In my opinion, Faro’s Daughter is probably Georgette Heyer’s most emotionally intense book. The relationship between the hero, the cold, rude, fabulously rich Max Ravenscar and the beautiful Deborah Grantham who presides over a gaming establishment in St James’s Square in the heart of fashionable London in the 1790s, has a sexual tension which is quite unlike any of her other books.
Georgette Heyer by Howard Coster 1939
Continue reading Georgette Heyer: Faro’s Daughter
I’ve just read a fascinating book: John Mullan’s What Matters in Jane Austen? In it, he asks 20 questions – and then deconstructs them absolutely brilliantly. One of them is: What do the characters call each other? And further, how does Jane Austen herself refer to them? Here is an example to show you what I mean.
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Mullan
Continue reading Jane Austen/ Georgette Heyer: Formality and Informality
I’ve been re-reading Georgette Heyer’s Cotillion and thinking about Freddy. Many readers, I’m sure, agree with Georgette Heyer’s own comment that ‘My dear Freddy is a poppet’ . But, of course, he needs to become a hero, too. We follow his journey from an inarticulate young man of fashion to a man who is capable of sorting out a number of sticky social problems and who will show himself to be the perfect husband for Kitty.
Original cover for ‘Cotillion’
Continue reading Georgette Heyer: Why Does Freddy Standen Talk Flash?
I’m thrilled to announce that Frost Fair is due to come out in e-books tomorrow, 7th December. It’s one of my favourite books and I was thrilled when it was short-listed for the Elizabeth Goudge Historical Novel Award in 2001. It is a first person novel which threw up a number of technical challenges, (it is my only first person novel).
Frost Fair, 1814, by Luke Clennell
Continue reading Frost Fair’s launch in e-books
I’ve been thinking about Lydia’s role in Pride and Prejudice and I’ve come to the conclusion that she is far more important to the plot than it might seem at first sight. Lydia is entirely self-centred. She’s never sorry for anyone else, or ever considers anybody else’s point of view. She is concerned only with herself.
Basket of Fruit
Continue reading Jane Austen: Lydia Bennet’s role
I am thrilled to announce the launch of The Belvedere Tower in e-books on Monday, October 5th.
‘The Belvedere Tower’ by Elizabeth Hawksley, e-book, 2020
Novelists need magpie minds – and I am no exception. So today I am looking at some of the elements which inspired me when writing The Belvedere Tower.
Continue reading My e-book launch of The Belvedere Tower
I wrote six novels between the age of ten and sixteen and the stories just poured out but, every now and then, I’d stop and think about a particularly grown-up word I wanted to use and feel pleased with myself when I found it. Naturally, I always looked forward to the next Big Scene – like the love scenes – and I have to confess that the occasional renunciation love scene always left me in tears.
Port Carnow Cove, Cornwall, from print in E. Hawksley’s collection
Continue reading Writing Tips: avoiding an emotional vacuum
In the 21st century, Church of England clergy are hard-working men and women – usually running a number of parishes, as well as struggling to pay for the upkeep of churches which may be in need of serious repair. They are expected to have several services on Sundays, possibly in different parishes, and to see to the spiritual needs – and often the material needs, if the parish is a poor one, of their parishioners. They are also pretty poorly paid. Still, at least they can count on a roof over their heads and the job carries a pension and the security of knowing that they will have somewhere to live once they retire.
Henry Tilney at Woodston, Northanger Abbey
Continue reading Jane Austen and the Clergy: How the System Worked
I love Regency mirrors: I like the way they can lighten a room and make it seem larger. I also admire their elegance.
The mirror in my bedroom
Continue reading Through the Looking Glass
Sir Gareth Ludlow, is one of Heyer’s quiet heroes; he’s tall, good-looking, rich and has impeccable manners; but he is, perhaps, a touch dull when the story opens. Being an excellent uncle to his lively nephews and nieces is all very well, but that’s not, in itself, going to make any female reader’s heart beat faster. He needs a problem which the reader longs for him to sort out. His presenting problem is that his beautiful and adored (but spoilt and wilful) betrothed, Clarissa, was killed in a carriage accident seven years previously, leaving him broken-hearted. His only brother was killed at the battle of Salamanca, and, if the baronetcy is not to die out, then Gareth must marry and father an heir. Thinking he’s past the age of falling in love, Gareth decides to offer for the dowdy Lady Hester Theale who has been on the shelf for years.
Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer, 1956
Continue reading Georgette Heyer’s ‘Sprig Muslin’: Why I Love Hester Theale.