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The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer
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The Quiet Gentleman (1951)

by Georgette Heyer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (43)  German (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
This is an old favorite Heyer of mine, and I know lots of passages almost by heart, but I hadn't read it in ages. I bought the audiobook years ago and finally got around to it. The narrator is Cornelius Garrett, who has an old-style approach (think Frederick Davidson). Sometimes those types of interpretations don't work for me, but I really enjoyed this one. Garrett brings out the comedy of manners aspects, which I sometimes gloss over in favor of the romantic storyline.

This is actually one of Heyer's less romantic novels, and her heroine, Drusilla, even says "try as I will, I cannot be romantic" at one point. And she really can't, although she is delightful in many ways and I can certainly see why St. Erth falls in love with her. He, on the other hand, is the classic romantic hero -- blond, beautiful, and very accomplished. But he's also kind and caring and patient.

The plot is one of Heyer's mysteries set in the countryside, in this case at Stanyon Castle. St. Erth, the heir, has given up his cavalry officer position upon inheriting the Earldom, but his return is not welcomed by his stepmother or his half-brother, Martin, since both had hoped for his demise during the Napoleonic Wars. But Martin is now relegated to younger-son status and both mother and son lament what might have been. Somehow Heyer manages to make Martin likeable and his mother sympathetic despite this. The only family member who welcomes St. Erth's return is his cousin Theo, who manages the estates. Drusilla, who is staying with Lady St. Erth as a temporary companion, is curious to meet him but not expecting much of a cavalry dandy.

Soon after his return it becomes apparent that someone is trying to murder St. Erth. Martin would be the obvious culprit, but surely that's too obvious? But St. Erth is not just moving into Stanyon Castle, he's become the prime catch of the neighborhood and a threat to Martin's interest in the lovely Marianne.

I picked up on the hints about whodunit much earlier in the audiobook, not because they were telegraphed but because when I listened to every word they were more apparent. The dialogue is wonderful, Heyer's dry humor is everywhere, and the cant wasn't overdone. The romance is just hinted at, barely, but the final scene is extremely satisfying. *happy sigh* ( )
  Sunita_p | May 18, 2019 |
Gervase Frant, the new Earl of St. Erth, returns home unscathed from the Napoleonic Wars to claim his estate--somewhat to the disappointment of his stepmother, the dowager Countess, and his half-brother, Martin. His only friend in the old castle of Stanyon is his cousin, Theo Frant, who has been serving as manager of the Frant lands and investments. Intent on getting reacquainted with his childhood home and taking hold of his responsibilities, he finds himself facing Lady St. Erth's resentment and Martin's hostility.

And then he starts to have a string of potentially deadly accidents. When his horse trips and throws him on an open lane, only the chance arrival of his stepmother's young guest, Miss Drusilla Morville, prevents it from being fatal--and ensures the discovery of a cord across the lane, that proves it was no accident.

Gervase has to find out who his real enemy is, in the midst of people who are almost total strangers to him.

This is a Georgette Heyer regency romance, and if you know and love them, it's almost not necessary to say any more. It's light and fun, without being absolutely unaware of the realities of the period. Unlike many of her novels, this one focuses more on the male side of the romance than the female side. The mystery isn't too hard to figure out, but is nicely handled.

Recommended.

I bought this book. ( )
1 vote LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
I always enjoy Heyer. Even her average novels make me happy. It probably isn’t fair to compare every female character with the heroines of The Grand Sophie, Faro’s Daughter or The Convenient Marriage, but I do. If I have a quibble with The Quiet Gentleman is there is not enough development of female lead. The fact I cannot remember her name two weeks later proves my point. I enjoyed The Quiet Gentleman but will not read it again. ( )
  MelissaLenhardt | Mar 11, 2018 |
The Earl of St Erth returns to his ancestral home a year after the death of his father. Living there are his stepmother, half brother Martin, and cousin Theo. His return is much resented by Martin as he was treated as the heir (the Earl being in the army and his mother having fled her marriage with the previous Earl). Various accidents befall the Earl, and the blame all points to Martin.

A deft blend of mystery and Regency romance with a not too implausible plot. This is a favourite of mine; I tend to prefer Heyer's less romantic plots.
  Maddz | Jan 14, 2018 |
Miss Moreville is one of my favorite Heyer protagonists. Not in the least romantic, very practical and well organized. I fell in love with her as soon as she started knitting a pair of socks right at the start of the novel. ( )
1 vote JudithProctor | Oct 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Garret, CorneliusNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gough, PhilipIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawkins, KarenForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the guide-books it figured as Stanyon Castle; on the tongues of the villagers, it was the Castle; the Polite World spoke of it as Stanyon, as it spoke of Woburn, and of Cheveley.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Gervase Frant finally returns to his father's estate to claim his title as the new Seventh Earl of St. Erth at Stanyon. Unscathed from glory at Waterloo, Gervase expected a hero's welcome-instead he's given a frigid cold shoulder. Upon his return, only Theo, a cousin even quieter than himself, is there to greet him--and when he meets his stepmother and half-brother open disdain put a chill on Gervase's welcome, and he detects open regret that he has survived inconveniently to wars. Now he must establish himself as the new head of the house... and ignore his family's rising hostility.

Then Gervase's eye is caught by beautiful and charming Mariann Bolderwood, a collector of beaux -- the same young woman already much in favor with his half-brother. Gervase struggles to maintain a gentlemanly balance, but now the brothers are again rivals as they bid for the lady's attentions. But the dangers of the Lincolnshire countryside could never be more unexpected. Gervase finds himself the victim of repeatedly life-threatening accidents. And soon it becomes increasingly clear that someone wants the new Earl cruelly dead. Level-headed Drusilla Morville is captivated by Gervase but knows that she does not stand a chance against the debutantes vying for his affections, until Gervase's life is endangered and free-spiritedDrusilla comes to the rescue.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373836848, Mass Market Paperback)

An unwelcome return . . .

Unscathed from the wars, Gervase Frant finally returns to his father's estate to claim his title as the new Earl of Stanyon. But his stepmother's resentment and his half brother's open disdain put a chill on Gervase's welcome. Now he must establish himself as the new head of the house . . . and ignore his family's rising hostility.

And a resented rival

Then Gervase's eye is caught by a lovely young woman -- the same woman already much in favor with his half brother. Now the brothers face direct competition as they bid for the lady's attentions. But as Gervase struggles to maintain a gentlemanly balance, he begins to find himself the victim of repeatedly cruel accidents. Soon it becomes increasingly clear that someone wants the new Earl of Stanyon dead . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:41 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Upon his return from Waterloo, Gervase Frant expected a hero's welcome-instead he's given a frigid cold shoulder. But when he begins to fall for his half-brother's sweetheart, his chilly reception goes from unfriendly to murderous as Gervase finds himself in several life-threatening "accident."… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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