These Old Shades

These Old Shades Set in the Georgian period about years before the Regency These Old Shades is considered to be the book that launched Heyer s career It features two of Heyer s most memorable characters Justin Al

  • Title: These Old Shades
  • Author: Georgette Heyer
  • ISBN: 9781402228049
  • Page: 436
  • Format: ebook
  • Set in the Georgian period, about 20 years before the Regency, These Old Shades is considered to be the book that launched Heyer s career It features two of Heyer s most memorable characters Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignomy and comes to love and marry.The Duke is known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscieSet in the Georgian period, about 20 years before the Regency, These Old Shades is considered to be the book that launched Heyer s career It features two of Heyer s most memorable characters Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignomy and comes to love and marry.The Duke is known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscience, and his debauched lifestyle Late one evening, he is accosted by a young person dressed in ragged boy s clothing running away from a brutal rustic guardian The Duke buys Leon and makes the child his page Leon is in fact Leonie, and she serves the Duke with deep devotion When he uncovers the true story of her birth, he wreaks an unforgettable revenge on her sinister father in a chilling scene of public humiliation.

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    About “Georgette Heyer”

    1. Georgette Heyer

      Georgette Heyer was a prolific historical romance and detective fiction novelist Her writing career began in 1921, when she turned a story for her younger brother into the novel The Black Moth.In 1925 she married George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year.Heyer was an intensely private person who remained a best selling author all her life without the aid of publicity She made no appearances, never gave an interview and only answered fan letters herself if they made an interesting historical point She sometimes wrote under the pseudonym Stella Martin.Her Regencies were inspired by Jane Austen, but unlike Austen, who wrote about and for the times in which she lived, Heyer was forced to include copious information about the period so that her readers would understand the setting While some critics thought her novels were too detailed, others considered the level of detail to be Heyer s greatest asset.Heyer remains a popular and much loved author, known for essentially establishing the historical romance genre and its subgenre Regency romance.

    295 thoughts on “These Old Shades”

    1. Okay, I am officially a Georgette Heyer reader now. I can see why she is touted as the best of the best when it comes to historical romance. This book was thoroughly enjoyable. I tell you, Avon is a very singular hero. I have read few books with a hero whose dialogue was so expressive, yet ironic at the same time. His wit is so sharp that it could cut diamonds. What's really interesting is that Avon is considered the worst of the worst when it comes to being a debauched rake, yet you never see h [...]


    2. "La vengeance est un mets que l'on doit manger froid." (Revenge is a dish that should be eaten cold.)--Credited to Charles Talleyrand, French diplomat (1754–1838).Revenge and a Cinderella-type plot make a great combination in These Old Shades, one of Georgette Heyer's more well-known historical novels, set in the later 1700's. The half-French Duke of Avon is walking down the street when a small body hurtles into him. He looks into the face of this young urchin and suddenly sees the potential f [...]


    3. "If you desire to do good to la petite, send her to me""My dear father, I have never desired to do good to anyone"When I first started this book this was my reaction to my fellow reading buddies "Doesn't the writing feel off? It's not as flowing as my other experience with Heyer". And way too many French words/phrases?That made me curious so I checked the publishing date, turns out this book was published in 1926 - almost 40 years before my favorite book of hers, Frederica. So it was one of her [...]


    4. I enjoyed These Old Shades. I think Heyer writes vivid, opinionated characters and she captures the Georgian period beautifully. I must admit though, I’m not sure this book is for everybody. There’s a lot of yakking. These characters talk, talk, and even more talk. Heyer doesn’t directly tell you what her characters are up to either, so you have to get to know them by what they say. Some of the dialogue is pretty hilarious, and some of it is kind of repetitive. To me this makes the charact [...]


    5. This is one of my favorite romance novels, ever. I am not even afraid to review it here on this pretentious book site, I love it so much. I have worn through my copy of it. It is lovely beat up and bent back to the pages of all my favorite parts. The Heyer hallmarks are all here: great characters, hilarious plot, breaking the genre rules, a somewhat effete hero (but in a manly way). The main character, Leonie, is absolutely adorable. I don't even care if others find her annoying, she makes me la [...]


    6. Update: I have it on good authority that this is an accurate representation of me while thinking of this book (or should I specify, the hero!):By the way this book only gets better and funnier with each re-read I do! ;) Love these crazy people forever <3 Please note that the following essay review contains spoilersI'm not sure that I can entirely express how much I truly love this book and how absolutely amazing it is.I remember reading The Black Moth by the same author a while ago, and sec [...]


    7. GAH! I adore Georgian period romances. The ridiculous extravagance and theatricality of action and costume are simply divine. "I thought you disliked melodrama, my friend?""I do; but I have a veritable passion for--justice.""You've nourished thoughts of vengeance--for twenty years?"Other pluses which definitely made this a win: Heroine disguised as a boy, swordplay as well as hoydenish behaviors overlaid with a sweet naïveté; and an older sworn bachelor and renown rake charmed back into life's [...]


    8. I think I'm too much a product of my time. Having a hero who was 40yrs and a heroine who was 19, combined with the hero constantly calling her infant and for 80% of the story portraying her as very young, innocent, and wide-eyed, I couldn't and didn't want to buy into their romance. If you liked Val from Hoyt's Maiden Lane series, you're going to love our hero Justin, definitely an inspiration for him. I was a big fan of Justin and his wit, he's constantly miles and moves ahead of everyone else. [...]


    9. The literary equivalent of those marvelous British period dramas with utterly glorious settings and luscious costumes.I can never resist this sort thing. Pages of details of soft white brocades, ruffle upon ruffle, falling over great hoops, auburn hair piled in elaborate curls, pearls against soft pale skin, and perfect accessories likeicken-skin fans. And since this is 18th century France before the Revolution, the men are just as gorgeous and even more colorful.When we first meet the hero, the [...]


    10. Most fandom people I've talked to either love or at least rather like this book, but it seems it's my turn to feel all "bwah?" and left out, as Punk does withThe Dreyfus Affair and Siria does withSwordspoint. I hated it. I despised pretty much all the characters, other than Hugh and Rupert—Leonie was irritating, and Avon was just creepy. I know he was supposed to be "Satanas"—the devil of a man who isn't really that bad, but I found him neither enjoyably naughty nor charming; he was just kin [...]


    11. Group Read Georgette Heyer Fans GroupThis was my favourite book as a very young teen & I have read it more than any other title!GH was not altogether happy with The Black Moth & decided to bring back Devil Belmanoir - this time as the romantic hero. This is well known, but also Lavinia & Richard become Fanny & Edward, Frank Fortescue becomes Hugh Davenant, Diana becomes Lady Merivale. I don't think Lord Merivale is Jack - he lacks Jack's whimsical sweetness. But their & Belma [...]


    12. A guardian-ward romance set in the reign of Louis XV, with a dash of Pygmalion, and a revenge dish served very, very cold, Georgette Heyer's These Old Shades was quite delicious, once I was able to ignore and set aside the hopelessly out of touch and destructive hypothesis that is at the core of the novel. That is, nature will always win out over nurture. So if an aristocratic, well-bred, pure-blood being is unwittingly ripped from its natural surroundings and thrust upon a dung heap, it will st [...]


    13. You would never know (or feel) that this book is made of 300 pages or so - it reads very quickly, enchantingly so. Very enjoyable as always.


    14. I'm a fan of romance novels, especially historical, so I tend to read quite a bit of them. I know that Georgette Heyer is sort of a legend in this subgenre, but I have never read any of her books before now. I chose to read These Old Shades because it's part of a trilogy. I thought, hey, I'll read the three books and then decide what I think of her writing. Sadly I didn't enjoy the first installment. At all. I found the Duke of Avon to be a rather fashionable reptile with a fan (yes, you read th [...]


    15. This review is just a picture of how personally I take my books and how involved I get! Great many spoilers and fan girl babbling ahead!Now I don’t know how this happened but it was just a coincidence that I read The Black Moth before reading These Old Shades and I hadn’t read any of the blurbs about these books before beginning them either. While I read it, there was some clicking going on in my mind that something is familiar, that I know some of these things. I also felt that Satanas was [...]


    16. While I am not a tremendous Heyer fan, I do enjoy knocking them back like m&ms. That probably doesn't make sense to anyone but me. So by that I mean, like m&ms they don't have a lot of substance or weight, and it really annoys me that I keep eating them, and yet I can't seem to stop.My understanding is that this is one of her first novels. It concerns Justin, the Duke of Avon, and Leone who -- whoopsie -- turns out to be Leonie. The Duke of Avon is supposed to be a first class rake of lo [...]


    17. The character of Leonie is immensely likeable (though, like Amanda in Sprig Muslin, she'd make more sense as a 15-year-old than at her stated age, which is 19). I don't quite see in her what Avon says he sees, the results of a life of terrible, constant loneliness.Avon is more problematic. Partly it's a Georgian-culture problem -- it's hard for me to distinguish between an ordinary, irresponsible nobleman of fashion and an actual rake in the old, non-playful sense of the word. We know he kidnapp [...]


    18. I enjoyed this Heyer novel, but not as much as I was expecting to. First of all, I'm a Regency girl. Georgian era powdered wigs and high-heeled frou-frou men are just not my cuppa tea. The Duke, Justin, is nicknamed Satan. He's a rake. I always love villains, right? Well, Monsigneur is a POSEUR VILLAIN who wears Nancy pants! I did love Leonie. She had enough spark and mischief in her to keep her from being a Mary Sue. Supporting cast was magnifique! I was surprised to discover that I understood [...]


    19. I first read this 50 years ago. These Old Shades is my favorite Heyer book and some of the details had stayed with me for 50 years which is a pretty strong recommendation for a book. Stayed with me so much so that this is the first re-reading I have given it.Heyer invented a genre and I think this was the true blueprint for all of the thousands of historical romances that have come afterwards.I find These Old Shades to be the best written, most intriguing plot, strongest characters and most deli [...]


    20. Once again, Georgette Heyer has delighted me with this enchanting tale!!! How do I describe this? It's a tale of revenge, it's a rags to riches story, yet, it's also a romance. Justin Alastair, The Duke of Avon, known for his bad reputation, seeks to settle an old score and in the process, he is transformed into a hero.Leonie, a superbly entertaining heroine, whose impish behavior kept me in stitches, is also a beautiful young woman with a mysterious past. She knows her own mind, and I admire th [...]


    21. I'm finding the protagonists quite distasteful -- actually morally reprehensible, rather than merely "not to my taste" -- and their relationship creepy and unhealthy. From what I gather from other people who've read this, they don't have some catharsis or rupturing and become better people. And it isn't even witty in the usual Heyer manner. I'm dropping this one, at least until I am all out of other Heyer novels.


    22. A Rollicking Romp of Intrigue and RevengeTYPE OF NOVEL: Georgian Romance, Historical FictionSETTING: 1750’s France and EnglandMAIN CHARACTERS:- Justin Alistair, Duke of Avon “Satanas”: a debauched rake who has earned the nickname “Satan” for all the scandalous and dishonorable deeds he commits. Age 40- Léon Bonnard: a poor and abused child running away from his brother who beats him and forces him to work in his tavern. Age 19- Comte de Saint-Vire: Justin’s mortal enemy. Twenty year [...]


    23. I enjoyed this, despite one or two minor annoyances:1. The hero was referred to by any one of about eleven different names or titles randomly throughout - "Justin" "The Duke" "Alastair" "Avon" "His Grace". PICK ONE AND STICK WITH IT, HEYER.2. Leonie was funny but a bit of a twerp, she definitely didn't act 19 and her worshipful ADORATION of Alistavonjustingraceduke got on my nerves, as did his condescending "come here and let me wipe my feet on you, my infant" attitude to her. 3. What reference [...]


    24. The book is meant to be a light hearted, entertaining affair. It suited me perfectly for the holiday season. Avon's witty dialogue was always hilarious. Though I guessed the mystery surrounding Leon's birth from the very beginning, it was still entertaining to see how Avon planned out his revenge. The only thing that kind of got on my nerve was Leon's naiveté. Heyer might have exaggerated her innocence and lack of understanding for the entertainment value, but I feel that it went too far. The w [...]


    25. *sigh* *places hand on chest to still fluttering heart* Justin Alastair hasn't lost any of his charm.These Old Shades was the first Georgette Heyer book that I read, many, many, many years ago. It was always, and still is, my favourite. Witty, charming, with wonderful characters that were a pleasure to revisit.


    26. I have hesitated to add a review of this because I'm pretty sure I can't do it justice. Brilliantly written, witty, fun and spot on historically. The Duke of Avon is one of the best heroes ever written. I love him and I can't see that anyone other than Leonie could have broken through his shell. Even though the romance is not torrid, you can see that absolute love he has for her. Sigh


    27. This is the unabridged audio on CD.One of my all time favorite Georgette Heyer titles masterfully read by Cornelius Garrett. He does an amazing job with the voice of the Duke of Avon. A story I have loved for years is given a new slant in this wonderful rendition.


    28. Listened to the audio for the first time having read the book plenty of times.3.5 stars to the audioBut the story and the book remains an all-time fave, so always a 5+ starred reading experience


    29. Léonie, was an imp, she went about calling people Pig-headed and stupid. (Only those who it fitted, of course.) Rupert was Avon younger brother and my! He was a prude! (Yes, yes I know the times!) But he an Léonie were hilarious together, it wouldn't have been the same without him. I completely love this book, I just know my copy will be worn to shreds, especially if I keep laughing so hard. If you want a laugh, Léonie will provide more that enough and Avon's witty combacks are not to be miss [...]


    30. “Set in the Georgian period, about 20 years before the Regency, These Old Shades is considered to be the book that launched Heyer’s career. It features two of Heyer’s most memorable characters: Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignomy and comes to love and marry”.My review If you meet Satanas in a dark alley in the middle of the night and you are desperately seeking escape from a wretched life of violence and harassment, maybe you’d be as hap [...]


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