Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Foundling

The Foundling

Georgette Heyer

Date: 1977   —   used   —   Book

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Fiction, Romance

Georgetter Heyer is best known for her Regency romances. They primarily deal with a period of English history that at its widest runs from around 1650 to 1810 (which is bigger than the actual Regency period, but the definition is a bit fast and loose anyway.) In this way she can deal with various orders of nobility and have various plots that hinge on such things as inheritance and marriage for love. In romance terms these are the anti-steamy romances; about the most you will get is passionate kissing, usually at the very end of the novel and even then only if the parties involved are mature.

And they all get married, of course. Anything less wouldn't be respectable.

In more general terms, I think of these books as "Austen Lite"; they tend to be similar in feel though the Austen is much deeper and (naturally enough) more authentic. Heyer's books tend toward the silly on occasion, but a little silliness rarely hurts someone.

The Foundling is the tale of a young duke who feels utterly smothered by his overprotective relatives and servants. Since he's a nice guy, he finds it completely impossible to tell them all to go to the devil, and ends up proposing to a girl under general expectaions of their marriage... and under the misapprehension that she is friendly to him solely out of a sense of duty, and that their marriage is to be entirely loveless. In his frustration with the whole situation, he runs off to help a cousin in need, setting off a fairly ludicrous chain of events where he falls in and out of danger, finds himself protecting a somewhat brainless pair of youths, and starts rumors about himself that have no help of being quenched.

This book is quite silly, and very thin on the romance side. But that's good; too much lovey-dovey gets cloying.

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