Regency Turns 80 — April Lady

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Though she frankly admits that April Lady is not her favorite Regency by Georgette Heyer, romance author, Ella Quinn, does still enjoy reading this novel of a recently married couple who have yet to admit their love for one another. As Ella explains, there are other aspects of the story which will enlighten and inform those interested in the Regency period, even if the tale of romance itself is not quite their cup of tea. And yet, how many readers will be able to help but root for this couple whose path to true love is strewn with various obstacles in the shape of silly, dim, oblivious and downright selfish family and friends?

Please share your views on this Regency romance, or the genre in general, in comments to this article.

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Two ladies in fine gowns seated close to one another, almost certainly sharing secrets.

Let me begin by saying this is not one of my favorite Georgette Heyer books, but I have read it more than once, and still enjoy it. For those of who believe communication is the key to any relationship, you will be completely frustrated by the story of Giles, Earl and Nell, Countess of Cardrosss! If you have not read the book, this is a spoiler alert. But as very little of the action occurs between the hero and heroine, it shouldn’t matter.

They have been married for a year. He loves her. She loves him, but due to the interference of her mother before the marriage, is unable to tell him. He, because of his pride, is unable to tell her.

Unused to managing her funds, and giving money to her scape brother, has put Nell under the hatches. Giles starts to believe that she only married him for his money, which she really knows nothing about. When he orders her to give him all her bills, she misses a big one. The story is actually a comedy of friends attempting to help Nell pay a bill she over looked so that she can tell Giles she loves him, but this happens only after her brother tells her that her husband is crazy about her. One of the things I love about this book is wonderful insight into sporting cant, as oppose to thieves cant, and the glimpse into the lives of unmarried gentlemen of the ton. And poor Giles? He has to be told Nell loves him, by the self-same brother.

Find Ella Quinn online at:
Twitter:   @ellaquinnauthor

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  1. I agree that this is not my favourite of her books but I do stll love it and have read it many many times. The words ‘oh what a tangled web we weave’ are certainly true here. I especially liked the tangled ending when Giles thinks Nell has left him while she is trying to stop Letty eloping. I have a\ll her books and every now and then I start and read them all again – lovely!!!

  2. This wasn’t one of my favourite Heyer books either but I listened to it for the first time on audiobook recently and discovered a new appreciation for it the relationship between Giles and Nell.

  3. Ella, I’m with you on thinking this not one of Heyer’s best…but of course, even the lesser Heyer Regencies have much to offer. I do find some of the secondary characters quite funny, particularly the heroine’s spendthrift brother Dysart:

    “Dipped again?” enquired Cardross. “You ought to be tied, you know!”
    “I see no sense in that,” returned Dysart. “Wouldn’t do me a bit of good! . . . However, I’ve been thinking seriously of devoting myself to faro, and I believe I’ll do it. The devil’s in the bones, and has been, this year past.”
    The news that he was about to reform his way of life met with a disappointing lack of enthusiasm.

    No one can do “dry” like the great Heyer…

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