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A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer

A Civil Contract (original 1961; edition 2009)

by Georgette Heyer

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1,113437,423 (3.96)94
Title:A Civil Contract
Authors:Georgette Heyer
Info:HQN Books (2009), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, 20th century, english, novel, regency, georgette heyer

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A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer (1961)

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Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
A Civil Contract is a rather different kind of historical romance than we usually expect from Heyer. Instead of a determined heroine driving the hero crazy, we have a hero giving up his great love to enter into a marriage of convenience after his father's death reveals that his family is facing ruin. Adam has nothing to offer but his title, while Jenny has lots of money and a father who wants to see her marry a title. And what a father he is, driving Adam crazy with his meddling and "surprises". But little by little things begin to thaw between the two of them. Adam manages to lose some of his resentment and Jenny learns to make her way in her new world. All of which would be much easier if his previous love could keep her emotions under control.

Like I said, this is different from your average Heyer: much more melancholic and almost a downer at times. It's a book about being content with what you have, instead of aspiring for the heights. But when it comes to the everyday realities of life, it can be quite beautiful. So don't come into to it looking for the next The Grand Sophy or Frederica, because it is absolutely nothing like. But if you want a quieter romance, this may be for you. ( )
  inge87 | Aug 5, 2016 |
Adam Deveril is a captain in the British Army, fighting under the Duke of Wellington in France, in the waning days of the first Napoleonic War. Shortly before Napoleon abdicates and peace is declared, Lynton is forced to sell out and return home. His father, Viscount Lynton, has died in a hunting accident and left a severely debt-ridden and mortgage-encumbered estate, along with two young daughters who need husbands and a wife to whom the word 'economy' is unknown.

Deveril's financial advisor and others urge him to consider marrying a rich merchant's daughter to ensure his family's future, but he had earlier fallen in love with a beautiful young noblewoman and can't imagine life with anyone else. It doesn't take long for him to realize that he has no choice, and so in short order he winds up married to Jenny Chawleigh, a shy, plain, plump young woman whose father is both the richest man in London and a vulgarian whose blunt ways set Adam's teeth on edge.

This is Heyer, so we know there will be a happy ending. But it's not the one you might have expected at the outset, and there's much less of the author's trademark slang-soaked slapstick along the way. A Civil Contract presents a view of the aristocracy and the merchant class of Regency London that virtually none of her other books do, and it's deeply satisfying to see familiar character types from different angles. The hero is not perfect, and neither is the heroine, but the author's plotting and personality profiles are as close to perfection as she ever got, in my opinion. Enthusiastically recommended. ( )
3 vote rosalita | Jul 10, 2016 |
Adam's a snob and not worth it. ( )
  Helenliz | May 30, 2016 |
My favourite Heyer of all! ( )
  AlisonClifford | Apr 25, 2016 |
Not too bad - a twist on the usual "marriage of convenience becomes True Love" story. I could have done with Adam not clinging quite so tightly to his "lost love" notion - she's presented as a silly flutterby addicted to drama, and I kind of expected him to tell her to grow up (or at least think it) at some point well before the end of the book. He does finally realize he's better suited with Jenny...but that's all, he never really turns away from his dream. Despite being an adult, more interested in his farm and his house than in Drama and True Love - he doesn't seem to realize what he's got. Kind of a let-down. Oh, one amusing note - most Regency romances are stuffed full of cant and slang, spoken by nobles (ok, just the young ones) as well as commoners. Here Adam, and Jenny for that matter, don't use slang at all - nor any of their friends. The only one using it is Jenny's avowedly vulgar father - and he can't form a sentence without half a dozen words of cant. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Mar 11, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nash, PhyllidaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The library at Fontley Priory, like most of the principal apartments in the sprawling building, looked to the south-east, commanding a prospect of informal gardens and a plantation of poplars, which acted as a wind-break and screened from view the monotony of the fen beyond.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099474441, Paperback)

Adam Deveril, a hero of Salamanca, returns from the Peninsula War to find his family on the brink of ruin and the broad acres of his ancestral home mortgaged to the hilt.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:53 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Adam Deveril, the Viscount Lynton, returns from the Peninsular War to find his family on the brink of ruin and the broad acres of his ancestral home mortgaged. He soon realises that the drastic measure of marriage is the only answer.

(summary from another edition)

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