Monday, December 31, 2018

Georgette Heyer’s ARABELLA – Wonderfully Intricate Tale of an Unlikely Match

One of the things I love about Heyer’s stories is the detail she brings to the telling of them. This is a Regency about the daughter of a Yorkshire vicar, Arabella Tallant, who goes to London at her godmother’s invitation, hopefully to find a worthy husband. On the way, her carriage breaks down outside the hunting lodge of the wealthy Mr. Robert Beaumaris. Her pride is stung when she overhears him besmirching her purpose, so she pretends to be an heiress, a pretense that deeply amuses the jaded Beaumaris who decides it would be amusing to make sure she is thought by all of London to be just what she claims to be.

When compassionate Arabella rescues an abused chimney sweep and a mixed-breed mongrel, she foists them upon Beaumaris, who finds he rather enjoys being her partner in the role of rescuer. When Arabella’s younger brother, posing as someone else, gets into deep gambling trouble, Beaumaris comes to his rescue.

Arabella turns down her many marriage proposals knowing they only want the money they think she has and finds herself in a quandary knowing she can never marry a man unless he knows the truth, which she can never divulge.

A wonderful, well-told story. Arabella is a delightful heroine and Beaumaris is a great hero, a man who, in the end, does exactly the right thing for the women he has come to love.

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