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Frederica by Georgette Heyer

Frederica (original 1965; edition 2004)

by Georgette Heyer

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1,685614,239 (4.17)2 / 280
Authors:Georgette Heyer
Info:ARROW (RAND) (2004), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 380 pages
Collections:Your library, What's Jean read?

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Frederica by Georgette Heyer (1965)

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After Faro's Daughter and April Lady, I realized that my (personal) issue with Heyer's characters is that I want them to be more passionate. Well, I certainly got that here and not in the way I expected. The whole Merriville family is lively, each member with a distinct voice. The dog too.

All Frederica Merriville wants is to marry her beautiful, albeit not very smart, younger sister. She wants her to be happy and she knows she deserves it. They come to London with their aunt (not very important character), a twelve-year-old Felix and sixteen-year-old Jessamy, and their huge dog Lufra.
Being bored out of his mind, Lord Alverstoke agrees to introduce them to the ton. Soon he realizes that there is nothing boring, ordinary or deceitful about the Merrivilles.
I get bored with Heyer's descriptions of clothes, but here they are balanced with the craziness the Merrivilles bring into Lord Alverstoke's life. Even if he is described as selfish, cynical and overall not very pleasant person, he is never dishonest with Frederica. She knows his reasons for helping them from the start.
What Lord Alverstoke didn't expect is that they would completely change him without even trying. After so many grabby siblings and cousins, he was unprepared for the family that only needs an introduction to the society, nothing more. The way the boys capture his heart is lovely. “The Marquis believed himself to be hardened against flattery. He thought that he had experienced every variety, but he discovered that he was mistaken: the blatantly worshipful look in the eyes of a twelve-year-old, anxiously raised to his, was new to him, and it pierced his defences.” Anyway, the changes in both Frederica and the Marquis happen gradually and slowly (but not painfully slow). Not even Alverstoke realizes what's happening at first, but others do. “Then Frederica went towards him, holding out her hand, and he raised his eyes from Felix’s eager countenance, and smiled at her, causing Mr. Moreton to suffer a shock. It was not at all the sort of smile with which his lordship beguiled his flirts, but something warmer and more intimate. 'Good God!' mentally ejaculated Mr. Moreton. 'Sits the wind in that quarter?'” There are other characters that make this story worth reading. Some are horrible (one of Alverstoke's sisters and a hypochondriac cousin), others wonderful (his secretary, the third sister, Chloe and so on), some funny (Endymion) and that's only the ones that have greater roles here. There are many others the Merrivilles encounter throughout the story.

Nitpicks: it annoyed me that Alverstoke called Frederica 'my child' and that they didn't get more time together. ( )
  Irena. | Jan 28, 2016 |
This is a great book! A typical Heyer Regency romance, it's one of my favourites. Frederica and her delightful siblings come to London to try and establish Charis, their beautiful sister, in society. They ask - a little reluctantly - their distant cousin Lord Alverstoke if he would be willing to sponsor their entrance into polite society. He agrees, equally reluctantly, with the dubious intention of upsetting his sister. A surprising friendship blossoms; the rather bored Alverstoke finds himself quite charmed by Frederica's younger brothers, and oddly drawn to her too. The tale moves on apace, complete with balloon ascensions, a nasty scare, an excellent secretary, a planned elopement... and a most satisfying ending. Brilliant! ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
One of my favorite Heyer novels. Reads more like a novel and less like a comedy, like some of her others. More mature characters, a strong female lead, and a fun message. ( )
  thea-block | Jan 25, 2016 |
Still excellent. The dialogue between Frederica and Alverstoke is always fun to read, and the boys are well developed characters. It has one of Heyer's funniest chaotic climaxes, even if it is told second-hand. This is the book that I always recommend as a good starting point for anyone who wants to try out Georgette Heyer's books.
  SylviaC | Nov 24, 2015 |
A fun regency romance from Georgette Heyer, made even more enjoyable by the cast of secondary characters, chiefly Frederica's younger brothers and the family dog.
  Yllom | Aug 10, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Norgate, CliffordNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Not more than five days after she had despatched an urgent missive to her brother, the Most Honourable the Marquis of Alverstoke, requesting him to visit her at his earliest convenience, the widowed Lady Buxted was relieved to learn from her youngest daughter that Uncle Vernon had just driven up to the house, wearing a coat with dozens of capes, and looking fine as fivepence.
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When Frederica brings her younger siblings to London determined to secure a brilliant marriage for her beautiful sister, she seeks out their distant cousin, the Marquis of Alverstoke. Lovely, competent and refreshingly straightforward, she makes such a strong impression that the Marquis agrees to help launch them all into society. Normally wary of his family, Lord Alverstoke does his best to keep his distance. But with his enterprising country cousins underfoot, before he knows it the Marquis finds himself dangerously embroiled.… (more)

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