Stuff and Nonsense: Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer


4.26.2019

Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer


Miss Annis Wychwood, firmly on the shelf at twenty-nine, lives an independent life in Bath and is quite content to keep on that way. Alas, Fate has other plans when it throws two young runaways in her path -- Miss Lucilla Carleton and Mister Ninian Elmore who have run away together (more-or-less) because they don't wish to be married to each other. Befriending Lucilla, Miss Wychwood takes the girl under her wing and thus earns herself the attention of the girl's guardian, Mr. Oliver Carleton -- "a damned unpleasant fellow" whose "reputation is not that of a well-conducted man."

I found Lady of Quality a little slower-paced than some of Heyer's other novels, but that didn't kill my pleasure. Annis and Oliver's verbal sparring was quite entertaining and their love plays out in a realistic way -- especially Miss Wychwood's struggle over accepting Carleton's suit and how she reconciled what she saw as a choice between freedom and love. The passage about kindred spirits and the indefinability of love was especially moving, I thought. Less I sound mawkish, just let me note that I laughed my way through most of Lady of Quality.

Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer (Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2008).

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