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02 February 2010

A Book Review: The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer

Title: The Black Moth
Author: Georgette Heyer
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Reprint edition
Publication Date: December 1, 2009
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN: 978-1402219528
Genre: Regency Romance


About the Book:

A disgraced lord, a notorious highwayman

Jack Carstares, the disgraced Earl of Wyndam, left England seven long years ago, sacrificing his honor for that of his brother when he was accused of cheating at cards. Now Jack is back, roaming his beloved South Country in the disguise of a highwayman.

And the beauty who would steal his heart

Not long after Jack's return, he encounters his old adversary, the libertine Duke of Andover, attempting the abduction of the beautiful Diana Beauleigh. At the point of Jack's sword, the duke is vanquished, but foiled once, the "Black Moth" has no intention of failing again…

This is Georgette Heyer's first novel—a favorite of readers and a stirring tale to be enjoyed again and again.

My Review:

The Black Moth is a distinctly witty and enchanting tale and also Heyer's first novel written. After reading The Black Moth, it is difficult to fathom Georgette Heyer was only 17-years-old (some accounts say 15) when she wrote this exceptional novel. I, as an adult, am having difficulty expressing in a few words how moved I was while reading this novel and moreover, humbled that such an astonishingly witty, clever and endearing novel was created by a teenager. Those familiar with Heyer's Regency works will no doubt notice a change from this novel to her later novels where her prose becomes more fluid and her plots become far more cunning and less predictable, all to be expected as one grows as an author and matures from teen to adult. With that stated, The Black Moth is a clever novel in its own right, masterfully crafted with delightful and endearing characters, more dialogue to be certain, yet Heyer's genius shines through. Her hero, the cunning, handsome, rogue is well written and his character shines through. It was most intriguing to read this novel after reading many of her later works and recognizing a pattern of Hero and Heroine that will show themselves again, not in name, but in manner in a few of her other works. I would be remiss not to mention this novel is fairly predictable, however, as I mentioned previously, this does not detract the reader from forming an attachment to the storyline and getting lost in another place and time. I believe The Black Moth should be read by all who adore Heyer's works as well as those new to the world of Georgette Heyer's Regency Romances.

About the Author:

The late Georgette Heyer was a very private woman. Her historical novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades, though she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or personal life. She was born in Wimbledon in August 1902, and her first novel, The Black Moth, published when she was 19, was an instant success.

Heyer published 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Her work included Regency novels, mysteries and historical fiction. Known also as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. She was married to George Ronald Rougier, a barrister, and they had one son, Richard.

I received a free copy of The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer from Sourceboks. Receiving a free copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Emma Michaels said...

Wonderful review! I hope that I can publish even half as many books in my lifetime. I hadn't heard of this author previously (Sad I know.) Now I will definitely find out more about her and check out some of her novels. Looking forward to having a great read!


Aleksandra said...

Wow, definitely this one will go on my must-read list! Great review!

Farrah from The Book Faery Reviews said...

I'm starting on this one shortly because I wanted to see the difference in her writing from the previous ones I've recently read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

17-years-old? Oh wow. This sounds like an incredible read Jennifer! I am really interested in this book, thanks for the review!

April said...

What a wonderful review! I have just recently come to adore Georgette Heyer and will have to add this one to my list!

Amy said...

I have Heyer on my list to read. This sounds like a good starting point.