Arabella by Georgette Heyer.
Arabella is sent to London to make her debut in polite society of the Regency times. Coming from a country town, London is quite fascinating and new to her. There is much to delight in and enjoy with the new fashions and parties and society balls.
Georgette Heyer is known as the queen of the Regency romance and this book certainly lives up to form with the wonderful descriptions of dress, fashions and formality during these years. The etiquette, manners and decorum all play their place in the story. I loved reading of the refinement of the times, London in the Regency where elegantly dressed ladies and gentlemen would display their fine horses and curricles in the parks where they would often go for an outing in the mornings; the humour of a situation where Mr Beaumarris’s grand-mother tells him that his grand-father would turn in his grave to see the young men dressed without lace at their collars and wrists and without powder in their hair.
Mr Beaumarris is the perfect English gentleman whom Arabella forms an attachment to. The story sparkles and Arabella does unknowingly give herself away as not quite the society girl as people are led to believe with her concerns for a chimney sweep and a poorly treated mongrel dog who she requests Mr Beaumarris to look after when she realises that the dog may not be welcome after all at her place of residence in London. Being young, a little rebellious and acting without thinking Arabella does inadvertently get into a scrape of momentous proportions as regards the expectations of society where she is mistakenly believed to be a wealthy heiress. Matters are not helped by the appearance of a younger brother in London who becomes embroiled in difficulties of great magnitude. I was surprised by the ending of the story which is quite admirable and pleasing. Mr Beaumarris proves his worth as a romantic hero of the story.
A wonderful romance well worth reading.
I will have to look out for more Georgette Heyer books as they are such a delight to read. These Old Shades is a book I remember enjoying as it was an exquisiste story of a girl who became disguised as a page and also found The Conqueror to be an excellent informative account of the Norman conquest of England. In recent years I also read The Nonesuch which I enjoyed reading.