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Frederica by Georgette Heyer
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Frederica (1965)

by Georgette Heyer

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1,958675,176 (4.19)2 / 349
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English (64)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
I find Heyer novels to be hit or miss – this is one of her greatest hits. It’s pure comic genius.

The plot is basic, though this hardly matters, as the character interaction makes it a great read. In fact, I don’t think there’s a weak character in the whole book. Nearly all – or perhaps *all* - are humourous in one way or another.

Alverstoke is technically the “straight man”, but it's his reactions to others’ behaviour that's funny, particularly his responses to antics by the Merriville family.

The youngest Merrivilles Jessamy and (especially) Felix are hilarious. I love their beautiful sister Charis for all her naivety and sensitivity, which also makes for some good comedy moments.

The title character, Frederica Merriville, is a quality heroine. Her nature is in complete contrast to Charis and she’s just as appealing in her own way. No wonder Alverstoke wants to continue his acquaintance with her!

Not sure who to rate as my favourite cast member. They’re all brilliant. Guess it’s a three-horse race between Frederica, Charis, and Felix.

Being a reader who prefers character-driven stories, this suited me to the ground. There are too many quality scenarios to pick a favourite, or even name five of the best. Although some serious scenes do occur, these still have a light edge, with subtle humour never far away.

A wonderful and funny read. ( )
1 vote PhilSyphe | Feb 12, 2018 |
An enjoyable Regency romance. The even tenor of the Marquis of Alverstoke’s life is rudely disrupted when some poor relations come to London for the season and he takes them up to get back at his miserly sister who wants him to bankroll her plain daughter’s come-out.

The usual descriptions of upper class life in the ton are enlived by the Merrivale family’s antics: Frederica and her beautiful younger sister Charis are accompanied by their younger brothers, Jessamy and Felix, and Jessamy’s dog, Lufra (the ‘Baluchistan Hound’). Jessamy is horse-mad and is studying to go to University, and the younger Felix is a proto-Charles Babbage or Isembard Kingdom Brunel, being fascinated by engineering and all kinds of mechanical devices - which leads him into hair-raising adventures.

Light but fun; Heyer’s stories include many period details and her story-telling I rate very highly as the minor characters are as believable as the major characters.
  Maddz | Dec 10, 2017 |
Excellently crafted, as always! But what I particularly enjoyed with this book, which I always found slightly lacking in others by Ms. Heyer, was the way in which we as readers could enjoy the leisurely progress and growth of the relationship between the two main characters. In most other Heyer novels, there is some sort of sudden realization of love (as in Sylvester, or Faro's Daughter, for example), which is enjoyable in its own way, but in this novel it is carefully placed and fully developed. At first the two are very firm friends who like each others company, and then, carefully, about halfway through we see a slow turn towards romance, and the result is an extremely gratifying conclusion!

Because Heyer really took her time with this story, the characters of Frederica and Alverstoke are fully realized, and completely appreciable in their own right as well as in their relationship with each other. Frederica, I particularly loved - even more so than Arabella, or even Deborah. She is not afraid to stand up for herself, without getting unnecessarily angry or defensive. She is calm and collected, able to speak sensibly in the face of crisis, willing and cheerful to help anyone and everyone. There is a streak of meddlesomeness in her - but that just made her all the more endearing to me. The Marquis had me in stitches of laughter in about five seconds, flat. He is beautifully sardonic, and the dialogue between him and Frederica sparkles with wit and humor. Not only is their relationship with each other well-rounded and developed, but their relationships to others is equally well crafted and strong! These secondary characters, too, had me in STITCHES of laughter thanks to their various antics - especially the adorable Felix Merriville and his obsession with engineering! There were moments where I wanted to stick a fork in Charis, but I think we're meant to feel that way about her and her peabrained melodramatics.

All in all, a beautifully, carefully constructed story with memorable character, great pacing, and a near-perfect conclusion! ( )
  srsharms | Jul 20, 2017 |
A favourite -- vintage Heyer. Frederica brings her beautiful, but pea goose of a sister to London to launch her into the Polite World. Her younger brothers cause myriad amusing episodes. Some details get a little tedious and the dénouement is too drawn out. However, a fun read overall. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jun 23, 2017 |
Another favorite of Heyer's for me. What I liked about it was the whole idea of a family as a whole being on one side of a romance, sort of like a package deal. I fell in love with the Merriville family. As always, Heyer's wit is just so prevalent. Especially in the exchanges between young Felix and the Marquis of Alverstoke the cynical, bored, nobleman. Alverstoke really grows on you as the book progresses. Frederica, oddly enough, is not my favorite Heyer heroine, but she is still a plucky and bright girl. I've tried reading similar regency authors, some are good, but I keep coming back to Heyer as she, only eclipsed by Jane Austen, is the ideal author for this genre in my opinion. ( )
  Likeitorlumpit | Dec 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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Rich and handsome, darling of the ton, the hope of ambitious mothers and despair of his sisters, the Marquis of Alverstoke at seven-and-thirty sees no reason to put himself out for anyone. Until a distant connection, ignorant of his selfishness, applies to him for help. When Frederica Merriville brings her three younger siblings to London determined to secure a brilliant marriage for her beautiful sister, Charis, she seeks out their distant cousin the Marquis of Alverstoke. Lovely, competent, and refreshingly straightforward, Frederica makes such a strong impression that to his own amazement, the Marquis agrees to help launch them all into society. Lord Alverstoke can't resist wanting to help her Normally wary of his family, which includes two overbearing sisters and innumerable favor-seekers, Lord Alverstoke does his best to keep his distance.

The Merrivales, a family of solid social standing, have fallen into unhappy financial straits, and the marriage might deliver them from this situation. They have come to London for the glittering social season, in order to give young and beautiful Charis a chance to make a good marriage, she may be as hen-witted as she is beautiful. Frederica herself, a gay and witty charmer, believes herself happily beyond marriageable age -- she is twenty-four, after all. They boys are also very differents, Jessamy is an interesting boy, and Felix an engaging scamp. Frederica is saddened when her prime prospect, their distant cousin Lord Alverstroke, seems totally uninterested. But when they are introduced to London society by the Marquis of Alverstoke, they find themselves both besieged by more suitors than they can possibly handle!

With his enterprising - and altogether entertaining - country cousins getting into one scrape after another right on his doorstep, before he knows it the cold Marquis finds himself dangerously embroiled and plunged into one drama after another by the large and irrepressible Merriville family, Alverstoke is surprised to find himself far from bored. He is amazed to find herself, unknowingly, finds himself thoroughly beguiled by his distand cousins and, most intriguing of all, their strongminded sister Frederica, who seems more concerned with her family's welfare than his own distinguished attentions. And when his younger cousin ends up in a terrible accident, the dutiful Marquis becomes as chivalrous as ever to the those in his charge. And Frederica begins to imagine the Marquis as match... for herself.
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Bringing her family to London in the hopes of finding her younger sister a suitable husband, Frederica is saddened when her prime prospect, the Marquis of Alverstroke, seems totally uninterested, but when her younger brother ends up in a terrible accident, the dutiful Marquis becomes as chivalrous as ever to the those in his charge.… (more)

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