All Things Georgette

Memories of Aunt Georgette – All things Georgette

I first met Georgette Heyer’s nephew, Major-General Jeremy Rougier in 2003. His father, Leslie Rougier, was Ronald’s  (Georgette’s husband’s) elder brother and a lieutenant-colonel in the Lancashire Fusiliers. Jeremy was only seven when, in May 1940, his father was killed in Belgium. Despite his father’s tragic death, Jeremy chose a military  career and attended Sandhurst. He was first an officer cadet, then an instructor and finally a company commander and had a distinguished career. In 1983 he became Director of Army Training and in 1985 he was appointed Engineer-in-Chief of the British Army.

Major-General Jeremy Rougier has fond memories of his Aunt Georgette.
Major-General Jeremy Rougier has fond memories of his Aunt Georgette.


Jeremy is charming, with a great sense of humour and many vivid memories of Georgette, his aunt-by-marriage. He remembers dinners at Albany, energetic bridge games and delicious Fortnums hampers at Christmas. One especially vivid memory was of a trip to Waterloo. In 1964 he was military assistant to a member of the Army Board and they were paying an official visit to Belgium. one afternoon Jeremy suggested asking the Professor of Military Studies at the Belgium Military Academy to give them a tour of Waterloo. It was fascinating. The professor knew the position of every regiment at any time on both sides. “At about 3 pm Napoleon was standing here – no, here,” he’d say then move to record the precise spot.

Georgette's novel of Waterloo An Infamous Army, the US first edition
Georgette’s novel of Waterloo An Infamous Army, the US first edition


At the end Jeremy presented the professor with a copy of his Aunt Georgette’s book, An Infamous Army. Their guide was as near to speechlessness as a professor of military history could be. “This” he said, holding up the book, “is the nearest to reality that one will ever come without having been there.” It was a remarkable tribute to a novel written by a woman with little formal education and only her instincts to guide her research. Though not her personal favourite, Heyer always felt An Infamous Army, to be her finest achievement and she was especially proud of the Waterloo chapters.


In June 2015, Jeremy spoke at the unveiling of Blue Plaque which English Heritage had awarded to Georgette for her literary legacy. His speech is a rare recording of a family member’s memories of her and it offers Heyer readers an intimate picture of the woman behind the books.

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Aunt Georgette

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5 thoughts on “Memories of Aunt Georgette – All things Georgette”

  1. Bravo for posting this, Jennifer! I hope that a transcript of this lucid memoir of Major-General Jeremy Rougier will be preserved! Warm-hearted, and delightfully succinct and well expressed! What an enchanting glimpse into the life of a truly redoubtable lady! My mother first introduced me to her works in my teens in far away India, and today every member of my family has enjoyed her works in the United States! The well edited and inviting nature of the headings and images draws one in to this web page, and the stories of Major-General Rougier both in the video and in the description of the Waterloo tour lures one back in time. An Infamous Army is an amazing historical account that is both gripping reading and transports the reader into the past. It was only recently that i discovered its’ connection with Regency Buck, carrying over Lord and Lady Worth and the weak Peregrine, and re-introducing Captain Audley as a captivating and strong hero.

    1. Hi Leebeth
      Thank you so much for your lovely reply. I’m delighted that you like the post and the website. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to you but I really do appreciate your comment. Jeremy is the most delightful man and it has always been wonderful to hear his memories of “Aunt Georgette”. I was thrilled that he could speak at the Blue Plaque unveiling and that we could get it on film! Georgette Heyer has enriched my life in so many ways – not only through her novels but in meeting so many wonderful people because of them.

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