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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Lord John by Georgette Heyer

My Lord John: A tale of intrigue, honor and the rise of a king
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402217714
Pages: 464 pgs
Genre: Historical Fiction/England
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

 Publisher’s Description:

Georgette Heyer's final novel, set in her own favorite time period.

With her signature wit, drama and impeccable historical accuracy, Georgette Heyer tells the story of a medieval royal family on the rise. Set in the last days of the reign of Richard II, just before Henry V succeeded him to the throne, the eponymous hero is Henry's brother, John, Duke of Bedford. Heyer brings the medieval world to life, creating a panoramic view of a royal family's intricacies, intrigues and sibling rivalries, along with the everyday lives of the servants, clerics, and vassals in their charge.

My Review:

Despite my love of Georgette Heyer, I don’t have much experience with either her mysteries or her historical fiction. I was lucky to be able to read this reissue from Sourcebooks because I had no idea what I was missing.

I am not an expert in this historical period. Not by any means. It is not one of my favorites and I’ve not done much research about it. From what I know about this time period, which is admittedly not very much, the historical characters were portrayed very accurately.  They really come alive through Heyer’s prose and attention to historical accuracy. I loved all of the character in the book and really got into their stories. Heyer gave all of the the main characters sufficient time in the spotlight which I find to be a really amazing asset to the book especially considering the complexity of the story and the amount of characters in the book .  Heyer also perfectly captured the language, customs and feel of the period.

If I thought that Heyer’s attention to historical accuracy was intense in her regency romances, it is nothing compared to the historical complexity and detail that I found in My Lord John. This book was so rich in history that I sometimes completely forgot that I was reading a Heyer novel. Given that this was Heyer’s favorite historical period, this level of detail is to be expected. I did find that sometimes the story became too complex and I became a little lost and disinterested in the story and, perhaps, Heyer sacrificed plot for detail. I did recover but this period of disinterest did take a little away from my interest in the novel. I, however, can’t fault Heyer for her attention to historical fact because as a historian, I love detail and accuracy in my historical fiction .

It is to be noted that Heyer died before My Lord John was finished, so, you will be left without conclusions. It is definitely worth checking out because this might be one of the most richly detailed and interesting historical fictions I have read.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. [...] Smith 29.The Actor and the Housewife-Shannon Hale 30. Womenomics-Katty Kay and Claire Shipman 31. My Lord John-Georgette Heyer 32.Crucial Conversations-Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler [...]

  2. Have you read An Infamous Army? I was quite surprised by the amount of historical she had done.

    I love Georgette Heyer. Even her worst books make for good reading :)

  3. I haven't read An Infamous Army yet. It's in my bookshelf of doom. So I will get to it eventually.

    She is just below Jane Austen in my favorite authors list. I haven't found a book by her that I haven't liked yet.



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