Don’t you wish Heyer wrote sequels for more of her novels? Especially when that means you can catch up with the legendary Rupert!
Fighting and flirting abound as we career across France with star-crossed lovers Vidal and Mary. There’s drunk horse riding, gunshots, bar room brawls and a heroine with a very pragmatic attitude to food.
We talk about the lack of ginger heroes, what exactly constitutes a ‘classic’ nostril, and why Devil's Cub appealed so much to our teenage selves.
Let’s raise a glass to Dijon!
“The landlord was trying to explain that there were a great many English people in his house, all fighting duels or having hysterics.”
Voyons! We’re full of admiration for These Old Shades - it balances to perfection a riotous adventure and a genuinely touching love story.
Avon - the man with a dark past, red high heels and determination to prove worthy of his love. Leonie - wise beyond her years, haunted by loneliness, but with an indomitable spirit and ability to get herself out of scrapes. And Rupert, ah Rupert! Horse thief, enemy of poetry, and prince of our hearts.
We talk about how the Duke and his siblings grow closer, and why the age gap between Avon and Leonie doesn’t seem so disturbing in this story. We also cover Heyer’s take on nature vs nuture, and Avon’s ability to make a dramatic entrance.
And to anyone who doesn’t like These Old Shades we say “Bah!”
“I believe I have several times requested you not to call Rupert 'imbecile', infant."
"But Monseigheur, he is an imbecile!" she protested. "You know he is!"
"Undoubtedly, ma fille, but I do not tell the whole world so."
"Then I do not know what I am to call him," said Leonie.”
In this episode we talk about how reasonably intelligent people can mess up their love lives so very spectacularly.
We thrash out the character flaws of Serena and Rotherham, and come to a greater appreciation of Fanny and Major Kirkby's gentler souls.
And we even spend a little time admiring the brass neck of young Gerard Monksleigh - master of the budget-friendly elopement.
“The Lady Serena, never remarkable for propriety, stared incredulously, and exclaimed: ‘What in the world brings you here, I should like to know?’
‘So should I!’ retorted his lordship. ‘How well we should have suited, Serena! So many ideas as we have in common!”
Plenty of fiendish plots and kidnap attempts in this episode, but also talk of macaroons and Daniel Craig's laser blue eyes.
We discuss Gilly's approach to problem solving - an unusual mixture of violence, arson and friendly chats. We consider Belinda and her propensity for wandering off with 'gentlemen', and we invent a new Bond villian - Newt Scaramanga!
“She sighed and leaned her cheek against his shoulder. "How comfortable this is! she said. "And so delightfully vulgar! Does plain Mr Dash put his arm round ladies in hackney coaches?"
"When not in gaol he does," the Duke responded.”
Lufra and Charis send us into a pronunciation tailspin in this episode, but we still find time to discuss whether we'd drink warm milk from cows in Green Park, and if it's possible for Charis to be that beautiful.
We also consider setting up our own YouTube channel dedicated to us trying to replicate different styles of neckcloth, from the Mathematical to the Oriental. You'd watch that right?
But mostly in this episode we talk about the characters that make this book such a fan favourite - Alverstoke, Felix, Jessamy, and Frederica herself. By the end we're just reading out our best bits and trying not to cry at how lovely it all is.
And for the Mr Charles Trevor fans out there - we stand with you. That man's the very definition of quietly capable, and we've made plans for his future adventures.
“I didn’t smuggle the dog into the country; I merely caused him to be smuggled out of Baluchistan.”
Bravely setting aside our long-held dislike of April Lady, we pick it up after many years to see if our opinions have changed.
Spoiler: Yeah, we like it a little bit more than we used to.
This episode also sees Su use the euphemism 'night-time adventures' and Rach take us into some conversational cul-de-sacs.
"Can you pay my bills
"Can you pay my telephone bills
"Can you pay my automo-bills
"If you did then maybe we could chill" - Destiny's Child / Nell Cardross
What a romance! Carriage rides together, intimate heart to heart conversations, and soulful looks - and that's just Mr Beaumaris and Ulysses.
Meanwhile Arabella, social justice warrior, puts her privilege to good use saving urchins, dogs and Mr Beaumaris from a life of fashionable ennui.
And then there's the infamous Leaky Peg - kind-hearted slattern and saviour of drunken young men. We salute you Peg, may your leak never be plugged.
“Do you know,’ she said slowly, ‘I have just thought – Mr Beaumaris, something tells me that Lady Bridlington may not like this dear little dog!’ Mr Beaumaris waited in patient resignation for his certain fate to descend upon him.”
We've got romance brewing in a snowbound inn. We've got a brief jaunt to France with a side helping of casual French-bashing. And we've got a whole lot of affection for young Tom Orde.
We also ask how much involvement is it appropriate for a mother to have in her son's love life.
And if you're looking for a peerless Regency chat-up line, we're your wingmen.
Oh, and of course - eyebrow chat.
“It was strange how the dullest party could be enjoyed because there was one person present whose eyes could be met for the fraction of a second, in wordless appreciation of a joke unshared by others: almost as strange as the insipidity of parties at which that person was not present.”
In which we enjoy the company of gentleman - Ferdy and Gil to be precise, and object to Miss Wantage's demotion from Hero to Kitten.
With a classic denouement and a nemesis on the loose, we've only got one question for you...
Do YOU know a bishop?
"You know what I think? Fate! That's what it is fate! There's a thing that comes after a fellow: got a name, but I forgot what it is. Creeps up behind him, and puts him in the basket when he ain't expecting it."
We're going Georgian in this episode with The Black Moth.
Dashing highwaymen, eyebrow stencilling, and a flexible legal system. Plus answering the question: just how villainous do we want our villains?
Let's make an elegant leg and get stuck in.
"You are like a, like a fish, with no more love in you than a fish, and no more heart than a fish."