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Monday, December 17, 2012

Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester

"Jennifer Kloester, Heyer's official biographer, spent ten years researching Georgette Heyer, during which time she had unlimited access to Heyer's notebooks, private papers and family records. Engaging and authoritative, this comprehensive, official biography offers new insights into the life and writing of a remarkable and ferociously private woman."  

The above quote is from Net Galley, and this biography was an uncorrected advanced copy from the same source.

Kloester had access to never before released sources from the Heyer estate, and her meticulous research is evident.  Georgette Heyer was notoriously opposed to personal publicity (although she wanted her novels well publicized and frequently took her agents and publishers to task if her books were not sufficiently promoted); her reclusive personality, however, disdained personal interviews and photographs for promotion. 

 Kloester's ten year journey began with extensive research for her PhD thesis, and eventually landed her with the generous permission of Georgette's son Sir Richard Rougier to access and quote from Georgette's private letters and notebooks.  

Interesting, too, is the generosity of Jane Aiken Hodge, Georgette's first biographer, who provided her entire research library, friendship, and advice.  Many others shared letters from Georgette, photographs, and personal information from their own experiences.  

The result is an entirely readable biography that gives a great deal of insight into the  retiring (at least on the publicity front) "Queen of the Regency Romance."  Yet to dismiss Heyer as a "romance author" would be a mistake, as her research was impeccable; she had a huge library relating to the period, the clothing, the slang, the manners, the types of carriages, and the entertainments of the period.  

Whatever may be thought of the quality of the plots (and opinions vary), the novels continue to seize the interest, and sometimes the lasting love, of Heyer's fans for her characters and plots.  Those introduced to her novels when young maintain a fervent love for them.

And there were plenty of them--fifty two, in fact.  The first written when she was seventeen and published when she was nineteen.  

If you are a fan of the Regency period, and/or of Georgette Heyer, you will find this biography interesting and informative.  Perhaps, like myself, you will be reading or re-reading Georgette's novels upon finishing Kloester's work.

The book will be available Jan. 1, 2013 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

published by Sourcebooks, Inc.
received from NetGalley


  1. I have this. I really need to find time to read it. My reading sucks lately!

  2. Kailana - My reading slowed down this year, but lately, it has begun to pick back up. Reviews...oh, my. I'm so behind on these that I'll probably just forget most of them.