November 29, 2011

Powder and Patch by Georgette Heyer

Powder and Patch is a lighter piece of fluff for Georgette Heyer, and much shorter in length than the majority of her novels. The book centralizes on two characters, Philip and Cleone. Here is the synopsis:

To win her hand, he must become what he despises . . .
Cleone Charteris's exquisite charms have made her the belle of the English countryside. But Cleone yearns for a husband who is refined, aristocratic and who is as skilled with his wit as he is with his dueling pistols . . . Everything Philip Jettan is not. As much as she is attracted to the handsome squire, Cleone finds herself dismissing Philip and his rough mannerisms. 

With his father's encouragement, Philip departs for the courts of Paris, determined to acquire the social graces and sirs of the genteel -- and convince Cleone that he is the man most suited for her hand. But his transformation may cost him everything, including Cleone . . .

The charm of Powder and Patch, as with many of Heyer's other novels, is her discourse on the social customs of the time, revealed through character exchanges and descriptions of dress and mannerisms for both ladies and gentleman. There is certainly a lot of great description of the clothing and accoutrement from the Georgian period in Power and Patch. Of course, what constitutes a gentleman has changed from era to era, in the Georgian period gentlemen must have great "love making" technique, have a certain air and posture, be a wonderful dancer, have a sly wit and, of course, must have great swordsmanship for all those duels to defend "my lady's" honour. Anyhoo, Powder and Patch is a fun read. I highly recommend for fans of Georgette Heyer but would recommend The Grand Sophy, The Nonesuch or Arabella instead for Heyer first timers.

My Rating: 3.5

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