What a way to start Nath’s Re-Read challenge. By not doing one. All I can say is that I came as close as choosing the book from my shelves yesterday night… and promptly fell asleep instead of reading it. It’s been a long week.
So instead of posting a review, let me talk about the book that I meant to re-read had I been organised enough to do so…
The book is Georgette Heyer’s “Powder and Patch”. Not only it is umm… shall we say less lengthy than her other books, it’s set in the Georgian period (my favourite!) when men flounce around in lace and high heels which somehow doesn’t distract from their masculinity one bit, and it’s one of her more frivolous and comedic ones. It is quite different in style to most of her other books, so maybe not the most representative of Heyer books.
Originally titled “The Transformation of Philip Jettan” and published by M&B in 1923, it starts with solid, reliable Philip Jettan being rejected by the beautiful Cleone Charteris because she doesn’t want a “raw country bumpkin”. Philip promptly takes himself off to Paris to be transformed into Cleone’s ideal man, winning over Parisian society in the process. Upon his return to London, he encounters Cleone again – and I don’t think it’s giving much away to say that she realises that she much prefers the original Philip. But is it too late for the two of them?
I love how Paris is portrayed as being the place to acquire polish, and how Philip, despite his initial impatience with what he considers fripperies, immerses himself in his transformation, in the process becoming the “… craze of fashionable Paris”. And despite painting Cleone as frivolous at the very beginning, Ms Heyer manages to keep the reader’s sympathies with her, especially when confronted with the much-changed Philip.
So yes, one of my favourite Heyers. Which I will re-read. Soon.