off when Judith and her brother Peregrine go off to London to savour the wonders of Town life, without informing their guardian “The Fifth Earl of Worth, Julian”.  The introductions are in a small town on the way, when the Earl, captivated by Judith’s beauty and mistaken by her country dress as well as the cheap gig, takes liberties with her. It is only when Perry challenges him to duel, that he realises who they are and mysteriously walks away.

Soon of course, they do too. And so, the enmity between them is founded – the base of the book. The Guardian of course, is a man younger than they had imagined. (Quite eligible to be marrying our spitfire heroine.)

Since all the characters are rich and of good birth, good looking and mannered well enough, they move in the ‘first circles’. We get a good view of what entertainments, garments and peculiarities the social elite witnessed in that era. Also, through tempestuous Judith, a very good idea of what was allowed to women of that era. Judith walks borderline between what was allowed of genteel women, and what an eccentric heiress may carry off without provoking enough people or being cast off by Society. If you are  Heyer reader, you can expect the many entertaining verbal dialogues between Worth and Judith on account of all these adventures of hers.

Perry of course, is a young fellow with a heart in the right place and lots of money in the bank, and little else (unlike his wise sister). There is a cousin of theirs, whom Judith favors who is genteel-ly dressed, soft spoken, polite, and not rich – the exact opposite of Worth. And then there is Judith’s correct, fashionably dressed ‘extremely expensive’ chaperon.

The plot of the book includes a little adventure – someone is trying very hard to kill Perry. Of course, it is about the inheritance. Who is this person? Worth?

One of the striking bits about the book is that personification on Beau Brummell. A real life character, this is one book in which Heyer has made him talk to and be good friends with our protagonists. The Prince Regent and his extraordinary Royal Pavillion in Brighton are also described and form an important part of the narrative.

The book ends quite satisfactorily, after a suitable amount of kidnapping, chasing through country, and fisticuffs between our Hero and the Villain.

All in all, an extremely entertaining read. It has the right mix of romance, propriety, intrigue and shock. Also, because money is of little object here, we get to see the best that the Regency period had to offer to its people.

So, here are my Ratings:

Protagonists: Extremely likable

Side Characters: No one talks too much, and I liked them. No irritating character here!

Plot: Strong, with adventure, boxing, cock fighting, threats, racing and murder plans!

Environment: Fun, lighthearted

Regency Information: High on the style and high-society side
(we get to meet Brummell and visit the Royal Pavillion)

Recommendation: Recommended to all Heyer fans, and also to New Readers.

Rating: Five on Five!


This Blog

I had read Georgette Heyer first as a schoolgirl, on the sly, even on days before exams.
And loved every moment of it.
Today, more than a decade later, I am revisiting each book of hers and all the Romance and Adventure the regency period can offer through her.

This blog is a list of all the books as I read them, with my ratings for it.
I wholeheartedly suggest Heyer to any avid book reader! Not just for the stories, but her inimitable writing style.

-D Chaudhury

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