“I have seen what comes of being patient," Amanda said with a boding look. "And I have no opinion of it."
"What does come of it?" Inquired Sir Gareth.
Sir Gareth Ludlow is a good-looking young man with sufficient fortune and dashing ways to attract the attentions of any gently bred lady. Alas, he ignores them all as he Grieves the Unfortunate Demise of his True Love who Passed from this Mortal Coil seven years ago. Or, so he had been doing until his brother snuffs it on the Continent and it is up to Ludlow to carry on the line ... which means, of course, finding a wife!
His eye falls on Lady Hester Theale -- a quiet, self-effacing, practical, and rather plain old maid, Lady Hester spends her days at her father's country seat surrounded by the most vulgar and trying of relations. Her family makes it clear they would be pleased to be rid of her -- especially if it might make their fortunes. And shouldn't Lady Hester be eager to escape her family by making such a brilliant match?
Alas, on his way to propose to Lady Hester, Ludlow finds himself burdened with a very young, very beautiful runaway who leads him on merry chase across rural England ...
I admit I did not enjoy this novel quite as much as other Heyer romances I have read. Oh, I admit the subtle romance between Hester and Gareth was quite well done and I was, of course, pleased to see her accept his proposal in the end. However, Amanda's adventures and romantic silliness made me want to toss the novel out a window. I could only hope Heyer was using Amanda to spoof those romantic heroines who have more hair than sense!
Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1957).