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Cotillion (Regency Romances) Kindle Edition

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Length: 366 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

Young Kitty Charing stands to inherit a vast fortune from her irascible great-uncle Matthew--provided she marries one of her cousins. Kitty is not wholly adverse to the plan, if the right nephew proposes. Unfortunately, Kitty has set her heart on Jack Westruther, a confirmed rake, who seems to have no inclination to marry her anytime soon. In an effort to make Jack jealous, and to see a little more of the world than her isolated life on her great-uncle's estate has afforded her, Kitty devises a plan. She convinces yet another of her cousins, the honorable Freddy Standen, to pretend to be engaged to her. Her plan would bring her to London on a visit to Freddy's family and (hopefully) render the elusive Mr. Westruther madly jealous. Thus begins Cotillion, arguably the funniest, most charming of Georgette Heyer's many delightful Regency romances.

No sooner does Kitty arrive in London than she becomes embroiled in the romantic difficulties of several new acquaintances. Kitty's French cousin, Camille, a professional gambler, has won the heart of her new friend, Olivia--who also happens to be the object of Jack Westruther's dishonorable intentions. Meanwhile, Kitty's doltish cousin Lord Dolphinton has fallen in love with a merchant's daughter who's embattled with his mother and needs his help. Finally, there is Kitty herself, who begins to wonder if the dandified Freddy might not be the man for her after all. As in all of Georgette Heyer's books, Cotillion transcends genre--it is, quite simply, wonderful literature. Historically accurate down to the finest details of dress, deportment, and speech, Heyer was also a master at creating unforgettable, comic characters, and Kitty Charing and Freddy Standen stand out as one of her most charming romantic duos ever.

From Library Journal

Miss Catherine Charing is in a difficult situation. Her irascible and eccentric guardian, Mr. Matthew Penicuik, will bestow his entire fortune on her only if she will marry one of his great-nephews, not a choice lot. The Rev. Hugh Rattney is a self-righteous prig; Capt. Claud Rattney is a well-known rake; Lord Dolphinton is none too bright and frightened to death of his Mama; the Honorable Frederick Standon is a useless fribble; and Kitty's hero, Capt. Jack Westruther, resisting Uncle Matthew's tyrannical ways, has refused to even show up. If Kitty does not accept one of them, she will be penniless and homeless. Driven to folly by these circumstances, she attempts to flee to London to find a position as a governess. Heyer's characterizations are at their sharpest as her people change and grow in unexpected directions. The book is a joy to listen to, as Phyllida Nash manages to keep the complicated cast of characters both separate and equal. Highly recommended for all public library collections where romance or the author's works are popular.ABarbara Rhodes, Northeast Texas Lib. Syst., Garland
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1030 KB
  • Print Length: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (October 1, 2007)
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2007
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001POX73C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,145 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

149 of 152 people found the following review helpful By Daniel on January 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book has been described as one of the greatest Regency romances of all time. It subtly and with cracking good humour subverts all the expectations of the genre with a great deal more subtlety, humour and cunning than most deliberate parodies. Heyer builds up her usual cast of powerful and memorable characters - no two-dimensional characters for her!
She gives us a vain and slightly selfish, yet also totally generous and completely charming heroine, who you cannot dislike; a delightful, stammering and ineffectual dandy who turns out to have gumption beneath his affectations, his lovely, silly sister with no fashion sense, but a great deal of kindness, a wicked rake who yet fascinates and interests us - a cast literally of dozens of characters, all of whom are distinctively portrayed.
There are no less than four romantic plots in this book, interthreaded and interwoven out of each other with exquisite grace - (hence the title - "Cotillion" - basically a gay little dance). In less skilled hands this book would have become heavy-handed and ponderous, exquisitely tactless. In Heyer's hands the book is light and flowing, fluently written, complicated and yet not at all hard to follow. It is a book for the fan of Heyer, and is best read after you have cultivated a familarity with Heyer's traditional Regencies - for example, Regency Buck. She subtly and wickedly subverts traditions she herself established.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, your emotions will all be twanged one by one. It is a very fine book. A very fine book indeed. I won't tell you who the hero is, because it would ruin the book for you - but you won't be disappointed. Cotillion is a happy book, written by Heyer at the very height of her powers. It is not just a Regency Romance.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is quite possibly my favorite Heyer, which is saying something, because the competition is fierce. The author plays with the usual ingredients of her books, and reverses them (the man who appears to be the hero is actually the villian.) Everybody is slightly absurd, including the heroine. In books by numberless imitators of Ms. Heyer, the heroine is always perfect. Not here. Kitty Charing is bright and good-natured. She is also very innocent, very impulsive, a crusader, a match-maker, and the despair of her putative fiancee, Freddy Standen. Freddy himself is one of Ms. Heyer's happiest creations. The plot is tightly wound, and fits together with satisfying clicks. Great scenes: Dophinton's proposal to Kitty; Freddy's ditto; Kitty meets Freddy's family; Freddy and Kitty go sight-seeing in London; Freddy discusses the Elgin Marbles with his father; Freddy discovers why Kitty is seeing Dolphinton; Kitty and Olivia encounter Olivia elderly admirer; the masquerade; the elopement; and Jack's comeuppance at the hands of Freddy.
If you have never read this book, prepare for a treat.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Helen Hancox on January 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The first time I read Cotillion I found myself a little disappointed. Perhaps because Freddie isn't really the sort of hero I go for (The Marquis of Vidal, Marquis of Alverstoke or Earl of Worth from Heyer's novels spring to mind here), perhaps because Kitty wasn't the usual intelligent, witty heroine, perhaps because there were lots of different stories which diluted the overall effect.

I read it again, two months later and completely changed my mind. Freddie IS a great hero because of his sweetness of nature, self-awareness and the way that he rises to the occasion when it becomes necessary and saves the day in so many ways, but humbly. And as for the hero character, Jack Westruther, who you might expect to be that - he isn't; we hear of his rake lifestyle and it's offputting. However, Freddie's father makes a fascinating side-character with his sly wit and amusing turn of phrase; Lord Legerwood definitely adds a spice to the book and he's now my hero of it, alongside his son.

The period detail of Heyer's books is of course fantastic and this one is no different. What stands out for me in Cotillion is that Heyer is able to portray many different people, some of whom are simple or at least not particularly intelligent, with real veracity. Kitty's young and bighearted and is utterly convincing; Freddie isn't particularly intelligent but has a lot of common sense and worldly knowledge and he is convincing; Freddie's sister whose husband is away and is flexing her flirting muscles is convincing - all the characters we come across in Cotillion are different from each other (and from other Heyer characters) but work. No mean feat!

I recommend this book very much, and it definitely improves with subsequent reading.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By juki654 on April 5, 2005
Format: Audio Cassette
I never really appreciated this book until I heard Phyllida Nash read it. Oh my heavens! I was laughing out loud. The voices for all of the characters are perfect--esp. Dolph, I think.

It's expensive to buy, but your library network might have a copy. Once I started listening to it, I walked around with my walkman and earphones while doing dishes, laundry, walking the dog . . . I kept looking for things to do because I so wanted to keep listening.

I love all of her books on audio, but this is one of the very best.
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