A Beloved Son
Georgette Heyer only had one child, a son she named Richard. It was a favourite name which she had used in several of her early novels and short stories. He was born in 1932 and she adored him. By the time he went to Cambridge Richard was tall and devastatingly handsome, witty, charming and had a reputation as a raconteur. He would sometimes bring his girlfriends home to meet his parents – apparently a nerve-wracking ordeal as Georgette could be rather intimidating until you got to know her. Richard was in his early thirties when he met Susanna Flint, a beautiful divorcee with two young sons.
An Adored Daughter-in-Law
At first Georgette and Ronald were inclined to look askance at their son’s new girlfriend, but it did not take Susie long to win them over. When Richard married Susie in 1962 it marked the beginning of a new kind of relationship for Georgette. She had long thought she did not want a daughter and had clung to her maxim that ‘Boys tell their mothers, and Girls tell their fathers’. But her perception was based on her own experience of having ‘been a daughter’; the advent of ‘Our dear Susie’ into her life soon convinced her she was wrong. Susie proved to be a stimulating companion, bright, funny and energetic, and she quickly found her place in the family. Georgette was especially pleased to discover that her new daughter-in-law ‘has our own type of humour. This makes life very easy, for one doesn’t have to edit one’s conversation. She’s quick-witted too, & dearly loves a joke.’
The Best of Friends
Within six months of the wedding Georgette told her friend Isabella Banton that ‘I made a lot of Good Resolutions, when Richard married, about Never Intruding on them, or Making Demands, but Susie smashed the lot – so that I find myself wondering if all is well at 56 Cornwall Gardens, if I don’t get a telephone call from her.’ Unlike Richard, Susie talked to her new ‘mama’ regularly, exchanging news and gossip and keeping her up to date with family events. In 1964 Georgette paid special tribute to her beloved daughter-in-law by dedicating False Colours to her.
A Moving Tribute from Lady Rougier
As this video reveals, Susie and Georgette became great friends. It was a wonderful thing to have Susie, Lady Rougier, speak at the Blue Plaque unveiling. She brings Georgette Heyer to life for us and reminds us of the woman behind the books.