Friday, February 22, 2013
I have lately been enjoying Georgette Heyer quite a lot. I read a few of her books a while ago and didn't remember to write reviews. I'll start with this one. Lady of quality if brimming with Georgette Heyer's trademarks- wit, humour, romance and strong protagonists. The historical element is not emphasized in this novel when compared to some of her others. This was her last book to be published before her death.
Lady of quality tells the story of the Annia Wynchwood, a wealthy and independant spinster who moves into Bath. There, she takes charge of Lucilla, a girl running from an arranged marriage with an equally unwilling fiance. However, her guardian sends her uncle, Oliver Carleton, a rake to investigate this. Miss Wynchwood refuses to let go of the girl fearing that he will force her into marriage. With the shared concern for Lucilla's future as a premise, romance blooms between the independant Miss Wynchwood and Oliver Carleton with each trying to cut the other down with their sharp insults and observations.
The most exciting part of the story is probably the main relationship. Both characters are fairly experienced, making it an equal relationship. They argue most of the time and that is actually more interesting than it sounds. Oliver Carleton appreciates her independant thinking and ability to stand up for herself.
The social events in Bath act as a good backdrop for the development of this romance. The plot is pretty predictable for most part with the romance taking a foreseeable direction. However, it is an enjoyable read that brings Bath to life.
The characters, especially the protagonists are the most endearing part of this novel. Both are well developed even though they do not change much during the story. Their personalities, to start with are interesting and unusual for the era in which the novel was set (especially the heroine). The side characters, especially Lucilla, just push the story along. I don't have a vivid recollection of all the characters since I read this quite a while ago but I do remember enjoying the protagonists' conversations. They become like guardians to Lucilla by the end. The hero is a bit typical in that he appreciates the heroine's unconventionality much like all of her novels. The difference is probably he appreciates this quality from the beginning rather than being forced to accept it in the end.
Overall, quite an engaging and interesting read. As usual, Heyer's humour, wit and good sense of time period are intact in this novel. It doesn't drag like some of her other novels. Though this kind of story has become quite common these days, Heyer's superior writing ability makes it shine. A good read for any historical romance novel fan. It is one of my favourites by her.
This plot has become very common these days
The side characters are a little bland and sometimes pointless
Posted by bestcritic at 1:06 PM