The Black Moth [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Black Moth is Georgette Heyer's first novel, written when she was 17 years old to amuse her sick brother. It features Jack Carstares—an Earl turned highwayman—and his enemy—the enigmatic Duke of Andover—who engage in an intense rivalry over society beauty Diana Beauleigh...

Seven years before our story opens, Carstares protected his brother by allowing himself to be disgraced for cheating at cards. His brother, suffering intense guilt, ...

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The Black Moth

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Overview

The Black Moth is Georgette Heyer's first novel, written when she was 17 years old to amuse her sick brother. It features Jack Carstares—an Earl turned highwayman—and his enemy—the enigmatic Duke of Andover—who engage in an intense rivalry over society beauty Diana Beauleigh...

Seven years before our story opens, Carstares protected his brother by allowing himself to be disgraced for cheating at cards. His brother, suffering intense guilt, isn't aware that they played right into the hands of the Duke of Andover.

The disgraced Earl now roams the countryside until a confrontation with his rival thwarts the attempt to kidnap the lovely Diana. But now the Duke is more determined than ever to have Diana for his own, and the two men will meet at sword point before the Earl's name can be cleared and he can claim his fair lady.

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

"Perfect craftsmanship."
New York Times Book Review

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Editorial Reviews

Rundpinne
A distinctly witty and enchanting tale.
— Jennifer Higgins
Debbie's Book Bag
A great story, set in a decadent time period. What more can you ask for in a great romance?
— Debbie Lester
A Book Blogger's Dairy
The Black Moth is a nice story, enjoyable in its own unseasoned, romantic way.
— Rashmi Sirnarvis
Book Junkie
Witty and cunning with sharp dialog that kept me entertained throughout.
— Brande Waldron
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607788119
  • Publisher: MobileReference
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 45,524
  • File size: 310 KB

Meet the Author

Author of over fifty books, Georgette Heyer is the best-known and best-loved of all historical novelists, who made the Regency period her own. Her first novel, The Black Moth, published in 1921, was written at the age of fifteen to amuse her convalescent brother; her last was My Lord John. Although most famous for her historical novels, she also wrote eleven detective stories. Georgette Heyer died in 1974 at the age of seventy-one.
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Read an Excerpt

The Black Moth


By Georgette Heyer

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0373835582


Chapter One

Clad in his customary black and silver, with raven hair unpowdered and elaborately dressed, diamonds on his fingers and in his cravat, Hugh Tracy Clare Belmanoir, Duke of Andover, sat at the escritoire in the library of his town house, writing.

He wore no rouge on his face, the almost unnatural pallor of which seemed designedly enhanced by a patch set beneath his right eye. Brows and lashes were black, the former slanting slightly up at the corners, but his narrow, heavy-lidded eyes were green and strangely piercing. The thin lips curled a little, sneering, as one dead-white hand travelled to and fro across the paper.

"... but it seems that the Fair Lady has a Brother, who, finding Me Enamoured, threw down the Gauntlet. I soundly whipt the presumptuous Child, and so the Affair ends. Now, as you, My dear Frank, also took some Interestt in the Lady, I write for the Express Purpose of informing You that at my Hands she has received no Hurt, nor is not like to. That I in part tell You that You shall not imagine Yr self in Honor bound again to call Me out, which Purpose, an I mistake not, I yesterday read in Yr Eyes. I should be Exceeding loth to meet You a Second Time, when I should consider it my Duty to teach You an even severer Lesson than Before. This I am not Wishful of doing for the Liking I bear You.

"So in all Friendship believe me, Frank," Your most Obedient, Humble "Devil."

His Grace of Andover paused, pen held in mid-air. A mocking smile dawned in his eyes, and he wrote again.

"In the event of any Desire on Yr Part to hazard Yr Luck with my late Paramour, Permit Me to warn You 'gainst the Bantam Brother, who is in Very Truth a Fire-Eater, and would wish to make of You, as of Me, one Mouthfull. I shall hope to see You at the Queensberry Rout on Thursday, when You may Once More strive to direct mine Erring Footsteps on to the Thorny Path of Virtue."

His Grace read the postscript through with another satisfied, sardonic smile. Then he folded the letter, and affixing a wafer, peremptorily struck the hand-bell at his side.

And the Honourable Frank Fortescue, reading the postscript half-an-hour later, smiled too, but differently. Also he sighed and put the letter into the fire.

"And so ends another affaire.... I wonder if you'll go insolently to the very end?" he said softly, watching the paper shrivel and flare up. "I would to God you might fall honestly in love - and that the lady might save you from yourself - my poor Devil!"

* * * At the Chequers Inn, Fallowfield

Chadber was the name of the host, florid of countenance, portly of person, and of manner pompous and urbane. Solely within the walls of the Chequers lay his world, that inn having been acquired by his great-grandfather as far back as the year 1667, when the jovial Stuart King sat on the English throne, and the Hanoverian Electors were not yet dreamed of.

A Tory was Mr. Chadber to the backbone. None so bitter 'gainst the little German as he, and surely none had looked forward more eagerly to the advent of the gallant Charles Edward. If he confined his patriotism to drinking success to Prince Charlie's campaign, who shall blame him? And if, when sundry Whig gentlemen halted at the Chequers on their way to the coast, and, calling for a bottle of Rhenish, bade him toss down a glass himself with a health to his Majesty, again who shall blame Mr. Chadber for obeying? What was a health one way or another when you had rendered active service to two of his Stuart Highness's adherents?

It was Mr. Chadber's boast uttered only to his admiring Tory neighbours, that he had, at the risk of his own life, given shelter to two fugitives of the disastrous 'Forty-five, who had come so far out of their way as quiet Fallowfield. That no one had set eyes on either of the men was no reason for doubting an honest landlord's word. But no one would have thought of doubting any statement that Mr. Chadber might make. Mine host of the Chequers was a great personage in the town, being able both to read and to write, and having once, when young, travelled as far north as London town, staying there for ten days and setting eyes on no less a person than the great Duke of Marlborough himself when that gentleman was riding along the Strand on his way to St. James's.

Also, it was a not-to-be-ignored fact that Mr. Chadber's home-brewed ale was far superior to that sold by the landlord of the rival inn at the other end of the village.

Altogether he was a most important character, and no one was more aware of his importance than his worthy self.

To "gentlemen born," whom, he protested, he could distinguish at a glance, he was almost obsequiously polite, but on clerks and underlings, and men who bore no signs of affluence about their persons, he wasted none of his deference.

Thus it was that, when a little green-clad lawyer alighted one day from the mail coach and entered the coffee-room at the Chequers, he was received with pomposity and scarce-veiled condescension.

He was nervous, it seemed, and more than a little worried. He offended Mr. Chadber at the outset, when he insinuated that he was come to meet a gentleman who might perhaps be rather shabbily clothed, rather short of purse, and even of rather unsavoury repute.

Very severely did Mr. Chadber give him to understand that guests of that description were entirely unknown at the Chequers.

There was an air of mystery about the lawyer, and it appeared almost as though he were striving to prove mine host. Mr. Chadber bridled a little, and became aloof and haughty.

When the lawyer dared openly to ask if he had had any dealings with highwaymen of late, he was very properly and thoroughly affronted.

The lawyer became suddenly more at ease. He eyed Mr. Chadber speculatively, holding a pinch of snuff to one thin nostril.

"Perhaps you have staying here a certain - ah - Sir - Anthony - Ferndale?" he hazarded.

The gentle air of injury fell from Mr. Chadber. Certainly he had, and come only yesterday a-purpose to meet his solicitor.

The lawyer nodded.

"I am he. Be as good as to apprise Sir Anthony of my arrival."

Mr. Chadber bowed exceeding low, and implored the lawyer not to remain in the draughty coffee-room. Sir Anthony would never forgive him an he allowed his solicitor to await him there. Would he not come to Sir Anthony's private parlour?

The very faintest of smiles creased the lawyer's thin face as he walked along the passage in Mr. Chadber's wake.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

Prologue

One: At The Chequers Inn, Fallowfield
Two: My Lord at the White Hart
Three: Introducing the Hon Richard Carstares
Four: Introducing the Lady Lavinia Carstares
Five: His Grace of Andover
Six: Bath: 29 Queen Square
Seven: Introducing Sundry New Characters
Eight: The Biter Bit
Nine: Lady O'Hara Intervenes
Ten: Lady O'Hara Retires
Eleven: My Lord Turns Rescuer and Comes Nigh Ending His Life
Twelve: My Lord Dictates a Letter and Receives a Visitor
Thirteen: My Lord Makes His Bow
Fourteen: Mistress Diana is Unmaidenly
Fifteen: O'Hara's Mind is Made Up
Sixteen: Mr Bettison Proposes
Seventeen: Lady O'Hara Wins Her Point
Eighteen: Enter Captain Harold Lovelace
Nineteen: The Reappearance of His Grace of Andover
Twenty: His Grace of Andover Takes a Hand in the Game
Twenty-one: Mrs Fanshawe Lights a Fire and O'Hara Fans the Flame
Twenty-two: Developments
Twenty-three: Lady Lavinia Goes to the Play
Twenty-four: Richard Plays the Man
Twenty-five: His Grace of Andover Captures the Queen
Twenty-six: My Lord Rides to Frustrate His Grace
Twenty-seven: My Lord Enters by the Window
Twenty-eight: In Which What Threatened to be Tragedy Turns to Comedy
Twenty-nine: Lady O'Hara is Triumphant

Epilogue

The late Georgette Heyer was a very private woman. Her historical novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades, though she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or private life. It is known that she was born in Wimbledon in August 1902, and her first novel, The Black Moth, was published in 1921.

Heyer published 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Heyer's large volume of works included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known also as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. She was married to George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and they had one son together, Richard.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 88 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 85 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Black Moth

    My Synopsis:


    It's hard to believe that beloved novelist Georgette Heyer wrote her first novel at the age of 15. Historical fiction would not be the same without Georgette Heyer's Regency Romances. Mrs. Heyer wrote her first novel, The Black Moth to entertain her brother who was convalescing at the time.

    In The Black Moth, Heyer introduces us to some very memorable characters. The highwayman, who just happens to be an Earl, Jack Carstares. The damsel in distress, Diana Beauleigh. The handsome Irishman, Miles O'Hara and 'The Devil' himself, The Duke of Andover.

    Jack Carstares left England in disgrace when he took the blame for his brothers indiscretion. Being considered a cheat was no laughing matter. Carstares eventually turns to the way of the highwayman to amuse and distract himself, giving the money to the poor. The Black Moth centers around the Earl's return to grace, his love for the beautiful Diana and his relationship with his adversary, The Duke of Andover.

    My Thoughts:

    This was my first experience with a Georgette Heyer book. I had often heard of her in historical fiction circles and knew she sounded like an author I would enjoy. This book was excellent! Some people have a hard time with the style of writing from this period, the book was originally published in 1921, but I didn't find it hard to follow at all.

    The Black Moth had all the adventure and romance of any contemporary tale. The characters were well developed and the story did not move too quickly. I became invested in Diana's character almost immediately. The young girl at the mercy of the handsome Duke. Not only that, but in love with a disgraced man. The stylish Earl dressed as a highwayman who couldn't bring himself to rob women or old men, was also a very winning character. I even found myself wishing that 'The Devil,' The Duke of Andover would somehow find the straight and narrow path.

    An great story, set in a decadent time period. What more can you ask for in a great romance?

    19 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    Great Romantic Adventure

    Disgraced hero rescues heroine from bad guy. Sounds like a simple swashbuckler and yes it is. What sets it apart is the author's use of language, knowledge and description of fashion and stellar characterizations. You'll come to know these people and you are transported to 18th century England. No bodice ripping here and there's no need either! Nobody comes close to G. Heyer for this period and her Regency novels --- she is the Gold Standard. My family (guys and gals) have been reading her for decades! G. Heyer just seemed to have lived in those times; that how good her grasp is on it! Enjoy! Highly recommended and there is some great sword play. I'll never know why her books were never filmed because you will be able to picture them, that's how good this book is.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2003

    The Best of Georgette Heyer

    Georgette Heyer novels started my passion for romance novels and this book is one of the best. It has a great story, a hero worthy of the sobriquet hero, a great villain, an intrepid heroine and lots of humor. My only complaint is that the book isn't longer. If you aren't acquainted with the works of Georgette Heyer, then you have a real treat awaiting you and this book is one of her gems. These books have been hard to find, so it is wonderful that they are being reprinted.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    Don't start with this one!

    While I will freely admit to being a Georgette Heyer fan and owning every one of her Regency books (and starting to collect her Gothic and historical novels), I highly recommend that you not make Black Moth your first Heyer experience! The language is a bit archaic and some of the cheaper editions are filed with problems. Start with These Old Shades or Venetia or The Convenient Marriage. These, in my opinion, are her three most enjoyable. The Black Moth is, as all Georgette Heyer books, a great read and belongs in your collection, but save it until you've read her others.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2006

    The Black Moth

    Telling by the cover this reminded me of the Princess Bride since in this there is a mention of the sport fence as well is in the Princess Bride. This is the story about Jack who is disgraced and must get back his honor, ask the woman he loves for her hand and marriage and defeat the notorious Black Moth all at the same time. What a multitasker. I liked how the author portrayed her heriones in a different light then how they are today including the heroes of course.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2012

    There are sequels to this book.

    Some of the reviewers I've read at this site do not seem to be aware that Ms. Heyer brought the Duke back in a later book. In "These Old Shades" it is very easy to recognize that the Duke of Avon & the other protagonists are actually the characters from "The Black Moth" with different names about 20 yrs. down the timeline. "The Devil's Cub" is about the son of the Duke & his very unique wife, Leonie, from "These Old Shades". The son also appears briefly in "An Infamous Army". I have the paperbacks in sad condition from re-reading, & will be buying the ebooks as money becomes available. :-}

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Great reaading!

    Could hardly put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    doesn't have the complete ending as the book

    doesn't have the complete ending as the book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    Crap!

    This is the worst book i have ever read! The writing is terrible and the dialect even worse. I read about 20 pages and thought i was going to shoot myself. I am going to attempt to read more, but will probably skip a lot.

    1 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    FANTASTIC BOOK!!!

    THE BLACK MOTH BY GEORGETTE HEYER IS AWESOME!!!

    THIS IS DEFINITELY THE BEST VERSION OF THIS EBOOK FOR A COUPLE REASONS.

    IT IS THE BEST FORMATTED AND THE VALUE IS SO GREAT.

    IT IS WORTH YOUR INVESTMENT OF TIME AND MONEY TO GET THIS BOOK TODAY.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2014

    Good

    I was visiting some relatives and one of them I noticed had a small bookshelf. So we talked about books we liked, while we browsed through the shelves. Remembered 2 that caught my eye, one was Camelot's Shadow by Sarah Zettel. Which by the way, took me a lot longer than I thought, in finding that book again. And then Black Moth. The cover had two characters fencing. Princess Bride reminder!

    Anyway, at the time, I was reading a lot of historical fiction and this caught my eye. So you have our MC who has a lot to do, at the same time it seems, and you wonder how the story will ends in the end and if the MC will catch a break. Anyway, pretty good intro to this author.

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Georgette Heyer's The Black Moth is a must read!

    For all you Regency romance readers that love the period and all the details of life this is the Author for you. Her knowledge of the time period is unsurpassed. You get all the style and romance you want without the vivid sex scenes thrown in as filler.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Anonymous

    This book is awful. The story itself isnt bad if you could get past the writing and dialect. I have read about 50 pages and not sure I will finish the book. I have really pushed mysef to read that much. Glad it was only 99 cents.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Enjoyed the book

    Enjoyed the book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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