Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Corinthian

Heyer, Georgette. 1940/2009. The Corinthian. Sourcebooks. 261 pages.

The Corinthian is one of the funner Georgette Heyer novels I've read in recent months. Heyer is great at writing romantic comedies. True, Heyer isn't always the most original author, her books often follow a handful of different patterns. But they're patterns that work time and again. And there's the difference, in my opinion. There is something satisfying and delightful about her books, her characters. So some plot devices are familiar, that doesn't mean the stories and characters themselves are stale and uninteresting. Far from it actually. Her characters are ones that you want to spend time with.

In The Corinthian, we've got a bachelor, Sir Richard Wyndham, who happens to rescue a damsel in distress, Penelope Creed. Penelope set on running away from her aunt--who is encouraging her into a loveless marriage with her cousin Fred--is disguised as a boy. Richard, while on his way home and a bit drunk at that, sees Pen climbing out her window--by way of her bed sheets of course. He "catches" her just in time. Granted, this "she" is dressed as a he. But there's no fooling Richard. A bit amused at the situation, and wanting to run away himself to avoid an unpleasant appointment the next day, he decides to help out. She wants to escape London--and her aunt--and travel to Bristol (or near Bristol anyway). She's got a childhood friend, Piers, who she fancies herself madly in love with. Five (or so) years ago, these two promised themselves to each other. Hearing this tale, Richard decides to join in the journey and ensure her safety. The two will go together. He will act as her tutor-uncle-cousin and 'protect' her along the way. (Each identity is used on their journey at various stages.) Their journey is rarely boring--they get in and out of trouble along the way.

This one is playful and fun. There's some adventure thrown in as well--and a murder!--but at it's heart this is a romantic comedy.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Lezlie said...

Yay! I have this one on the shelf right now! The nice thing about Georgette Heyer's "patterns" is that, as you point out, they are the good kind of patterns. They make her the kind of author that provides exactly the kind of read you're expecting. She's predictable, yet still satisfying. Reading them back to back would make them boring for me. I turn to Heyer regencies when I need a break from heavier reading, and I always have a good time!


Laura's Reviews said...

I love Georgette Heyer - but have not read this book. It sounds great . . . I'll have to add it to the top of my "too read" Georgette Heyer list!

Anonymous said...

I have read all her books. But somehow, this was not very satisfying. But then again, that's me, I find the girl dressed up as boy plot device very boring. Masqueraders is another one of her books that I hated.

Jen Robinson said...

I think I'll have to move this one up on my list for a re-read. Thanks, Becky!

The Bookworm said...

I'm a fan of Georgette Heyers books. This one sounds very good.

Courtney said...

I've just finished The Corinthian after being addicted to GH for a few years now, and it was instantly among my favorites. I laughed more at this book than any of the others. If you're a Heyer fan, I'd highly recommend.