These Old Shades

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9780099465829: These Old Shades

Set in the Georgian period, about 20 years before the Regency, These Old Shades is considered to be the novel that launched Heyer's career. It features two of Heyer's most memorable characters: Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignomy and comes to love and marry.

The Duke is known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscience, and his debauched lifestyle. Late one evening, he is accosted by a young person dressed in ragged boy's clothing running away from a brutal rustic guardian. The Duke buys "Leon" and makes the child his page. "Leon" is in fact Leonie, and she serves the Duke with deep devotion. When he uncovers the true story of her birth, he wreaks an unforgettable revenge on her sinister father in a chilling scene of public humiliation.

Praise for Georgette Heyer:

"Our Georgette Heyer display of the Sourcebooks reprints has been a huge success, not only to those early fans like myself, but to many new readers who appreciate her style and wit." —Nancy Olson, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

"Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen." —Publishers Weekly

"Wonderful characters, elegant, witty writing, perfect period detail, and rapturously romantic. Georgette Heyer achieves what the rest of us only aspire to." —Katie Fforde

"Absolute monarch of the Regency romance." —Kirkus Reviews

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Review:

A gentleman was strolling down a side street in Paris, on his way back from the house of one Madame de Verchoureux. He walked mincingly, for the red heels of his shoes were very high. A long purple cloak, rose-lined, hung from his shoulders and was allowed to fall carelessly back from his dress, revealing a full-skirted coat of purple satin, heavily laced with gold; a waistcoat of flowered silk; faultless small clothes; and a lavish sprinkling of jewels on his cravat and breast.
The gentleman in question is Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, known by friends and enemies alike as Satanas--the devil. On this particular evening, the dangerous rake crosses paths with Léon, a red-headed youth of low birth who is fleeing a certain beating at his brutal brother's hands. On a whim, Avon buys the boy and makes him his page. It soon becomes clear, however, that Léon is not what he seems, and that Avon has an ulterior motive for bringing him into his household. Set in pre-Revolutionary France, These Old Shades follows a twisting course as young Léon (or is it Léonie?) is swept up in a dangerous mystery: how to account for the page's amazing resemblance to the sinister Compte de Saint Vire, for example; and why will this man go to any lengths to get the youth in his power?

Georgette Heyer's historical romances tend to fall into two different camps: later novels such as Cotillion, False Colours, and Sylvester feature larger-than-life comic characters and romantic pairings more akin to Beatrice and Benedick than Hero and Claudio. Earlier works such as These Old Shades, however, tend to be darker, tinged with mystery and overshadowed by very real menace. What both types share is Heyer's fine storytelling and encyclopedic knowledge of Regency mores and manners--her books are the next best thing to a time machine. These Old Shades's greatest asset, however, is the charming Léonie: beautiful, brave, and loyal to a fault, with a fondness for swordplay and pistols and a delightfully incomplete grasp of the English language. Heyer herself was so fond of this character that she featured her in two more novels, Devil's Cub and An Infamous Army. --Alix Wilber

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Under the reign of Louis XV, corruption and intrigue have been allowed to blossom in France, and Justin Alastair, the notorious Duke of Avon and proud of his soubriquet Satanas , flourishes as well. Then, from a dark Parisian back alley, he plucks L-on, a red-headed urchin with strangely familiar looks, just in time for his long over-due schemes of revenge on the Comte de St. Vire. Among the splendours of Versailles and the dignified mansions of England, Justin begins to unfold his sinister plans -- until, that is, Leon becomes the ravishing beauty Leonie . Yet again Georgette Heyer shows the qualities that made her one of the most successful and best-loved romantic novelists of her age, and why her popularity endures to this day. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099465829

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Under the reign of Louis XV, corruption and intrigue have been allowed to blossom in France, and Justin Alastair, the notorious Duke of Avon and proud of his soubriquet Satanas , flourishes as well. Then, from a dark Parisian back alley, he plucks L-on, a red-headed urchin with strangely familiar looks, just in time for his long over-due schemes of revenge on the Comte de St. Vire. Among the splendours of Versailles and the dignified mansions of England, Justin begins to unfold his sinister plans -- until, that is, Leon becomes the ravishing beauty Leonie . Yet again Georgette Heyer shows the qualities that made her one of the most successful and best-loved romantic novelists of her age, and why her popularity endures to this day. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099465829

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Book Description Cornerstone, 2004. Book Condition: New. 2004. New Ed. Paperback. Under the reign of Louis XV, Justin Alastair, the notorious Duke of Avon flourishes well. Then, from a dark Parisian back alley, he plucks Leon, a red-headed urchin with strangely familiar looks. Among the splendours of Versailles, Justin begins to unfold his sinister plans - until, that is, Leon becomes the ravishing beauty Leonie. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 132 x 23. Weight in Grams: 252. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099465829

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Book Description Cornerstone. Book Condition: New. 2004. New Ed. Paperback. Under the reign of Louis XV, Justin Alastair, the notorious Duke of Avon flourishes well. Then, from a dark Parisian back alley, he plucks Leon, a red-headed urchin with strangely familiar looks. Among the splendours of Versailles, Justin begins to unfold his sinister plans - until, that is, Leon becomes the ravishing beauty Leonie. Num Pages: 352 pages. BIC Classification: FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 132 x 23. Weight in Grams: 252. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099465829

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