It is in regrettable circumstances that beautiful Judith Taverner and her brother Peregrine first meet Julian St John Audley. The man, they both agree, is an insufferably arrogant dandy. But unfortunately for them, he's also the Fifth Earl of Worth, a friend of the Regent and, their legal guardian.More
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Early Heyer and it shows
I love just about every Georgette Heyer novel I have in audio form, and return to them over and over. Regency Buck was (I believe) Heyer's first foray into the Regency era, and it's interesting to see her laying the groundwork for the many novels that followed and created the Regency Romance genre. All the tropes that come to signify the genre are here: Brighton, the Pavillion, the Prince Regent, Beau Brummell, curricle races, Gentleman Jackson and boxing, the social restrictions placed on women, fabulous wealth and high titles, a glowering and unapproachable hero and a feisty heroine.
She does, however, get a little carried away with the details (you will never, ever hear a longer or more obsessive description of the interior of the Brighton Pavillion!), displaying all her amazing research, and after this novel she backs away from using important historical figures of the age as significant characters. There's an odd, "Mary Sue" feeling to heroine Judith Taverner, who is unbelievably rich, very attractive, unusually liberated, a "notable whip," AND who is admired by the Beau and the Regent AND a couple of the Royal Dukes.
The Gothic sinister-mystery element is kind of fun, and something that Heyer's later Regencies don't have as much of. It's an enjoyable enough tale, nicely narrated by June Barrie. It can't have been easy to lend life to the very-long sections about the roads between London and Brighton, boxing matches, or the aforementioned architectural detail!
- A. Hawley