Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer

Sourcebooks Casablanca is bringing back Georgette Heyer's novels in affordable trade paperback editions. Heyer wrote over fifty novels, including her beloved Regency romances, mysteries, and historical fiction. It's a pleasure to read old favorites, such as The Corinthian.

Sir Richard Wyndham's mother and sister are determined to see him married. He's a Corinthian, a man devoted only to the pursuit of pleasure. As a member of British high society's ton, Wyndham is probably only second to Beau Brummell. But, at 29, he's intelligent, disillusioned with life, and bored to death. However, he's seen as the "biggest catch on the Marriage Mart", with his good looks and wealth, and, according to family, he needs to settle down and marry, even if he doesn't love the woman who thought there was a family understanding for five years. As his sister claims, "If one thing is certain, it is that Richard has not one grain of romance in his disposition, while as for adventure -! I dare say he would shudder at the mere thought of it. first, last, and always a man of fashion, and he will never do anything unbefitting a Corinthian. You may take my word for that!"

So, why did Richard disappear, leaving no word, leaving his valet, with only a crumpled cravat, a shawl, and a golden curl behind? After a night of drinking, and about to make the worst mistake of his life, Wyndham came about a youth climbing out of a window. When he caught the young one, he discovered seventeen-year-old Penelope Creed, fleeing from a marriage with her odious cousin. Pen begged Wyndham to help her escape, saying she was an heiress running away, and, since he himself felt like running away, he fell in with her plan. However, their journey to her family home and her childhood love, wasn't at all what either expected. A stage accident, a thief, and Pen's exaggerated tales sent them on quite an adventure, quite a change for a bored man. It could only lead to trouble, and romance.

The Corinthian remains one of my favorite Georgette Heyer books. Richard Wyndham is a wonderful character, with that dry humor of so many of Heyer's heroes. He's patient, understanding, and takes Pen under his protection. Penelope Creed is bright, witty, and a charmer. It's a match made only in a Georgette Heyer book. But, for this fan, The Corinthian is a treat, and a keeper.

The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer. Sourcebooks, Incorporated, 2009, ISBN 9781402217692 (paperback), 261p.

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Molly said...

I am not much of a romance gal, so I have not read any of Georgette Heyer's regency romance works. I would love to read her mysteries, however. I had originally thought of trying Behold, Here's Poison or Why Shoot a Butler, but perhaps this is the better choice?

Lesa said...


I've never read any of Heyer's myseries because she's known for the regencies. I loved this one. I'm reading one for Monday's review, The Convenient Marriage, and I'm not as fond of the characters. But, this one is funny, and has two great characters in Richard and Pen. So, if you read a romance, pick carefully. Some are better than others.

wisteria said...

Well your review convinced me that I can't miss this read. Thanks Lesa.
Sounds like I'd like it.

Lesa said...

I really liked this one, Wisteria. I just finished The Convenient Marriage, though, and I was put off by the heroine's personality. The Corinthian is nothing but fun, though.