Casablanca (2008) First published in 1972
Trade Paperback – 3 1/2 stars
She suffers from a mysterious complaint, undiscoverable, but apparently without cure. One of its strangest symptoms is to put her quite out of frame whenever she finds herself asked to dao anything she doesn’t wish to do. She has been known to become prostrate at the mere thought of being obliged to attend some party which promised to be a very boring function. There’s no saying that she wouldn’t sink into a deep decline if I were to suggest to her that she should take charge of you, so I shan’t do it. I can’t have her death laid at my door.
This amusing description of Lucilla’s aunt is an example of the witty exchanges in this pleasant regency-era tale.
Annis Wychwood is 29 and gasp(!) still unmarried. She also has the audacity to leave the shelter of her brother’s care and home to set up her own household in Bath. To make it more respectable, her elderly cousin Maria Farlow comes to live as her companion and life continues, if rather boring. She continues to visit her brother and sister-in-law with their children and while traveling back to Bath in her carriage she comes across an interesting scene.
Miss Lucilla Carleton, a considerable heiress, has run away from her guardian accompanied by a young Ninian Elmore who she was supposed to marry. Unlike the scene suggests, neither one is in love with the other. They were childhood friends and so Ninian refused to let her go off alone. Annis decides to take temporary charge of her and meets the rude and overbearing Oliver Carleton. He doesn’t act in the polite manner of regency gentlemen and Annis is at first furious, then fascinated by him.
Lady of Quality is an appealing , pleasant little story. What it lacks in conflict, it more than makes up for in descriptions of the Regency period. Heyer has a remarkable knowledge including certain colloquialisms and slang. There were balls, rides, and lots of lovely dresses to wear. This charming book is my first-ever Georgette Heyer. It was like dressing up for a tea party or opening a big box of See’s candy. Sweet, colorful, and safe. I really enjoyed it.