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Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer
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Bath Tangle (1955)

by Georgette Heyer

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1,152327,071 (3.76)88
Member:dowd
Title:Bath Tangle
Authors:Georgette Heyer
Info:Pan (date?), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, historical fiction, regency romance, f07

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Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer (1955)

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
I could have sworn I'd read this before, but nothing was familiar. Lovely Heyer - interesting characters running themselves into the most absurd tangles. The love...well, I think it got up to pentangles before the end...were particularly amusing. The girl was utterly soppy, good thing she has a sensible man in the wings. I like both Ivo and Serena (was there ever a person so misnamed?), and find Hector and Fanny quite pleasant in the book (they'd drive me mad in real life). I found myself trying to pair off absolutely everyone who had a name, in the middle of the book - it wasn't quite that comprehensive, but there were a lot of HEAs in here. Enjoyable, and probably rereadable (in a few years). ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Mar 4, 2016 |
What a mess, or should I say tangle. I can't spoil anything but it gets messy when people fall in love, or think they are in love. The title sure suits the book.

Serena has quite the temper and is not afraid to say what she thinks. She is a real whirlwind. I can't help to like her because she is just so different. She moves to Bath with her step-mum, who is younger and a very timid thing. Fanny can't see any faults with Serena (and trust me, she does have faults.) Then we have Rotherham who is an ogre, but then his temper does suit Serena as they yell at each other and call each other things. They used to be engaged but that did not work out. I am not sure about Rotherham because I do feel at times that he is not a gentleman, but then again, oh I can't tell you, the plot has to be read or else I will spoil things.

Moving on to secondary characters. Major Kirkby who is, yes what is he? Just smitten and not much of a personality. Young Emily who plays the part of the brainless beauty. Mr Goring, who we do not see much of at all but who seems to be the only true gentleman and he has a brain.
People will get engaged, people will fall in love, worship others and in the end all will end well and those who should be together will be together. But the way there is long and there will be misunderstandings, elopements, engagements, and general craziness. Because this was after all a time when you did not say what you felt and people in love have always been idiots.

Again it amuses me when she uses a certain sentence, how someone made violent love to another. That has me giggling like crazy since that only means kissing. I do hope she uses the word in all her books and I will continue to be amused by all the silly little things.

Another fun Heyer book where for once they may act very proper but Serena and Rotherham sure do not talk like that all the time. Quite shocking.

Conclusion:
Very sweet and it did have me worried if the right people would get each other. ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
The Earl of Spenborough dies, leaving behind his daughter Serena, a spirited woman of 25, and his second wife Fanny, so timid that she seems younger than 22. The women have become good friends, although they are utterly unalike, and resolve to live together in Fanny's dower house. They find their year of mourning in a smaller house very boring and lonely, and travel to Bath for a change. There, Serena rekindles a romance with Hector, the handsome and chivalrous soldier she'd loved as a teenager. But if Serena is engaged to Hector, why then is she so upset by Rotherham's engagement to a friend? And if Rotherham loves his intended, why is he trying to scare her out of marrying him? Obviously everyone is engaged to the wrong people, but it all works out in the end.

I kept expecting to like this book more than I did. I was impatient with Fanny and annoyed by all the monetary and social constraints placed upon Serena. I enjoy willful, "mannish" heroines, but everyone in this book was so continually shocked by her perfectly reasonable actions that I spent the whole book steaming. I did like Rotherham, who despite being the usual tall/superb horse rider/very rich/very powerful/sarcastic hero was acknowledged to be wrong several times in the narrative...but somehow I didn't believe his love for Serena. It seemed more like these two high-spirited gentlefolk were just good friends who ended up together because everyone else was ninnies. It seems like they end up getting together more because no one else understands them than because they really enjoy each other. Whatever, the banter (see below for a favorite selection) is ok and although there isn't much of a plot, the side characters are at least fairly well drawn.

"My poor girl, did you really think you could be happy with a man that would let you walk rough-shod over him? For how long did you enjoy having your own, undisputed way? When did you begin to feel bored?"
"Let me tell you this, Rotherham!" she flung at him. "Hector is worth a dozen of you!"
"Oh, probably two or three dozen! What has that to say to anything?" ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Serena takes a house with her young widowed stepmother, although she is furious that Rotherham, to whom she was once engaged, is her trustee according to her late father's will.

Serena is another outspoken and strong heroine, while Fanny, her stepmother, is sweet and rather naive. There's a typical Heyer resolution to romantic difficulties that seem inextricably knotted at times. Enjoyable Regency story. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
I found Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer a slightly different book than her usual light romance. In this story the focus is originally on the social expectations of widows and daughters of upper class. The story opens with the funeral of the Earl of Spenborough. The Earl has left behind a young wife of 20, Fanny, and his daughter Serena, 26. As he had no sons, the title and estate now passes to a distant cousin. Fanny is a docile, shy person and is thankful to have been left a steady income and is more than willing to move to the Dower House. Serena plans to go with her but she has been raised in many ways more like a son and the quiet life does not always suit her. Well used to managing the huge household, hosting parties, accompanying her father on trips she feels trapped by the smallness of her life. Of course, being a unmarried woman, she doesn’t even have control of her money that duty has been turned over to the Marquis of Rotherham.

Eventually the ladies take a house in Bath for a few months, even though they must restrain themselves from society, they are able to have small dinners, go for walks and take the waters. One day Serena bumps into an old flame and before too long she and Hector have made plans to announce their engagement. At this point the story becomes more of the familiar, as various unsuitable couples get together too quickly and then realize their mistake. In those days one didn’t make and break engagements easily but in this case, there truly is a tangle that needs to be sorted.

There were things I really liked about this book, but there were also a few that I didn’t. Heyer’s heroes are often rather brusque and high-handed but Rotherham was the rudest one yet and his treatment of Emily, a young girl that he engaged himself to as a payback to Serena, was cruel. I wasn’t overly fond of Serena either, she tended to run rough-shod over other people, especially Fanny, and seemed to feel that her opinions were the only ones that counted. I much preferred the slower relationship that developed between Fanny and Hector.

Also Bath Tangle was a different perspective from Heyer’s usual, her conversational writing was as always, a delight to read and she added a few colourful side characters that definitely added to the books flavour. Emily’s grandmother, in particular was a stand-out. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jan 24, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Phillips, SianReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:00 -0400)

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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)

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