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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer

The Masqueraders
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402219504
Pages: 336 pgs
Genre: Romance/Georgian
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

 Publisher's Description:

Such a daring escape…

Their infamous adventurer father has taught Prudence Tremaine and her brother Robin to be masters of disguise. Ending up on the wrong side of the Jacobite rebellion, brother and sister flee to London, Prudence pretending to be a dashing young buck, and Robin a lovely young lady.

Could cost them both their hearts…

Then Prudence meets the elegant Sir Anthony Fanshawe, and Robin becomes the mysterious hero of the charming Letitia Grayson, and in order to have what they truly want, the two masqueraders must find a way to unmask themselves without losing their lives…

My Review:

Georgette Heyer is one of those authors that I want to read more of but never do. I own every one of her romance novels (excluding but obviously now including The Masqueraders) but I have picked up none of them. I keep waiting for my reading schedule to clear up but it never does. Heyer goes on that list with Laura Kinsale, Barbara Pym, Rosemary Rogers, Thomas Hardy and Anthony Trollope of the loved but never read authors (if you can love an author that you have never read).

I did not really think that I would like The Masqueraders as much as I did. The idea of a cross-dressing brother and sister going unnoticed among society seemed like a bad comedy I saw on late night HBO. Turns out, either my sense of humor is not a dead as I thought it was or Heyer is a comedy master. I think it may be both. Heyer does comedy with such a slight hand that it can be funny yet plausible at the same time. I know the comparison is sort of overdone but she is like Jane Austen in that respect. Very few writers can do humor without being over the top and Jane Austen is one of the only authors I know that are capable of that subtlety. I may have to add Georgette Heyer to that list.

The characters in The Masqueraders were real treasures. Prudence was an amazing character. She was smart, quick witted and had quite the logical head on her shoulder. Her love interest was also great although he did confuse me a bit. Sir Anthony (“call me Tony”) was described as “a very large man”. My mind immediately went to either an extremely tall, muscular man or portly in the manner of Henry VIII. It took me quite a while to decipher which visual I should have but I decided that either way he was quite the good match for Prudence but my mind still imagined the dashing version. The other couple in the novel, Letty and Robin, was also appealing but I became much more attached to Tony and Prudence even though Robin was a very squishy hero in his own right. My favorite character in the whole novel was Lord Tremaine, Robin and Prudence’s father. He was the type of comical character in the tradition of Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Woodhouse. He was the type of silly character that I could see popping up in a Jane Austen novel.

I really loved this book. I do wish that the respective romances had been a bit more prominent but that’s just me being a big girly romance lover. I would love to see this book made into one of those Masterpiece series because it would take a production like that to make a convincing movie based on this book.

The new edition by Sourcebooks is beautiful. The cover art is really attractive. I am in the process of replacing all of my older, yellowing editions with the new Sourcebooks editions.

*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. Georgette Heyer is a new author to me, I really want to read one of her books soon. I bought Death in the Stocks, and hope to get to it soon!

  2. I have only read one of Heyer's mysteries and it was really good. I have Death in the Stocks in my shelves. I may have to pick it up soon.

  3. I LOVE Heyer! I'm glad you enjoyed this one. It's not one of my favorites, but it definitely has a lot of the humor and wit that defines her. I hope you are able to read the rest of her work!

  4. I love all Georgette Heyer, but I must confess that this one was the one I liked least. I have a tough time getting over cross-dressing in any form.

  5. Aarti-I will read the rest. I am going to read like a maniac in the next couple of weeks just to get to it.

    Nish-I didn't much mind the cross-dressing. Maybe that no one could seem to tell. Or notice that something just wasn't quite normal. Didn't seem plausible to me.



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