- Series: Historical Romances (Book 3)
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Reprint edition (October 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402219474
- ISBN-13: 978-1402219474
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 431 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
These Old Shades (Historical Romances) Paperback – October 1, 2009
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"There will never be another Regency writer this perfect." - Book Pleasures
"For a truly exceptional read, Regency or otherwise, that makes you giddy with glee you need to pick up These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer. " - Love Romance Passion
"Heyer made me laugh, cry, and sigh with warmth. " - The Book Faery Reviews
"These Old Shades is not only a pleasure to read as a romance, but also for the heartwarming manner in which its young heroine attracts friends, and the way they all rally to her cause." - BookLoons.com
"It's nice to find a book that you want to frantically flip through to find out what is going to happen next, yet want to read slowly so you can savor every word at the same time." - Virginie Barbeau
"Mistaken identity, intrigue, and romance are only a few of the plot lines that make These Old Shades a fascinating read. " - Laura's Reviews
"If the story that unfolds is outrageous and unbelievable, the characters develop beautifully, the dialog bubbles delightfully, and we love the rollicking ride." - Jane Austen's World
"The dialogue sparkles." - Starting Fresh
"I was captivated by the story line from the beginning, delighted in the plot twists, enchanted by the budding romance, and teased by the chapter headings into reading far into the night. " - Rundpinne
About the Author
The late Georgette Heyer was a very private woman. Her historical novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades, though she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or private life. It is known that she was born in Wimbledon in August 1902, and her first novel, The Black Moth, was published in 1921.
Heyer published 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Heyer's large volume of works included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known also as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. She was married to George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and they had one son together, Richard.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It's the story of a thoroughly dangerous man - Justin Alastair, Duke of Avon. His dark and scandal-ridden past returns to haunt him throughout, often in the form of characters drawn into the story. The man they call "Satanas" is given a chance at redemption. He suspects he's found his soul again when he's walking down a Paris street after a night with his mistress. He's nearly knocked down by a ragged boy running from a beating. Léon is nineteen, with enormous eyes and Titian-red hair. His Grace is infamous for his chilly manner and cold blood, but on a whim, struck by the boy's appearance, he buys the child and makes him his page. From the opening description Justin may turn off the modern reader, who can probably better identify with a Regency dandy in white cravat and superfine coat, a Beau Brummell. But dandyism was born in this decadent century, and Avon is an outstanding example from page one, mincing down the street in a purple cape and red shoes with diamond-studded heels. An age of contrasts. These aristocrats walked arm in arm with male friends, toe-point danced,waved painted fans, and wore puce skirted coats drenched in lace, like Elton John in his heyday. They were also cynical, immoral, amusing, and deadly when they were crossed. The dialog for Justin is just prime, even funnier when you filter it properly. Think Scarlet Pimpernel. Justin himself goes in and out of it, his affected persona being a wall to hide his true thoughts, and old wounds.
I don't normally care for the cross-dressing-girl tales that have become common currency in historical romance, but here it works, and makes sense for reasons that later unfold. I think even with a plain book cover and no previous knowledge, a reader would catch on pretty fast that Leon's a girl. Still it's never clumsy or obvious. What is obvious is that Justin, who's forgotten how to care about anyone, is deeply touched by the child. It's also clear he has ulterior motives. With the red hair and unusual features, Justin suspects at once that Leon is the bastard child of an old enemy, the Comte de Saint-Vire. He has plans to use the boy to have revenge on the count, though as the story unfolds the reason for the resemblance is darker and more complex. This mystery sub-plot is more entertaining than the standard McGuffin, particularly once Leon is revealed to be Leonie. From that point Justin makes her his ward, planning to adopt her, which astonishes his friends, his brother and sister, and everyone else in London and Paris. Jaws drop when this man of no morals insists on all the proprieties for his beloved "infant." Justin is feared by many, and has lost friends over the years because of his behavior, but the genuinely adorable Leonie brings several of them slowly back. She's playful and at ease with her adored "Monseigneur" and will hear no word against him. Since a lot of people have more than a word, even his family, they get a fiery faceful from her, and begin to suspect there are sides to him they haven't seen. His Grace hasn't seen them either.
Leonie is a wildly eccentric character, and no one writes an eccentric quite as well as Heyer. It's probably why she's so often compared to Wodehouse, but in her hands screwballs become not only funny, but touching. Justin won't hear a word about romance with her, and says he's too old for her, even in this world where men so often married younger women. But in reality it's clear he feels she's far above him. Once he begins her transformation to a lady the mystery kicks in with a wild series of abductions, mistaken identities, balls, sword fights and some of the funniest dialog ever. When Leonie flatly states that despite what he is she loves him and trusts him completely, Justin observes, "This promises to be a new experience." It is, and a very different sort of love story.
I can't recall ever seeing a poem or preface quote in a Heyer novel, but she has one here, from poet and historian Austin Dobson, who wrote biographies of major figures in the 18th century. He reflects her view of this gaudy age, in forgiving some of the darkest of all the violent contradictions. Because, he says, when seen "through these old shades of mine, their ways and dress delight me." It's really how I felt, delighted.
I found the male lead to be, how should I put it, simply too feminine and not much of a "dude" which was a turn-off for me. Yes, yes I understand that the majority of the story took place in 18th century France and it was the fashion for aristocratic men to wear heels and carry fans BUT after also reading Mary Balogh's "Heartless", (set in Georgian England) one can't help but compare the difference between the male leads...(HUGE difference, readers.) Also, highly recommend "Salt Bride, if you like the Georgian era setting but your male lead masculine...
Another issue for me is how immature and emotional the female lead was...I mean referring countless times to the unlikable Count as "pig person", sobbing every time Avon left the room, etc... Other than her striking looks of red hair and dark brows, I never saw her as "special" in any way, shape or form.
Did I mention that having some knowledge of the French language is a "must" when reading this book? Thankfully, my Kindle has French to English translation available...On the bright side, I did learn some new French phrases...🗼
In spite of my disappointment of this book, I'm giving GH one more try because I have to believe that the massive popularity of her books is due to her being a wonderful author.
Keeping my fingers crossed!
during the Georgian period, as opposed to her usual Regency period novels. Heyer has every bit the same mastery of fashion, history and , cant phrasing for this period as she does for the Regency. One cannot help but feel like they have been transported back in time, so genuine does it all feel. Come, fall in love with Leonie, Justin, Rupert and all the other mesmerising cast of characters in this intense drama.
As Justin's plot begins to unfold, several old enemies are enlisted on his side, and the story ends satisfactorily with the triumph of good and the downfall of the villain, For readers who appreciate good story-telling, this book will be fun to read. For those who care nothing for how a story is crafted so long as it has lots of explicit sexual scenes, a warning. Heyer does not do sex. She is good enough at her craft that she can enthrall the reader without. If you cannot read a book without it, please stay away from Heyer---and also Austen, Dickens, Tolstoy and all the other writers of talent.