Georgette Heyer Regency novels are some of my favorite guilty pleasures. I stumbled across Heyer when in junior high – which must have been about 1981 or so – and I was initially fascinated by the fact that several of her books had female characters that disguised themselves as men. At the time there were no gay teen novels like there are now, and cross-dressing female characters were one of my first identifications with my sexual orientation, so I scoured the library for books about tomboys and other gender-role breaking females.
But I kept reading Heyer long after I had read those particular books, because she wrote strong, amusing characters and entertaining plots that paid detailed attention to rules of polite society in upper-class England during the Regency period. I hadn’t yet discovered Jane Austen, but when I did, I recognized the world she lived in, because Heyer was obviously inspired by Austen’s novels, although Heyer’s work is quite a bit more comical.
Georgette Heyer, along with Jane Austen, inspired the whole sub-genre of Regency Romance, but her novels shouldn’t be confused with cheap paperbacks; Heyer did a tremendous amount of research on the Regency period of English history. Most of her novels were written in the 1920s through the 1970s – but their popularity has kept them in print fairly regularly since then, and many have been reprinted recently by modern romance publishers.
Heyer’s Georgian/Regency Novels
A Civil Contract
Heyer’s Other Historic Novels
The Conqueror (1931)
The Great Roxhythe (1923)
My Lord John (1975)
Royal Escape (1938)
Simon the Coldheart (1925)
Non-Fiction about Heyer
Georgette Heyer: A Critical Retrospective
Georgette Heyer’s Regency England
by Teresa Chris
Georgette Heyer’s Regency World
by Jennifer Kloester
The Private World of Georgette Heyer
by Jane Aiken Hodge
Jane Austen Mystery Series
An often entertaining mystery series by author Stephanie Barron that casts Jane Austen as its heroine; in between writing her classic novels, Jane solves crime with the help of the mysterious and romantic Lord Harold Trowbridge. I wonder what the real Jane would think.
Beau Brummell Mystery Series
Another Regency mystery series by author Rosemary Stevens, this time starring real-life Regency dandy Beau Brummell. These were okay; not as much fun as the Jane Austen, but Beau Brummell was quite a character.
Mr. and Mrs Darcy Mystery Series
I haven’t read any of this series by author Carrie Bebris yet; they sound similar to the Jane Austen mysteries.
Mysteries of Regency England by Ashley Gardner
Also haven’t read any of these; I’ll have to look around for the first one and see if they’re any good.
Other Regency Novels
Pembroke Park by Michelle Martin (Author)
The Butler Who Laughed by Michelle Martin
The Mad Miss Mathley by Michelle Martin
The Hampshire Hoyden by Michelle Martin
The Queen of Hearts by Michelle Martin
The Adventurers by Michelle Martin
Non-Fiction about the Regency Period
Jane Austen’s Guide to Good Manners: Compliments, Charades & Horrible Blunders
by Josephine Ross and Henrietta Webb
An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England
by Venetia Murray
Regency Etiquette: The Mirror of Graces, 1811
by Lady of Distinction
The Prince of Pleasure and His Regency 1811-1820
by J.B. Priestley
The Dandy: Brummell to Beerbohm