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These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
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These Old Shades (original 1926; edition 2009)

by Georgette Heyer

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1,601534,539 (4.13)224
Member:Cailiosa
Title:These Old Shades
Authors:Georgette Heyer
Info:Sourcebooks Casablanca (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:TBR pile (books to read or re-read), Wishlist (books to purchase or swap)
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Tags:Adult, historical fiction, Regency, romance

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These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer (1926)

Recently added byshaunie, MaidMeri, rooner, sammii507, rosalita, HelloSugah, private library

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English (53)  Swedish (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
This is a very cute book. While I don't generally hold with books that have the whole "girl disguised as a boy" motif (I think girls look ~more feminine dressed as boys, not less), I was able to suspend disbelief and enjoy this book anyway - partially because she didn't have Justin fooled for more than a couple of minutes anyway. While I also have friends who would argue that familial similarities are not close enough to see someone out of the blue and identify them, I had no trouble accepting this - in Leonie's case, her eyes and hair were unique enough that they could possibly be identifiable. This book was a joy to read. While Leonie's hero worship of Justin gets a bit old at times, I admire her spunk Justin is a fantastic character - rakish, thoroughly lacking in morals (so it seems), and eventually redeemed by Leonie's innocence and adoration...a truly enjoyable read. ( )
  sammii507 | Aug 19, 2014 |
Fun. Justin was quite unpleasant to read at the beginning, but he got better (I can see him sneering at the notion!). It's completely unlikely, of course - a nine-year-old being taken for a boy is possible, not a nineteen-year-old. But ignoring that, it's a lot of fun - escapades and mysteries and abductions and old enmities being cured - or otherwise resolved. Yes, it's clearly linked to The Black Moth - and clearly not that story. Merivale isn't John, and never made a living (however casually) as a highwayman. I'd like to see this version, actually - see the differences. But the general events are clear, and not crucial to this story anyway. The romance is a very important thread, but it's well-buried in the adventure until nearly the end. I don't actually like Leonie - at least, in real life, I think she'd drive me nuts. She's cute in the story, though. A very enjoyable fluff read. More please. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Aug 6, 2014 |
Rather plotty for a Heyer novel. Kinda twisted, but undeniably entertaining.

I see people all over the internet freakin' out about the depravity Justin "Satanas" Alistair, but to me he really didn't seem all that dastardly. I mean, the 1750s were crazy times. I think.

You know what was weird was how the peasant-born, aristocrat-raised child had these deep innate longings to be a farmer, whereas his counterpart was somehow magically delicate and graceful and whatever. That was oddly convenient. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
I wasn't convinced about this novel at the start, but it definitely picked up. Just started the sequel - "Devil's Cub". ( )
  cazfrancis | Dec 7, 2013 |
It’s a typical Parisian night as Satan walks down a dark and dirty street. Suddenly an urchin lurches out of an alleyway and plows into him. He thinks he’s a target for a robbery, but instead finds himself grasping a quite remarkable young man.

A plot forms in his head immediately and when the urchin’s pursuer shows up, he buys the urchin.

Thus begins a tale of a rogue who plays the deep game and whose morals are non-existent. Or are they?

I do love a good rogue, and Alastair is definitely that!

Lots of fun and color and intrigue. ( )
1 vote majkia | Jul 5, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heyer, Georgettemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Heyer, Georgettemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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A gentleman was strolling down a side street in Paris, on his way back from the house of one Madame de Verchoureux.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0373835590, Mass Market Paperback)

A gentleman was strolling down a side street in Paris, on his way back from the house of one Madame de Verchoureux. He walked mincingly, for the red heels of his shoes were very high. A long purple cloak, rose-lined, hung from his shoulders and was allowed to fall carelessly back from his dress, revealing a full-skirted coat of purple satin, heavily laced with gold; a waistcoat of flowered silk; faultless small clothes; and a lavish sprinkling of jewels on his cravat and breast.
The gentleman in question is Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, known by friends and enemies alike as Satanas--the devil. On this particular evening, the dangerous rake crosses paths with Léon, a red-headed youth of low birth who is fleeing a certain beating at his brutal brother's hands. On a whim, Avon buys the boy and makes him his page. It soon becomes clear, however, that Léon is not what he seems, and that Avon has an ulterior motive for bringing him into his household. Set in pre-Revolutionary France, These Old Shades follows a twisting course as young Léon (or is it Léonie?) is swept up in a dangerous mystery: how to account for the page's amazing resemblance to the sinister Compte de Saint Vire, for example; and why will this man go to any lengths to get the youth in his power?

Georgette Heyer's historical romances tend to fall into two different camps: later novels such as Cotillion, False Colours, and Sylvester feature larger-than-life comic characters and romantic pairings more akin to Beatrice and Benedick than Hero and Claudio. Earlier works such as These Old Shades, however, tend to be darker, tinged with mystery and overshadowed by very real menace. What both types share is Heyer's fine storytelling and encyclopedic knowledge of Regency mores and manners--her books are the next best thing to a time machine. These Old Shades's greatest asset, however, is the charming Léonie: beautiful, brave, and loyal to a fault, with a fondness for swordplay and pistols and a delightfully incomplete grasp of the English language. Heyer herself was so fond of this character that she featured her in two more novels, Devil's Cub and An Infamous Army. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:54 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Set in the Georgian period, about 20 years before the Regency, "These Old Shades" features two of Heyer's most memorable characters: Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignominy and comes to love and marry.

(summary from another edition)

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