Category Archives: Books and Writers

The Private World of Georgette Heyer, by Jane Aiken Hodge

Considered queen of the Regency romance, Georgette Heyer is one of the most beloved historical novelists of our time. As Hodge states in the Foreword of her biography: ” She gave her name to a recognisable genre of fiction”.

Thrilled by Jane Austen’s books, the Tedettes looked about for more Regency novels. They’ve now got their paws on Chivers 1984 edition of The Private World of Georgette Heyer

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(Foreword) “From none of the 51 titles in print when she died would you guess (Heyer) spent the early years of her married life (to Ronald Rougier) in rough camps first in Tanganyika then in Macedonia. But she recognised this for experience she could not use. No heroine of hers would ever sit in a grass hut writing a novel”.

“A best seller all her life without the aid of publicity, Heyer never gave an interview and only answered fan letters herself it they had made an interesting historical point.”

The biographer had access to private papers, correspondence and family archives. Hodge details the research that Heyer applied to her period and the skill and craft that went into her characters.  Yet for most of her career, she was dismissed as a ‘light romantic’.

Hodge’s overriding theme is well expressed, I think, in this observation: ” If anyone could make the romantic novel respectable it should have been G. Heyer, unacknowledged moralist and stylist extraordinary. It did not happen in her lifetime and she minded, silently .. (yet) .. She gave an immense amount of pleasure to all kinds of people, and must have known she did.”

More posts soon as Mawson’s Guardian (and the Teddettes) explore the regency world of Georgette Heyer.

AbeBooks. Thousands of booksellers - millions of books.

You are in the web den of Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps). and Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In  from Publisherobscura.com .

‘Great book, well written and extremely engaging. Bonus it is all about bears!!!!
Marvellous !!!!!!!’  Reviewer Navaron on Amazon.

The Tedettes Discover The Georgette Heyer Heroes

Thrilled by Jane Austen’s novels, the Tedettes looked about for more books on the Regency. Their house (like every house, surely) turned out to be a treasure trove of novels by Georgette Heyer.  They also got their paws on Jane Aiken Hodges biography,  The Private World of Georgette Heyer  (Chivers 1984 edition).

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The Tedettes get their paws on a trove of Georgette Heyer Novels

Heroes

Georgette Heyer created her heroes very deliberately.  In correspondence with her publishers she gleefully refers to them in a private shorthand by Type, explaining for instance that one particular character is the “The Heyer Mark I” or why for another book she has chosen “The Heyer Mark II” and so on.  She’d skilfully build up such a Type, and thus the readers ‘conceptions of such a man,  and then two or three novels later, playfully turn around the readers’ assumptions by changing the decisions and actions of the Hero.

Mr Rochester: the prototype.

Jane Aiken Hodge found unpublished articles by Heyer, one of which will fascinate her readers (see Ch. 5 of the bio) as it concerns Mr Rochester,  from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Heyer says:

“It is a accepted fact that women form the bulk of the novel reading public and what woman with romantic leanings wants to read novels which have as their heroes the sort of men she meets every day of her mundane life. (Mr Rochester) is rude, overbearing, and often a bounder, but these blemishes, however repulsive they may be in real life, can be made in the hands of a skilled novelist extremely attractive to many women.”

How ‘Fluffy’ was the Romance, really?

Hodge makes the case that underneath the entertaining friction and tension between her heroes and heroines lies an abiding principle: the protagonists are maturing through the pages into a rich and full relationship .

Heyer’s idea of romance never ends with “happily married”.  Many of her characters in fact get married early in the book.  It is the story of their growing mutual respect and understanding afterwards that interests the writer, and this must be the feature that kept, and still keeps, millions of readers coming back for more.

Antonia Byatt, in an article in Nova, stated,

” (Heyer) is playing romantic games with the novel of manners. In her world of romanticised anti romanticism … men and women really talk to each other … and plan to spend the rest of their lives together developing the relationships”.

One more post to come as soon as Mawson’s Guardian (and the Teddettes) explore more of the the regency world of Georgette Heyer.

AbeBooks. Thousands of booksellers - millions of books.

You are in the web den of Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps). and Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In  from Publisherobscura.com .

‘Great book, well written and extremely engaging. Bonus it is all about bears!!!!
Marvellous !!!!!!!’  Reviewer Navaron on Amazon.

Valiant Reader, Brave Deeds Await You

Mawson Bear’s Guardian writes: Your mission, Noble Reader, should you choose to accept it, is to challenge the Dark Lord that holds all Writers (and one Writer-Bear) in its thrall.

Only the trusty keyboard of the Doughty Reader can quell this Fearful Thing.

What, you wonder, could this Horror be? It’s dread name, gentle reader, is Oblivion. (Mawson hides under his cushion. The guardian steels himself and types on.)

Oblivion bringeth it’s doom thus: the writer-bear-or-person whose splendid work gaineth reviews to the magic number of Lots is thereby raised to the happy circle of Being Noticed.

Others, no matter how great be their talents (nor how handsome be the writer-bear) may well fall toward the Void.

Sir Scotland the Brave smites the keyboard

Sir Scotland The Brave, in shiny armour, Smiteth the Keyboard Most Valiantly

As The Reader, you can wield your awesome power thus:
Quest deep within the Caverns of Amazon.
The Galleries of GoodReads.
And of Chapters Indigo
Wander into Waterstones and
The by-ways of Barnes and Noble.  

Seek ye the *Star Ratings*.

Ride at them straight and true.  Smite twice. Thrice. Fourfold.  And Yea! if such be thy will, smite yet again! (Smiting once only, though, is right out.)

And, if your arm waxeth mighty that day, rest not, but swing down again your keyboard blows upon the space marked Your Review.

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From even a few lines, the dread Foe recoils. An Oblivion Slayer called Navaron simply wrote, “Great book, well written and extremely engaging. Bonus, it is all about bears!!!! Marvellous !!!!!!!”

So possibly errr … (shuffles, looks about) … something nice like that? Lots of exclamation marks are not necessarily required.

Do you count more bold Readers among your boon companions? Share on this missive so that they too may do these valiant deeds!  We writers (and one writer-bear) will never disavow your selfless mission!

 

You are in the web den of Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps). and Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In  from Publisherobscura.com .

 

Octopus and Family, by Annabelle Lee: review

Mawson’s Guardian writes: When I finally got Octopus and Family away from Mawson (waited for him to nap), I poured myself a coffee and had a look myself. I may be a Grownup but I LIKE picture books.

OctopusMawson This little book is full of puns both written and drawn. The first page introduces Octopus. I flicked to the next. There was a splutter of laughter from someone in the room. Was that me? I chortled at “Loctopus ”. And, really,  who could resist the lovely “Froctopus”?  “Xylopus” tickled me. Who knew octopuses, sorry, octopi, could be such fun.

 You know what puns are like: many will unexpectedly hit the spot for you and others will set off your (grownup) friends. Can you work out what “Octovist” is, for instance?   Mind you, trying to explain some of the jokes to little ones (and to your hug of bears) could get you into a world of bother. But then why should only the kids get all the picture books? This one is for you.

I’m sure these puns will cheer up anyone. It will make a fun gift for your friends (remember keep one for you.) Ask your friendly bookshop to get hold of it. Or plonk a paw on the blue stuff here to get it, with free delivery too, from Book Depository.

It’s at Odyssey Books, home of beautiful and whimsical novelty and gift books. (While you’re there, look about for a bear you know!)

By following her Facebook page  you can see news about Annabelle Lee’s next book for grownups (that’s you). On Instagram   you can  peek at more Octopii. Is Bachelorette-Opus perhaps anyone you recognize?

Where to find it: BookDepository, and Amazon and more.
Book info:
Published May 2017 as paperback (ISBN: 978-1-922200-84-6). Now available in hardcover ( 978-1-922200-85-3).

You are in the web den of Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps) and Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In .

‘Great book, well written and extremely engaging. Bonus it is all about bears!!!!
Marvellous !!!!!!!’  Reviewer Navaron on Amazon.

 

Review by Jackie Law of: It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In

A lovely review of Mawson Bear’s very first book, from the wonderful book blog Never Imitate, hosted by Jackie Law.

‘Today I review a book that is a little different to my normal fare. Sent to me all the way from Australia, although available to buy in the UK, It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In is a 50 page picture book suitable for anyone who sometimes feels confused and lonely in our beautiful world.’

Read on at Never Imitate. There are grand reviews there of more books too.

Where to find it:  You can  plonk your paw here to order it here through Book Depository (free shipping all over the world). Also at Amazon and Abebooks.com and Goodreads.com and, oh! all over the place.

Mawson’s next book is called ‘She Ran Away From Love’, and will be ready to be in your paws in 2019.

You are in the web den of Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps) and Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In from Publisherobscura.com.   

 

neverimitate

Today I review a book that is a little different to my normal fare. Sent to me all the way from Australia, although available to buy in the UK, It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In is a 50 page picture book suitable for anyone who sometimes feels confused and lonely in our beautiful world.

Narrated by a sleuth of teddy bears, led by the fluffy author, Mawson, it ponders how one’s importance to a special Some One can change over time. It accepts the pain of loss, makes suggestions about how to cope, and offers hope for future happiness.

The opening premise is that everyone wants to be loved and to have their love appreciated. There is still so much love on offer in our big, bright world.

The problem can be finding that special Some One when the world is so big. We can be primed and…

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‘It is a Truth Universally Acknowledged’: The Tedette’s Jane Austen Book Club

“It is a truth universally acknowledged,
that whenever a book club chooses a subject to read,
someone will bring the wrong book.”

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Dear fellow baffled readers,

It is grand to see so many bears reading books when no-one is looking. Here’s our bunch again enjoying Jane Austen novels, including Emma, Mansfield Park , Northanger Abbey,  Sense and Sensibility , Women Who Run With the Wolves ..  What?  Wolves? What has Professor Caddy brought along?

AbeBooks. Thousands of booksellers - millions of books.

You are in the web den of Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps) and Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In .

“Just pure magic.  A bear’s love is never far away and can be shared and passed on through generations.” Susan Hampson, of Books From Dawn To Dusk.