The Convenient Marriage

The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer
The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer

The Convenient Marriage
By Georgette Heyer
Sourcebooks 2009
318 Pages

I am pretty sure the term “screwball comedy” had not been coined when this book was published, but that is a more than adequate description. I can not remember the last time I laughed out loud at a book. And I don’t mean a lady like chuckle. I mean full-on belly laughs. This book is just SO FUNNY. Like Jane Austen on laughing gas.

Our Heroine is a Miss Horatia Winwood. Miss Winwood is described as a plain girl. A plain girl with what is apparently a rather enchanting stutter. She is the youngest of three girls, all of marriageable age, but Horatia just barely. She is seventeen. When her eldest sister is offered for by the much older Earl of Rule and thoroughly heartbroken because of it (she loves another, lesser man), Horatia proposes to marry the Earl of Rule instead. Finding himself quite taken with her spirit and vivacity, he consents and the two are in due time wed and are pretty happy with their arrangement. All is going well, until the Earl of Rule’s arch enemy Sir Robert decides to woo and scandalized poor Horatia. In true Georgette Heyer fashion, all kinds of mishaps ensue, including holdups, sword fights, and a rather froufrou-ish hat may have been completely destroyed at the hands of, erm, well, a boot.

I’ve only read one other book by Georgette Heyer, Charity Girl, which I also really, really liked. But I just loved this one. It may have been a timing thing, but it was a read I really needed; lighthearted and fun. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much at a period novel. Horatia was wonderful, so lighthearted, but also stubborn, willful and petulant, but not in an overt way; just enough to be charming. Rule was sly and witty and had a great sense of humor. And rather, you know, sexy as well. The character of Crosby Drelincourt, who is the Earl of Rule’s heir, is just fall-down and roll-around-in-the-floor hilarious. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a character quite like him.

All in all this is a fantastic little historical fiction romp through England and I’m glad I got the chance to read another book by Heyer. I plan to read many, many more of her books. This would be a great book to take on vacation.

11 thoughts on “The Convenient Marriage

  1. Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I love that other people are discovering Georgette Heyer–my mom got me hooked on her when I was a teenager, and I've read all of her Regency romances (most of them my mother's old copies) over and over again! Here are some of my favorites that I think you'd enjoy, too…

    The Grand Sophy
    Regency Buck
    Lady of Quality

    There are so many more that I love, but these are some of the best, in my opinion! Happy reading!

  2. I've been waffling on whether to read Heyer or not. I look at her books almost every time I'm in B&N but never muster up enough interest to follow through on a purchase. This review has certainly piqued my interest up a level to perhaps make this my first of her novels.

    Thank you.

  3. I can't believe I haven't read anything by Georgette Heyer yet, and I see her books popping everywhere on the blogs those days! I definitely need to correct that!

    Your review sounds like this may be a fun one to begin with, and I saw they have it at my library. I'll try to get it on my next run downtown!

  4. I love this one; I second the recommendation of The Grand Sophy, and I've just finished Friday's Child, which was fun but not as good as Sophy, for me.

  5. I just came across your blog from Kailana's link on the book Fire, and couldn't help but click through to a review of a Heyer book since I LOVE HER. I'm so glad you feel the same way! I think Convenient Marriage is one of her best (and also one that is up for minute discussion on a fine point of the marriage).

    She has so many good ones, but my favorite historicals are Black Sheep and The Talisman Ring and Cotillion. And her mystery Footsteps in the Dark is laugh out loud funny, too 🙂

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