I read Cotillion while on the recent London/Glasgow trip. Yes, that’s right in eleven days I was able to read only one book. That should give you a measure of how busy the trip was and how knackered I was at the end of each day.
Anyway. I was delighted by the response to my recent throw away comments on Heyer, but because I was on said trip with scanty interweb thingy connectivity I was never able to respond to the response. Sob.
In those discussions Harriet mentioned Cotillion as one of her favourites which spurred me to pick it up for a reread. I adore the book. But I didn’t always. On my first read as a teenager I found it a terrrible disappointment for the very reason I love it now: Heyer buggers around with your expectations, the hero isn’t who the teenage me wanted it to be. Why, he isn’t even in the petticoat line! She shows the reader exactly how selfish and awful a rake really would’ve been. The book is delicious and clever and subversive and funny and full of delight at messing with her own formula. Divine!
As are Frederica and Venetia. (And if I could stand to reread it I’d probably find the same of The Grand Sophy.) All those books were first published in the 1950s or early 1960s. Many years after The Black Moth was first published. By which time she must’ve been well and truly ready to mess around with the genre she pretty much created.
I’m dying to reread all her books in chronological order to see if this theory is even remotely true. Tragically, the rest of my Heyers are back in Sydney in storage. And more tragically I have many other books I actually have to read, not to mention the ones I have to write. Like this one and the final Magic or Madness book. Sigh.