“So then we all went in to lunch, where the new secretary for Heron was presented, and I found an orchid on my plate!!!! As it is years since anyone gave me an orchid that quite made my day!”Georgette Heyer to her publisher, 12 November 1968
Today, the 16th august 2022, marks one hundred and twenty years since Georgette Heyer’s birth. It is not hard to imagine her suprise and pleasure – were she alive today – upon discovering that her novels are still read and loved all over the world. Little did she know when she penned that first teenage story, that more than 100 years later, The Black Moth and most of her other novels would still be selling.
Georgette Heyer lives on…
Most of my works would die with me, I fear; but one or two might continue selling for a while.Georgette Heyer to L.P. Moore, 24 May 1941
Not many authors can claim to have created a genre, but Georgette Heyer may do so with pride. Her twenty-six Regency novels published between 1935 and 1972 established a world that felt real. So real, in fact, that today many authors have set their own stories there. But it is not only her Regency stories that bring hours of pleasure to readers. Georgette Heyer’s other historical novels – the Georgians, the medieval books, the swashbucklers, the Restoration novels and her Waterloo books – as well as her dozen detective novels continue to entertain a broad audience. Her superb prose, her clever plots, her brilliant dialogue, wit and humour, the wonderful endings and the characters who leap from the page and remain with you long after the last page is turned – it is all of this and more that make her books so beloved. She was a genius whose style and intelligence rendered her – as Colleen McCullough once said to me when I asked her if she read Georgette Heyer – “INIMITABLE!”
And so, to the late, great Georgette Heyer – a very happy birthday and may your memory and your books live on forever!