- Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
- Format: Paperback | 378 pages
- Dimensions: 132mm x 201mm x 25mm | 386g
- Publication date: 1 October 2009
- Publication City/Country: Naperville
- ISBN 10: 1402219474
- ISBN 13: 9781402219474
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Sales rank: 101,336
Set in the Georgian period, about 20 years before the Regency, These Old Shades is considered to be the book that launched Heyer's career. It features two of Heyer's most memorable characters: Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignomy and comes to love and marry.The Duke is known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscience, and his debauched lifestyle. Late one evening, he is accosted by a young person dressed in ragged boy's clothing running away from a brutal rustic guardian. The Duke buys "Leon" and makes the child his page. "Leon" is in fact Leonie, and she serves the Duke with deep devotion. When he uncovers the true story of her birth, he wreaks an unforgettable revenge on her sinister father in a chilling scene of public humiliation.PRAISE FOR GEORGETTE HEYER: "Our Georgette Heyer display of the Sourcebooks reprints has been a huge success, not only to those early fans like myself, but to many new readers who appreciate her style and wit."Nancy Olson, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC"Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen."Publishers Weekly"Wonderful characters, elegant, witty writing, perfect period detail, and rapturously romantic. Georgette Heyer achieves what the rest of us only aspire to." Katie Fforde "Absolute monarch of the Regency romance." Kirkus Reviews
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The late Georgette Heyer was a very private woman. Her historical novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades, though she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or private life. It is known that she was born in Wimbledon in August 1902, and her first novel, The Black Moth, was published in 1921. Heyer published 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Heyer's large volume of works included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known also as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. She was married to George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and they had one son together, Richard.
By Gaby @ Starting Fresh 16 Dec 2009
Justin Alistair, the Duke of Avon, is called "Satanas" by friends and enemies alike. He's brilliant, strikingly attractive, wealthy beyond measure and cynical. He has a reputation in London and in Louis XV's Paris as both dangerous and debauched. The Duke of Avon and the Comte de Saint Vire have a longstanding enmity.
When the Duke stumbles upon Leon, a red-headed urchin fleeing punishment from his brutal brother, the Duke intervenes. On a whim, the Duke purchases Leon from his brother, trains him to be his page, takes an interest in his welfare. Leon adores his savior and when it turns out that Leon is not what he seems, the Duke whisks Leon away to England and to safety.
In England, Leon the page is transformed into Leonie Bonnard, ward of the Duke of Avon. Justin looks to his sister Fanny to help Leonie learn to dress and behave like a young lady. When Leon is transformed into the enchanting Leonie, the Duke is surprised by his deep reaction to his young ward. Justin Alistair is equally affected by Leonie's respect and unwavering love for "her Duke."
I loved These Old Shades, it's now one of my favorites because both Leonie and Justin are both decent and loyal but also bitingly witty at the same time. The plot is fun, convoluted, and full of twists. The dialogue sparkles. There is enough drama and romance to keep you reading through the night. If my mother didn't already have a copy of this, I would have ordered her one.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (October 1, 2009)384 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
"There will never be another Regency writer this perfect." - Book Pleasures