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The Convenient Marriage

The Convenient Marriage

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2 Stars
1 Rating
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc.

320 pages






"A writer of great wit and style... I've read her books to ragged shreds." Kate Fenton, Daily Telegraph Horatia Winwood is simply helping her family When the Earl of Rule proposes marriage to her sister Lizzie, Horatia offers herself instead. Her sister is already in love with someone else, and Horatia is willing to sacrifice herself for her family's happiness. Everyone knows she's no beauty, but she'll do her best to keep out of the Earl's way and make him a good wife. And then the E...

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‘The Convenient Marriage’ is very definitely a novel set in High Society. Georgette Heyer tells us that if there is an Upper Ten Thousand, the Lord and Lady Rule are .. More details ‘The Convenient Marriage’ is very definitely a novel set in High Society. Georgette Heyer tells us that if there is an Upper Ten Thousand, the Lord and Lady Rule are at the top of that as well. There is no shrinking violet here, who does not have the birth or money to possess herself of a worthy alliance. Neither is there a capable but headstrong woman bent on avoiding marriage, or a tempestuously angry heroine flouting society. Here the objective is marriage, the novel is about marriage, and for the necessity of money the solution is marriage.

On one side we have the Earl of Rule, a noble aristocrat with simply buckets of money. In the other corner, we have the petite Horatia Winwood. Rule brings the money and the social power, Winwood brings extremely ancient lineage, thick eyebrows and a stammer. The Earl is not very interesting, apart from being the kind of man who would marry a seventeen year old girl because she asked him and he liked her. He is a stereotype – tall, powerful, forbidding, not very funny but at all times formidable. She is much more fascinating – a small, no-nonsense girl who treats marrying for money as an adventure and doesn’t give a damn about her husband. She is too young to be in love and too old not to know that love is an extremely nonsensical reason to marry someone in the first place. It was her beautiful older sister who was supposed to marry Rule, but the said sister having given her heart elsewhere, Horry takes it upon herself to lay siege to Rule’s fortune on behalf of the sadly impoverished Winwoods. Despite her stammer and her unruly eyebrows, her disregard for vapidity and her vitality soon make her a Society favorite. One might safely assume that being the Countess of Rule couldn’t have hurt, and the rank certainly gives her countenance to do what other girls her age would hardly dare to dream of. But the Earl married her more or less as a favour, and cannot bring himself to appreciate the gossip and negative attention his wayward little wife must invariably attract.

The story is centred on the game of opposing wills between the two main characters. Told from the point of view of the heroine, (as nearly always) Heyer is able to keep the romantic male lead suitably cloaked in mystery until the time comes when he can unmask himself. It is absolutely necessary that he do so, in fact, because Horry is headstrong enough to shriek her affections to the four winds if left unsecured with a mouth-gag. The book is about her, the malicious few who wish to harm her because of her marriage, and those envious of her fortune and ever ready to gently spite her. The conclusion is of course inevitable, but then, Horry is my Lady Rule, and reserves the right to do what she wants when she wants.
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