Saturday, 3 July 2010

Book Review: Arabella by Georgette Heyer

Heyer was one of the authors that was recommended to me by my godmother when I was searching for clean and innocent historical fiction books to read. I was excited that she had written so many books and I can’t wait to read more of her Regency Romances now.

The Plot (my summary)

Arabella is the oldest daughter of a fairly poor country parson. When she gets the opportunity to go and stay with her wealthy aunt in London, she must go to her first Season and enter London society to try and find a good match so that her sisters will have good marriage chances too. However, with no fortune, Arabella’s family knows it will be hard. On the journey, she is bold enough to stop at a large house in the countryside to ask for refreshments. Little does she know that London’s leading man is staying there for a break from the city. Invited in, she tells a little fib (I don’t want to spoil it by saying what it is) that turns into a big deception when she is faced with the snobbery of the Nonpareil. Soon the tale is spreading like wildfire and Arabella, the innocent country miss is soon the centre of attention in London.

Review and thoughts:

Arabella was my first book of Georgette Heyer’s and even though I have read others now and enjoyed them. Arabella is still my favourite. I fell in love with the Austen-esque style of writing straight away but soon forgot about this because the of the storyline and characters.

They made me smile so much and the plot about a young Vicar’s daughter taking London by storm in her first Season as she quickly learns about the ways of high society was just my type- it was the kind of thing that I see myself writing about!

Arabella was a wonderful heroin, not seemingly perfect, as is the problem with some girls in romance novels) as she was innocent and and sweet but also lively with a nose for fun, which made her very likeable. She was very caring and intelligent too and did not stop as would have been expected of a society girl at the boundaries of class when it came to helping someone. Also, her naivety of fashionable society and the little ‘mistakes’ that she made kept the book very lively. I like the way that she is represented on the newest version of the cover at the top of this post as being very thoughtful and elegant- it's very beautiful.

The hero of the book was Mr Beaumaris, the most eligible bachelor in London who made the story come to life with his mischievous ways, teasing of Arabella and the funny little conversations with a mongrel dog. He was handsome and elegant, the London trendsetter whom everyone looked up to with a witty sense of humour.

Arabella is filled with lovely historically accurate details that gave me the perfect introduction the Regency Romance Genre. I have now also read Cotillion and The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer, which I recommend too.

I think that it should be on the reading list of every teenage girl (or anyone else looking for an introduction to historical romance.) It was so charming and light, leaving you in such a happy mood- it is now one of my favourite ever books (and it’s very rare or me to say that!)

If you like the sound of the book/want to read it or think you know someone who would like it, I'd be very happy if you left a comment to tell me !  :)

Has anyone else read any clean and innocent (ie. suitable for teens) historical books (or any other reccommendations) that they'd like to share?


  1. I loved this one and it was also my first by her. So sweet and good natured. I would say you would love Powder and Patch by her also. Those two are the only ones of hers I have had a chance to read and I loved them. I am adding you to the blog roll right now too. Nice job on the design you did a real good job.

  2. Arabella will always be a special book to me :)
    I'll look up Powder and Patch now- thanks for recommending it as it's so hard to choose which Heyer book to read next as there are so many!
    Thank you sooo much for adding me to your blog roll, I really apprectiate it.
    I'm glad that you like the design, it was really fun to do and I've learnt lots of new things through it. I love your blog design too, it has a very historical feel :D


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Stephanie x