A Delay in Seeing the Light of Day

Dave Astor on Literature

Georgette Heyer. (National Portrait Gallery, London.)

When I prepared last week to read a 1979 edition of a 1925 novel by English author Georgette Heyer, I was fascinated by a brief foreword by her son. Richard Rougier said his mother never wanted the book — Simon the Coldheart, written in her early 20s — to be reprinted. Yet here it was being reprinted, and making its U.S. debut, in 1979 — five years after Heyer’s death. Richard said the 15th-century-set novel was not as “mature” as Georgette’s later work, but he approved its reprinting because the book had “a quick eye for historical detail and an ability to paint a scene from another age” that would mark his mother’s peak efforts.

I agree. I enjoyed Simon the Coldheart as Heyer — who I was reading for the first time — depicted the coming of age and life of her…

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