Reading

Georgette Heyer’s Character Types

So Georgette Heyer has a few varieties of leading men:

  • Her favorite who comes in two styles, the middle-age rake who may be flagrantly and/or offensively still a rake (I can’t STAND these) or have that more in the background or past history (the above two feature the latter). Not always (maybe not even usually handsome, but almost always “distinguished,” often Corinthian, always the sportsman, always careless of everyone’s opinion. Always wealthy and titled, I think.
  • The young-rake (I think I’ve come across him once, Sherry in Friday’s Child).
  • The not-rake (a couple times), vary in type (may be a decent gentlemen, may be a bit of a dandy, may be a soldier everyone thinks is low-class but isn’t).
  • The good boy (I’ve come across him once, Charles in The Grand Sophy). Usually the good boys are sententious prigs who stay sententious prigs. Charles doesn’t and between him and Sophy (one of the best heroines) this book is one of the best.

Here heroines:

  • The (always) beautiful (usually) bland teenage (almost always) idiot heroine. Sometimes Heyer starts out misleading you to think “strong-willed” and with a brain only to disappoint later, usually this is a bland “innocent” or just a fool (think These Old Shades). This type is always paired with a rake. Often with the worst one. Usually these pairings make my least favorite stories, with the exception of Friday’s Child because the plot is good and the young rake and his friends are hilarious.
  • The young one (usually early twenties?) with a brain and personality. Usually these get the not-rake or good boy. Almost always or always have one of the more unique plots.
  • The slightly older young ones are are “on the shelf,” they could be mid-to late twenties. They are always possessing of a brain, and usually of a personality, but not always. May have one of the more unique plots, or more likely they may have the chaperone of a silly girl meets some rake connected to silly girl or girl’s lover plot-line variation or some version of responsible older sibling narrative.

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