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Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer

Bath Tangle (1955)

by Georgette Heyer

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1,046208,057 (3.76)48
Title:Bath Tangle
Authors:Georgette Heyer
Info:Pan (date?), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, historical fiction, regency romance, f07

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Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer (1955)

19th century (13) bath (13) British (16) comedy of manners (5) ebook (15) England (21) English (9) fiction (153) Georgette Heyer (25) hardcover (4) Heyer (27) historical (57) historical fiction (74) historical romance (56) history (5) humor (9) Kindle (9) library (4) novel (20) own (8) paperback (6) pb (5) read (23) regency (166) Regency England (8) Regency Romance (68) romance (184) to-read (13) UK (5) unread (11)



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This is basically the romantic adventures of three women and the complications that occur. The Earl of Spenborough dies and leaves his young second wife, his daughter (older than his wife) and a complicated portion of his will which leaves his daughter's jilted ex in charge of her future. When the man who was her first love turns up she thinks that her future is sure but things get complicated.

Unlike a lot of modern romance novels this explores different kinds of love and how you might think you're in love but there has to be space in both lives for each person to become a whole person.

Loved this story, loved the characters and the fact that they're full people and are trying to find a good future for themselves. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jun 21, 2014 |
Daughter of the Earl of Spenborough, Serena, and Ivo Barrasford, the Marquis of Rotherham are both incredibly privileged and as a result arrogant, proud and bad tempered. Serena's father has just died, leaving her with a step-mother younger than her and, to her frustration, her fortune in the trusteeship of the Marquis - whom she was once betrothed but jilted years ago. Her home, Milverly house, has been left to her male cousin and she and her stepmother must vacate. Heyer does well to bring how just how little choice women in Regency England actually had (the upper classes only to be precise - too bad about the poor!). To be the widow or daughter of a father who died and having to be shut away in seclusion for the following year, only after which you can possibly start tentatively venturing out into society; young girls enduring forced marriages with men more than twice their age, and women having no control over their own property, money or freedom of movement.

There is much to be skimmed through in this book - with irrelevant name dropping, and discussions of politics and current events, but at the story's heart are engagements between people who are very clearly unmatched and hence the 'tangle' that must be 'untangled'. Average. ( )
  boppisces | Jan 24, 2014 |
Lady Serena Carlow, only child of the late Earl of Spenborough, was shocked to learn that her father had named Ivo Barrasford, Marquis of Rotherham, as her guardian. A strong-willed man with a temper to match her own, Rotherham was also Lady Serena's erstwhile fiancé, and the two never met but that they quarreled. Outraged but resigned, Serena soon took up residence with her very young step-mother, until a chance encounter with a man from her past set in motion a seemingly hopeless tangle of romantic mis-matches...

I have heard it said that Bath Tangle is the perfect expression of Georgette Heyer's notions of class, with "like seeking like" in the form of the three couples. In this schema Lady Serena and Rotherham are of the nobility, Fanny and Major Kirkby of the landed gentry, and Emily and Mr. Goring of the merchant class, and the process whereby they all find the "right" romantic partner reinforces the author's evident preference for class endogamy.

I have nothing to say against such an interpretation, whatever I may think of the underlying social philosophy. My dislike of Bath Tangle arises, not from any distaste at the antiquated class structure - it is, after all, hardly the most extreme example of such ideas in Heyer's work - but rather from the wretchedly dishonorable conduct of the "hero." I don't despise Rotherham for wanting to marry Serena, but for manipulating and exploiting Emily, all while excusing his conduct by reference to the vulgarity and greed of others... Rotherham may be Serena's social equal, but in all other ways he is not, and I have trouble understanding why she would be attracted to him. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jun 25, 2013 |
One of the reasons I’m such a fan of Georgette Heyer, apart from loving a Regency romp, is her language and her humour

Upon several occasions, both she and Fanny had been diverted by the startling appearance presented by an elderly female of little height but astonishing girth, who, while she adhered, perhaps wisely, to the fashions of her youth, was not wise enough to resist the lure of bright colours. She had a jolly, masterful countenance, with three chins beneath it, and a profusion of improbable black ringlets above it, imperfectly confined by caps of various designs, worn under hats of amazing opulence. Serena drew giggling protests from Fanny by asserting that she had counted five ostrich plumes, one bunch of grapes, two of cherries, three large roses, and two rosettes on one of these creations.

Delightful. ( )
  riverwillow | May 4, 2013 |
The characters in Heyer's Bath Tangle aren't always loveable. They make mistakes, and do some things that are less than considerate where the emotions of others are concerned. However, this is much of the book's charm. Serena Carlow, the main character, is anything BUT serene. Ivo Barrasford, the man she jilted just before their wedding years before,has a reputation for being a difficult man, and scares virtually everyone else in the book except for Serena. In fact, whenever the two are in the same room they inevitably start to argue. Several other characters believe it's a sign of how much the two don't suit; readers, of course, figure out early on that it means the exact opposite! How they get from formerly engaged friends of the family back to almost married, is, naturally, a fun read. The secondary characters are wonderful, the plot twists amusing--I laughed out loud several times toward the end. Highly recommended to fans of both Heyer and Austen. ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 20, 2013 |
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Two ladies were seated in the library at Milverley Park, the younger, whose cap and superabundance of crape proclaimed the widow, beside a table upon which reposed a Prayer Book; the elder, a Titian-haired beauty of some twenty-five summers, in one of the deep window-embrasures that overlooked the park.
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Book description
"Do you imagine that I wish for a wife upon such terms? You mistake the matter, my girl, believe me!"

Lady Serena's fury when she found that her father's death had placed her marriage prospects and fortune in the control of Lord Rotherham was more than understandable.

Soon she found herself involved with her lovely young stepmother, her own childhood sweetheart and Lord Rotherham himself in a tangle of marriage and manners the like of which even Regency Bath had rarely seen...
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0373836112, Mass Market Paperback)

Lady Serena Carlow is an acknowledged beauty, but she's got a temper as fiery as her head of red hair. When her father dies unexpectedly, Serena discovers to her horror that she has been left a ward of Ivo Barrasford, marquis of Rotherham, a man whom Serena once jilted and who now has the power to give or withhold his consent to any marriage she might contemplate. With her father's heir eager to take over his inheritance--and Serena's lifelong home--she and her lovely young stepmother, Fanny, decide to move to Bath, where Serena makes an odd new friend and discovers an old love, Major Hector Kirkby. Before long, Serena, Fanny, Kirkby, and Rotherham are entangled in a welter of misunderstood emotions, mistaken engagements, and misdirected love.

Georgette Heyer's genius has always been in creating memorable characters, then placing them in a comedy of manners that is absolutely true to the Regency period. Bath Tangle is a delightful romp through the haute ton of early-19th-century England, and the battling, passionate, meant-for-each-other Ivo and Serena are one of her most successful romantic duos.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:24 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Lady Serena Carlow's eccentric father has left her guardianship to the Marquis of Rotherham, who has complete control over her. She is displeased to say the least, but when she spends time with the Marquis, she can't help but wonder if her feelings are those of sheer aggravation or if they are of a more tender nature.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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