A very Happy New Year everyone and to Heyer readers everywhere! 2021 marks the hundredth anniversary of Georgette Heyer’s first novel, The Black Moth. Written when she was just seventeen and published in September 1921, just a month after her nineteenth birthday, this remarkable teenage novel is still in print and continues to entertain readers around the world. This year will be the first centenary celebration and we are planning a Heyer Convention to mark the occasion – more on that as the date and details firm up.
Times change but great storytelling endures
The world in 2021 is a very different place from the one Georgette Heyer knew. Born an Edwardian and raised by Victorian parents when Britain was the ruler of a vast empire, she grew up believing in a social hierarchy based on birth, race and creed. Today, many of the ideas and attitudes which Heyer and her peers took for granted are being rejected en masse and in many places discarded and replaced with far more inclusive ideologies. This is a good thing. But it also means that there are things to discuss about Georgette Heyer and the beliefs which she and many of her literary peers held – beliefs that are no longer acceptable to a tolerant society but which are at times reflected in their books. I believe it is important to be able to discuss these things calmly, honestly and openly and I look forward to writing about them at greater length in some of the blogs to come in 2021. Much has changed in the one hundred years since Georgette Heyer published her first novel, bu no matter how much changes in the world, one thing that has endured from the beginning of human history, and that is our love of great storytelling.