Sunday, February 18, 2018

Snowdrift and Other Stories by Georgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer is recognized as "The" author of Regency Romances. Her Regencies are considered the model of all other ones. When Heyer's official biographer, Jennifer Kloester, discovered three short stories that had not been republished since they originally appeared, she added them to the collection that was called Pistols for Two, and retitled the anthology, Snowdrift and Other Stories.

I read Pistols for Two years ago, and had forgotten the stories. Kloester remarks that Heyer introduced intelligent heroes and independent heroines. The problem with short stories, though, is that there's not enough character development. That's very evident when you read these stories, and realize the hero and heroine don't have time to become acquainted. The romances seem rushed, and, at times, even ridiculous. Why would a much-sought-after lord fall in love with a young woman of eighteen upon first sight, and immediately decide he's going to marry her? In Heyer's novels, the characters have more opportunity to get to know each other, to develop a relationship.

Saying that, the stories are still charming. In "A Husband for Fanny", a widow hopes an eligible man is interested in her daughter, although she herself is still younger than the man. "Night at the Inn" is reflective of Heyer's mysteries more than her romances. I went back and reread one of the three newly published stories, "Runaway Match" after the first reading to catch the dialogue, looking at it after knowing the ending. It sparkles even more the second time around.

While they're not as complete as her novels, Georgette Heyer's short stories show the roots of her Regency romances. Snowdrift and Other Stories is worth picking up just for those discoveries or as a reminder of her talent and wit.

Snowdrift and Other Stories by Georgette Heyer. Sourcesbooks Casablanca. 2017. 290p.

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