Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Grand Sophy

I am so glad all the hype totally paid off! An absolute delight of a book even though I had quite an interrupted read, by far the longest I've ever taken to finish a Heyer. But Sophy was such a scream and I loved how infuriated Charles was by her. And oh the ducklings and possibly one of the best declarations of love in all the Heyer novels. So very good and satisfying. I'm so glad I kept it for the last.

Mind you, one thing though. The anti-Semitism was bloody awful! I'd been noticing it over all the novels --- the scornful labels of 'Jews' as synonymous with vulture moneylenders --- but was excusing it with a nervous laugh of "haha, it's Heyer doing verisimilitude, it's not her fault, she's not being anti-Semitic, she's just writing people of a certain time and place ... haha haha." But this one just went full force and I pretty much did a Colon trying to climb into his own helmet sort of thing. *Pratchett reference, sorry*

Not only was this the first time we actually met one of these 'Jew' moneylenders but he was characterised as a complete villain and maybe even a cariacature, and the fact that Sophy pulled a gun on him made me go "oh hey now, hold on there, Heyer!" Urgh. It got me wondering whether it wasn't so much a case of Heyer writing people of a certain time and place as a case of Heyer herself being a person of a certain time and place. Ack. My Heyer has clay feet.

But that aside, awesome awesome awesome novel.


Aarti said...

I just found this blog through another link. I'd LOVE to join! I adore Georgette Heyer and have just recently started reading her mysteries, after focusing so much on her historicals. I have read a few this year, and would be happy to post reviews up here, if you would be open to it. Please let me know. My email address is aarti.nagaraju at gmail dot com.

Aarti said...

Dri, I agree with you on the anti-Semitism in the novels. It annoys me as well. I also get annoyed by Heyer's absolute belief in the class hierarchy being innate somehow, as proven especially in her novel These Old Shades. It can be very upsetting to read.

Felicia J. said...

I think the scene in Sophy probably reflects attitudes of the time pretty well. But Heyer does seem to lay it on a bit thick, doesn't she? :(

dri said...

Welcome, Aarti! Awesome to see your reviews ... definitely a wonderful idea of Becky's to set this up.

I have to admit I didn't notice the classism in Heyer but now that you point it out, god yes, so obvious, isn't it? I totally found These Old Shades upsetting but possibly for a different reason. :p

Felicia --- Oh good, I'm glad I wasn't the only one to think that!