Friday, March 15, 2019

These Old Shades

These Old Shades. Georgette Heyer. 1926/2008. Harlequin. 384 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: A gentleman was strolling down a side street in Paris, on his way back from the house of one Madame de Verchoureux.

Premise/plot: These Old Shades has a lively, impulsive, honest heroine in Leonie.  The hero, Justin Alistair, is equally unforgettable, a man with a horrid reputation with the ladies. (Among other things, he's even KIDNAPPED a lady in an attempt to get her to marry him.) He's not called 'devil' for nothing. But try telling Leonie that Justin is anything but an absolute angel! You see, he rescued her from her mean brother, he bought her. Of course, even that isn't quite what it appears to be. For Leonie was then posing as, Leon, a young man. (She'd been living as a boy since she'd turned twelve.) So Avon first meets Leon, likes the red hair and dark eyebrows, and decides the boy would be a good page. It would be useful to him to have the boy in his household...

There are also hints of villainy throughout These Old Shades as Justin prepares to use Leonie as a weapon against one of his own enemies...


My thoughts: These Old Shades has an intriguing opening and a marvelous conclusion. (The last seventy-five pages or so are just wonderful!) There are some lively conversations in between, of course. As Leon is taken to England and transforms into Leonie. As Avon tries through two women (his sister, his cousin) to teach her how to be a lady, how to dress, how to walk, how to talk, what to say, and most importantly what NOT to say. Readers are introduced to Justin's family: his sister, his brother-in-law, his brother, his neighbors, etc. Rupert, Justin's brother, becomes a playmate of sorts for Leonie. Both being immature, teasing, silly.

These Old Shades is my mother's favorite novel by Georgette Heyer. It isn't necessarily my favorite. But I do enjoy rereading it very much.

There is a connection--a connection in my opinion that has to be intentional--between The Black Moth and These Old Shades. I do wish that the names matched since These Old Shades is essentially a sequel set four years later. Lavinia has been renamed Fanny; Richard has been renamed Edward; Jack has been renamed Anthony Merivale; Diana has been renamed Jennifer; Tracy has been renamed Justin.


I found out yesterday that Mom has NEVER read The Black Moth. I was a bit shocked because I thought she'd read every Heyer novel! I am curious to see if she makes the connections between These Old Shades and The Black Moth and if she reaches the same conclusion I did.

Quotes:
"Vengeance?" Hugh leaned forward. "I thought you disliked melodrama, my friend?"
"I do; but I have a veritable passion for justice."
"You've nourished thoughts of--vengeance--for twenty years?"
"My dear Hugh, if you imagine that the lust of vengeance has been my dominating emotion for twenty years, permit me to correct the illusion."
"Has it not grown cold?" Hugh asked, disregarding.
"Very cold, my dear, but none the less dangerous."
"And all this time not one opportunity has presented itself?"
"You see, I wish it to be thorough," apologized the Duke.
"Are you nearer success now than you were--twenty years ago?"
A soundless laugh shook Justin.
"We shall see. Rest assured that when it comes, it will be--so!" Very slowly he clenched his hand on his snuff-box, and opened his fingers to show the thin gold crushed.
Hugh gave a little shiver.
"My God, Justin, do you know just how vile you can be?"
"Naturally: Do they not call me Satanas?" The mocking smile came; the eyes glittered. (27)

"Remind me one day to teach you how to achieve a sneer, Hugh. Yours is too pronounced, and thus is but a grimace. It should be but a faint curl of the lips." (88)

"It is always wise to believe the worst of me, Fanny."
"I confess I don't understand you, Justin. 'Tis most provoking."
"It must be," he agreed.
She drew nearer, coaxing him.
"Justin, I do wish that you would tell me what is in your mind!"
He took a pinch of snuff, and shut the box with a snap.
"You must learn, my dear Fanny, to curb your curiosity. Suffice it that I am as a grandfather to that child. It should suffice." (122)

"Did you think we had eloped?" Rupert inquired.
"That explanation did present itself to me," admitted his Grace.
"Eloped?" Leonie echoed. "With Rupert? Ah, bah, I would as soon elope with the old goat in the field!"
"If if comes to that, I'd as soon elope with a tigress!" retorted Rupert. "Sooner, by Gad!"
"When this interchange of civilities is over," said his Grace languidly, "I will continue. But do not let me interrupt you." (196)


© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 comments:

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP