Reading ‘Sprig Muslin’ – spoiler alert!

Posted by Sarah as a Comment on the Georgette Heyer post, but moved with Sarah’s blessing (I think) to be its own post.

I have just finished Georgette Heyer’s Sprig Muslin, my first Heyer novel, and have mixed thoughts about it. I got caught up in the romance (of course!) but I’m not sure it tempted me to read many more. I felt like I was constantly being given information about the period that really didn’t seem to impact the plot or develop the characters, and I found this a little irritating. And there were so many characters, many who only appeared once and then were gone (I put in a fair bit of effort to understand the Wetherby family, for example, who were described in detail but vanished after chapter one). I did enjoy the plot though – a young girl runs away from home to force her grandfather into consenting to her marriage with a young Captain and manages to entangle Sir Gareth Ludlow and various others into such complicated and compromising situations. I wondered whether Heyer was just using the conventions surrounding female ‘reputation’ to contrive such farce (seeing how complicated things could become and how humorous it could be) or whether she was actually making a comment about the concept of honour, chivalry and the fact that so many men took it upon themselves to stop the heroine acting independently and making her own choices.

If anyone else has read it and has any thoughts would love to hear! Now on to An Infamous Army but may try to track down A Civil Contract.


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