Competition Nov 2003 Results

Random House is republishing Heyer's books under the Arrow books imprint.  As part of this release, this website offered a competition to win a set of the first 6 covers printed in stunning colour on near A4-size card.   The requirements were to submit name, occupation and an interesting and pithy anecdote that relates to Heyer.  The submitted entries are listed below.  The competition closed on November 25th, 2003.

The judge spent some time reading through and enjoying the various anecdotes, but eventually went with the winning one below due to it's keeping with the humourous romantic theme.  So, without further ado, 

The winner is.....Lorraine with the following anecdote;

At a luncheon in Sydney's Botannical Gardens three years ago, I found a copy of These Old Shades which had been left on a bench by some unknown reader. I flicked through the pages, comparing this relatively recent paperback issue, to my stitched, fabric-bound copy.  As I dipped back into time and recalled the delicious plot, bringing The Duc d'Avon back to life, I was tapped on the shoulder by the book's owner ... a male!  Being rather an attractive fellow, I was tempted to flirt with him just a little. So, as I handed him back his book, commenting upon his excellent taste in historical fiction, I quoted from the book ... "I would much rather be the last woman in your life than the first?" Four months later we moved in together.

In addition to winning the Cover Proofs, Random House also kindly donated a copy of "The Black Moth" with the updated cover art... Congratulations Lorraine!

During the height of Beatlemania in the 1960s, I was introduced to Ms Heyer's novels by a good friend and fellow Beatle fan. What the connection in my friend's spirit was between Heyer and the Beatles, I have no clue, but I do remember first reading The Black Moth while listening to Revolver and thinking how different the Fab Four were from anything in the books, even if they did speak British.

Having discovered Heyer from my mother, I wanted to encourage two of my friends to read some of GH, so going to the website, I picked what I thought was perhaps the funniest selection from the books: the selection from Cotillion (my favorite GH too!) and read to them, or tried to read to them, the part where Freddy scolds Kitty for going out so often with Dolph and says she should "not say Freddy to me" cracking up all along the way. But when I got to the part of Freddy saying that he wouldn't take part in any poisoning of Aunt Augusta though he thought it was a good thing if it could be done, I broke down and couldn't finish the excerpt for laughing so much. Meanwhile, my two much-tried friends were merely bewildered and did not see any humor at all. (I think it was the Regency cant.) I'm still working on them.

Amazingly, our university research library has a large collection of Heyer's, and I've rather surreptitiously brought the old worn books in to our conservation department and had lovely bindings made for them, along with the Jane Austen's. Far more deserving than some fusty old authors!

My neighbor, a vigorous man of 88, has just fallen hard for Ms. Heyer, and has borrowed at least ten of her books in a row. This in spite of the fact that English is not the first (or second, or even third) of his ten languages (which include Hungarian, Arabic, and Swahili!).

I first encountered Georgette Heyer novels at my Grandparent's farm. However, it was my grandfather rather than my grandmother who had a collection of some 40 of her regency romances. When I first saw them I assumed that they were either dry history or mild pornography and I was uninterested. Years later when I read my first (Bath Tangle) because it had been abandoned in a hotel room and I had nothing else to read, I was instantly hooked. Though he had unfortunately died some years before, this shed fascinating light on my dour Scottish Grandfather.

I discovered Georgette Heyer during my first marriage. I credit her writing and the worlds she created with preventing me becoming a murderer. Thank goodness! Now I'm married to a wonderful man and remain a Georgette Heyer fan forever.

I met one of my best friends through Georgette Heyer. It was my second day at university in my very first semester, and I was sitting by myself in the sun and wondering what exactly one does during a lunch break, when one has eaten lunch. I was trying to remember how to do small talk with a group of people I didn't know at all, and I was quite frankly, being overwhelmed by having to do the whole making friends thing, when suddenly, across a crowded room (well actually on the seat next to me) I spotted a Georgette Heyer book! It was well read, and carefully held in the hands of a young woman, who immediately appeared to me in the light of a kindred spirit. I approached her with a huge smile on my face and began our friendship with the words “Georgette Heyer is my absolute favourite author!!!” And as she is, as it turned out, my new friend’s favourite author, a beautiful friendship began that day. We have been close friends in the years since, and I thank Georgette Heyer, not just for many years of entertainment, but also for a wonderful friendship.

Heyer's slang is all too easy to adopt as your own, and Heyerisms just crept into my speech as an Regency-addicted teenager. Unfortunately, these were boarding school years too. One day, trying to read on my bed in the boarding house I said "Oh pray, just leave me alone!" how long it took to live that one down!

About 5 years ago I used to read Georgette Heyer books EVERYWHERE, even during walking and lessons in school. I never got caught until one day in religion. I was reading (the German version) of "Arabella" and at my favourite scene (Mr. Beaumaris leaving the party with Arabella while the others are watching the fireworks), so I didn't pay attention to the teacher until she snatched the book from under my desk, where I was reading it, and told me she had to talk to me after the lesson. Fortunately she was a Georgette Heyer Fan, too, so when the lesson was over she just returned the book to me, we talked about some Georgette Heyer books and she asked me, if I might lend her "Lord Sherry" (which is the German version of "Friday's Child"), cause she had lost her own one. Lucky, wasn't I?

[translated from Italian] One day I confessed to my friend my unhappiness that Jane Austen had too few books. To console me she introduced me to Georgette's books and I've loved them from the first moment.

My grandmother introduced me to Georgette Heyer when I was twelve. I'm now 40. Heyer became and remains one of my favorite authors. I am quite sure that myself, my sister and my cousin all learned to speak the way we do today because of her. I love the sheer volume of language contained in a single paragraph of her writing. Reading her books never fails to make me happy. I'm thrilled she is to be published again. Thank you!

I have a friend who is a devoted Georgette fan who has managed to convince her husband of Georgette's brilliance and he now reads them as well. They regularly have 'quote offs' entertaining themselves with remincences from their favourite books and favourite scenes. It is rather amusing.

[Fan for 1 week] I have just recently finished a season of Tosca in New Zealand and it was during this I first encountered Ms Heyer's work. As I was waiting for a bus to the theatre, I noticed a box of old secondhand books had been dumped on the pavement in a shabby cardboard box. By this stage the box had been kicked around a bit by the local kids. The bus was running late so I wandered over and had a look through, happened upon Frederica, read the brief extract on the back, fell in love with Lord Alverstoke immediately, and started reading! It kept me entertained in between scenes and late at night as I found it hard to put down. It was wonderfully witty and made me laugh.

My first encounter with Georgette Heyer came when my aunt handed me These Old Shades to read as a remedy for a stuffy head cold. Curled up with a hot cup of tea in front of a blazing fire, I fell in love with the characters for the first time, as I fall in love with them every time I read and reread a Georgette Heyer. Taking the book to school the next day - I couldn't put it down! - I discovered two of my friends were also ardent Georgette Heyer fans, and since that day we have shared books and experiences, and we still do, even though we have since graduated from high school. Though Heyer herself has called them 'romantic fluff', I find that underneath they show integrity of character, and are an excellent remedy for any ailment!

I first read a Georgette Heyer book when I was 8 years old. My mother loves them and we had many of them at home, so it seemed natural that I read them, seeing as they were stored in my bookshelf! I have read all the ones I can lay my hands on, and have looked in most of the second hand book places know for copies. I have recently got my room mate (I am at boarding school) hooked and we have pillow fights over who gets to read the copies that I have!!

Through an obscure reference in a Chalet School book and a chance encounter with Arabella in a charity shop, my sister first entered the world of Georgette Heyer. Not liking the book (Shock-Horror) she passed it to me and an addiction was born. Several years later my book shelves are groaning with the weight of all but a few of her books. Best of all since then my sister has re-read them and enjoyed them. The story comes full circle with her Chalet School friend helping me with my collection. A bibliophile herself she knew what it was to enjoy a good book.

I've enjoyed reading Georgette Heyer books since I was a teenager and have continued to read my copies over and over again through the years. My favorite time to read is at night before I go to sleep! As many GH fans can probably relate ... I was often stumped by her usage of French words and phrases in many of the stories. Not being overly familiar with the French language, I began stowing a small French phrase book/dictionary under my pillow so that as I read at night I could quickly reference the word without having to get out of bed! I have no idea how long I slept with that French dictionary under my pillow but I did it for so long that I really never thought about it. So ... Life goes on ... util one day!! Imagine my significant other's surprise to discover that I slept with a French dictionary there!! He teased me for years after that and still teases me about it from time to time. He loves to tell this story to our friends and claims that I think I can learn French by osmosis while sleeping!

After a stressful day, I often pick up Heyer, fill up the tub and have a long soak with her Mongrel dogs, chimney sweeps and limping prostitutes, not to mention gin-drinking babies are but a taste of what you might encounter in this wonderful romantic tale of love winning against all the odds. Yes, I would love to have own a first edition of Arabella. I'm so glad Heyer is being reprinted right now.

Having just spent a week in bed with the flu I've reached for all my old well thumbed favourites which surprisingly are a perfect match to the first six selections of the new printing! Meeting old friends is such a comfort. I remember my first visit to Bath, not needing a map because I'd been there so often with the characters in Bath Tangle and Black Sheep. Georgette Heyer is, and always has been my favourite author.

I was reading The Unknown Ajax one day when the telephone I got up to answer it and unbeknownst to me my brother switched the book with The Quiet Gentleman. All the editions look so similar so imagine my confusion when I opened the page and found the wrong set of characters.....I followed the sound of laughter to find The Unknown Ajax as that was the day my brother became a fan ... after playing his little trick he started flicking through the book and became so engrossed with the story that he refused to return it until he had finished !!

When I was a young child, my mother read to me from the novel These Old Shades (translated in Dutch). I really loved it. When I got older I wanted to read more of her work, but it was very hard to find it here in the Netherlands. Until one day I found the book The Devil's Cub. I fell in love with it immediately, and not mainly because the main character had the same name as my youngest child.

I am just completing my PhD on Georgette Heyer. It's been an interesting 3 years seeing the gradual change in attitude among 'serious' academics at universities both here and overseas as I have given papers at conferences and spread the word about Miss Heyer's remarkable literary and historical achievements. Most recently my new supervisor (the other two are on leave) decided to read his first ever Heyer - 'An Infamous Army'. A weekend later he pronounced it 'a remarkable achievement' and we had a long conversation about many aspects of the book and Heyer's research. Since then he has read Cotillion and is about to start The Unknown Ajax! And he is not the only one in the History Department to take up Heyer and find her good!

Like a kid in a candy store, I have "discovered" Heyer at the unchildlike age of 59. Pity my long-suffering husband as I read two or three a day of her Regencies. I wish that she had written hundreds! Adventure, humor, historical acuteness--how often does one want to re-read a book as soon finishing it? She is truly amazing and I am duly amazed.

I began reading Heyer when I was 22 years old (I'm now over 50), after running across one of her romance novels in the public library, quite by accident. I've long since read all her Regency romances; my favorite is A Civil Contract. I reread it every other year, and finished my latest reading of it last night.

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