Frederica

( 41 )

Overview

In Frederica, Georgette Heyer explores the difficulties of a woman of the Regency era operating without the patronage and protection of a man.

A country beauty and a very capable young woman, Frederica is burdened with the responsibilities of being head of her family, leaving her little time to think of herself and her own future. When she brings her brood to London to find a husband for her stunningly beautiful younger sister, she naturally ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$11.97
BN.com price
(Save 14%)$13.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (22) from $2.30   
  • New (11) from $8.17   
  • Used (11) from $2.30   
Frederica

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$13.99 List Price

Overview

In Frederica, Georgette Heyer explores the difficulties of a woman of the Regency era operating without the patronage and protection of a man.

A country beauty and a very capable young woman, Frederica is burdened with the responsibilities of being head of her family, leaving her little time to think of herself and her own future. When she brings her brood to London to find a husband for her stunningly beautiful younger sister, she naturally expects the patronage of their guardian, the Marquis of Alverstoke, who is, however, too bored and cynical to be bothered. But when Frederica's younger brother's obsession with such scientific innovations as ironworks and balloon flight leads to a devastating accident, the Marquis can no longer ignore his charges ...

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The novel ends on a most satisfying note, and I can think of no better way of spending a chilly winter evening - wrapped in a down comforter with my pooch sleeping by my side - than reading this gem of a book." - Jane Austen's World

"There was a playful, light-hearted feel to this book that, along with the engaging characters, totally charmed me." - Genre Reviews

" If the modern day romance novel is the wonder bread of the literary world, Georgette Heyer would offer readers the fiber-heavy complexity of whole grains." - Becky's Book Blog

"I think Ms. Heyer's writing is just so smart and witty... I highly recommend FREDERICA if you are looking for a good summer read. It is a very entertaining story with lots of romance." - Booking Mama

"I liked Frederica a lot, especially the banter between Frederica and Alverstone... " - Chris' Book-a-Rama

"I had previously posted on my blog that I was looking for that next favorite book, and I found it here with Frederica. This book is funny, charming and full of interesting characters. " - The Bookworm 07

"Frederica is a fun, witty and intelligent read... I highly recommend this novel to anyone who likes a good historical romance." - At Home with Books

"Verdict: delightful repartee, a good Hero and crazy kids as secondary characters = win. " - The Book Smugglers

"Frederica is a powerful Regency romance, that every fan of the genre should read. " - Once Upon a Romance

"[A] fun, charming book... Frederica is a keeper, going on my bookshelf." - Lesa's Book Critiques

"This is a great book that explores both the relationships of the characters, and the Regency era itself. Fun, entertaining, enthralling!" - Wendi's Book Corner

"The novel is humorous, light-hearted... a nice, comfortable way to get your Austen-fix." - Love Romance Passion

"[F]ull of family, humor, society do's and don'ts and of course, romance." - Books and Needlepoint

"The characters can't help but be loveable - from the sister who is beautiful and can't tell anyone no, to the brother who can't help but be ernest, to the heroine herself. It all keeps you coming back for more." - A Blog of Books

A Blog of Books
The characters can't help but be loveable - from the sister who is beautiful and can't tell anyone no, to the brother who can't help but be ernest, to the heroine herself. It all keeps you coming back for more.
— Nicole Heffernan
Books and Needlepoint
[F]ull of family, humor, society do's and don'ts and of course, romance.

— Kristi Herbrand

Love Romance Passion
The novel is humorous, light-hearted... a nice, comfortable way to get your Austen-fix.
— Keira Gillet
Wendi's Book Corner
This is a great book that explores both the relationships of the characters, and the Regency era itself. Fun, entertaining, enthralling!
— Wendi Barker
Lesa's Book Critiques
[A] fun, charming book... Frederica is a keeper, going on my bookshelf.
— Lesa Holstine
Once Upon a Romance
Frederica is a powerful Regency romance, that every fan of the genre should read.
— Marlene
At Home with Books
Frederica is a fun, witty and intelligent read... I highly recommend this novel to anyone who likes a good historical romance.
— Alyce Reese
The Book Smugglers
Verdict: delightful repartee, a good Hero and crazy kids as secondary characters = win.
— Ana
The Bookworm 07
I had previously posted on my blog that I was looking for that next favorite book, and I found it here with Frederica. This book is funny, charming and full of interesting characters.
— Naida Milenkovic
Genre Reviews
There was a playful, light-hearted feel to this book that, along with the engaging characters, totally charmed me.
— Deborah White
Becky's Book Blog
If the modern day romance novel is the wonder bread of the literary world, Georgette Heyer would offer readers the fiber-heavy complexity of whole grains.
— Rebecca Laney
Chris' Book-a-Rama
I liked Frederica a lot, especially the banter between Frederica and Alverstone...
— Christina Maclean
Jane Austen's World
The novel ends on a most satisfying note, and I can think of no better way of spending a chilly winter evening - wrapped in a down comforter with my pooch sleeping by my side - than reading this gem of a book.
— Vic Sandborn
Booking Mama
I think Ms. Heyer's writing is just so smart and witty... I highly recommend FREDERICA if you are looking for a good summer read. It is a very entertaining story with lots of romance.
— Julie Peterson
Library Journal
05/15/2014
Frederica Meriville, considering herself far too old at the advanced age of 24 to ever wed, wants nothing more than for her beautiful younger sister to make a good match. To that end, she heads to London where she convinces her very distant relation, Lord Alverstoke, to take an interest in her family. But Alverstoke finds his interest fixed on the witty and lovely Frederica. VERDICT This is one of the most charming of all of Heyer's delightful Regency romances; the mood is particularly summery with hot-air balloon launches, mischievous younger brothers, and a rambunctious hound of mixed pedigree.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402214769
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 151,821
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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 seventeen 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.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

One

Not more than five days after she had despatched an urgent missive to her brother, the Most Honourable the Marquis of Alverstoke, requesting him to visit her at his earliest convenience, the widowed Lady Buxted was relieved to learn from her youngest daughter that Uncle Vernon had just driven up to the house, wearing a coat with dozens of capes, and looking as fine as fivepence. ‘In a smart new curricle, too, Mama, and everything prime about him!' declared Miss Kitty, flattening her nose against the window-pane in her effort to squint down into the street. ‘He is the most tremendous swell, isn't he, Mama?'

Lady Buxted responded in repressive accents, desiring her not to use expressions unbefitting a lady of quality, and dismissing her to the schoolroom.

Lady Buxted was not one of her brother's admirers; and the intelligence that he had driven himself to Grosvenor Place in his curricle did nothing to advance him in her good graces. It was a fine spring morning, but a sharp wind was blowing, and no one who knew him could suppose that the Marquis would keep his high-bred horses waiting for more than a few minutes. This did not augur well for the scheme she had in mind — not, as she had bitterly observed to her elder sister, that she cherished any but the gloomiest expectations, Alverstoke being, without exception, the most selfish, disobliging creature alive.

To this proposition, Lady Jevington, a commanding matron on the shady side of forty, lent only qualified support. She might (and did) think her only brother selfish and disobliging, but she could perceive no reason why he should be expected to do more for Louisa than for herself. As for Louisa's two sons and three daughters, Lady Jevington found herself unable to blame Alverstoke for taking no interest in any of them. It was really impossible to be interested in such commonplace children. That he was equally uninterested in her own offspring did, however, argue a selfish disposition. Anyone would have supposed that a bachelor who was not only of the first stare but who was also possessed of considerable wealth would have been only too glad to have sponsored such a promising nephew as her beloved Gregory into the select circle which he himself adorned, and to have exerted himself to have brought dear Anna into fashion. That Anna had become eligibly betrothed without the least assistance from him in no way mitigated her ladyship's resentment; and although she admitted the justice of her unfashionable lord's reminder that she disapproved of the frippery set to which Alverstoke belonged, and had frequently expressed the hope that Gregory would never allow himself to be drawn into it, she still could not forgive Alverstoke for having made no attempt to do so. She said that she wouldn't have cared a rush if she had not good reason to suppose that Alverstoke had not only purchased a cornetcy in the Life Guards for his young cousin and heir, but made him a handsome allowance into the bargain. To which Lord Jevington replied that as he was very well able to provide for his son, who, in any event, had no claim whatsoever upon his uncle, he could only give Alverstoke credit for having enough good sense to refrain from making an offer of monetary assistance which would have been deeply resented by the Honourable Gregory Sandridge's parents. This was perfectly true; but still Lady Jevington felt that if Alverstoke had had a grain of proper feeling he would not have singled out for his favour a mere cousin instead of his eldest nephew. She also felt that in a better organised state of society his eldest sister's son, rather than a removed cousin, would have been his heir.

Without wishing to see Gregory so unfairly elevated, Lady Buxted was in general agreement with her sister, both ladies being united in contempt of Mr Endymion Dauntry, whom they stigmatised as a perfect block. But whether their enmity towards this blameless young man arose from their dislike of his widowed mama, or from his handsome countenance and magnificent physique, which cast both Gregory Sandridge and young Lord Buxted into the shade, was a question no one cared to ask.

Whatever might have been the reason, his two elder sisters were convinced that no unworthier heir to Alverstoke's dignities than Endymion could have been found; and neither had spared any pains to introduce to her brother's notice all the prettiest and most eligible damsels who were fired off, year after year, into the ton.

But Alverstoke's besetting sin was a tendency to become rapidly bored. It had vanquished his sisters; for although neither of them could suppose, reviewing the numerous dazzling barques of frailty who had lived under his protection, that he was impervious to feminine charms, neither was so muttonheaded as to indulge optimism very far when he seemed to be developing a tendre for some diamond of birth, beauty, and fortune, thrust under his nose by one or other of his sisters. He was perfectly capable of making the lady the object of his gallantry for a few weeks, and then of veering off at a tangent, forgetting her very existence. When it was borne in upon his sisters that prudent parents looked askance at him, and that he was generally thought to be dangerous, they abandoned their attempts to provide him with a wife, devoting their energies instead to the easier task of deploring his indolence, condemning his selfishness, and scolding him for any of his moral aberrations which came to their ears. Only his youngest sister refrained; but as she had refused several flattering offers for her hand, and had married, to please herself, a mere country gentleman, and rarely visited the Metropolis, she was considered by her two sisters to be a negligible quantity. If they spoke of her, which they seldom did, it was as Poor Eliza; and although they knew that Alverstoke preferred her to themselves it entered neither of their heads to solicit her help in the matter of his marriage. Had it done so they would have dismissed the idea, in the well-founded belief that no one had ever, since he grew to manhood, exercised the smallest influence over him.

It was not to read him a lecture that Lady Buxted had on this occasion commanded him to visit her: indeed, she had resolved to say nothing that could set up his back. But as she awaited his entrance the hope which (despite experience) had entered her breast upon hearing of his arrival was succeeded by the reflection that it was just like him to have allowed five days to elapse before putting himself to the trouble of answering a summons, which, for anything he knew, might have been of the utmost urgency. It was with difficulty that she schooled her countenance to an expression of affectionate welcome; and with still more difficulty that she infused cordiality into her voice when he strolled, unannounced, into the room. That was just like him too: the sort of casual behaviour which her ladyship, a high stickler, much deplored, seeing no reason why he should treat her house as if it were his own.

Smothering her annoyance, she stretched out her hand, saying: ‘Vernon! My dear, what a delightful surprise!'

‘What's surprising about it?' he enquired, lifting his black brows. ‘Didn't you ask me to come?'

The smile remained pinned to Lady Buxted's lips, but she replied with more than a touch of acidity: ‘To be sure I did, but so many days ago that I supposed you had gone out of town!'

‘Oh, no!' he said, returning her smile with one of great sweetness.

Lady Buxted was not deceived, but thought it prudent to ignore what she recognised as deliberate provocation. She patted the sofa, and invited her brother to come and sit down. Instead of doing this he walked forward to the fireplace and bent to warm his hands, saying: ‘I can't stay for long, Louisa: what is it you want of me?'

Having made up her mind to lead up to her request by tactful degrees, she found this blunt question as infuriating as it was disconcerting. She hesitated, and he glanced up, a gleam in his rather hard grey eyes, and said: ‘Well?'

She was not immediately obliged to answer him, for at that moment her butler came in, with such refreshments as he considered suitable to the occasion. While he set the heavy tray down on a side-table, and informed the Marquis in the confidential voice of the privileged retainer that he had ventured to bring up the Mountain as well as the sherry, she had time in which to reassemble her ideas, and also to observe, in some dudgeon, that her brother had chosen to visit her in breeches and topboots: attire as regrettably informal as his entrance. That his boots were highly polished, his neckcloth arranged to a nicety, and his coat, which fitted him like a glove, clearly cut by a master, only served to increase her displeasure. She felt that if his general indifference had extended to his appearance she could have forgiven him for not thinking it necessary to honour her by assuming the correct dress for paying morning visits. But no one who looked as elegant as he invariably did, or whose style was copied by so many gentlemen of fashion, could possibly be indifferent to matters of mode. Indeed, she had once demanded, in a moment of exasperation, if he cared for anything but his clothing. To which he had replied, after subjecting the question to consideration, that although his clothes were naturally of paramount importance, he also cared for his horses.

He had gone across the room to the side-table; and, as the butler withdrew, he turned his head, saying: ‘Sherry, Louisa?'

‘My dear Vernon, you should surely know by now that I never touch sherry!'

‘Should I? But I have such a shockingly bad memory!'

‘Not when you wish to remember anything!'

‘Oh, no, not then!' he agreed. He looked across at her, and at sight of her tightened lips and rising colour, laughed suddenly. ‘What a chucklehead you are, dear sister! I never yet cast my line over a fish that rose more readily to the fly than you do! What is it to be? The Malaga?'

‘I will take half a glass of ratafia, if you will be so good as to pour it out for me,' she answered stiffly.

‘It does considerable violence to my feelings, but I will be so good. What an appalling thing to drink at this hour! Or, indeed, at any hour,' he added reflectively. He brought the glass to her, moving in his leisurely way, but with the grace of the born athlete. ‘Now, what is it this time? Don't beat about the bush! I don't want my horses to take cold.'

‘I wish you will sit down!' she said crossly.

‘Very well, but do, for God's sake, cut line!' he replied, choosing an armchair on the opposite side of the fireplace.

‘It so happens, Alverstoke, that I do desire your assistance,' she said.

‘That, dear Louisa, I apprehended when I read your letter,' he retorted, with horrid affability. ‘Of course, you might have summoned me to stun me with one of your rake-downs, but you couched your missive in such affectionate language that that suspicion was banished almost instantly from my mind, leaving me with the only alternative: that you wanted me to do something for you.'

‘I should be grateful, I collect, that you remembered that I had written to ask you to visit me!' she said, glaring at him.

‘You can't think, Louisa, how strongly tempted I am to accept your gratitude with a becoming smirk!' he told her. ‘But never shall it be said of me that I stole another man's honours! Trevor gave me the office.'

‘Do you mean to tell me that Mr Trevor read my letter?' demanded Lady Buxted indignantly. ‘Your secretary?'

‘I employ him to read my letters,' explained his lordship.

‘Not those written by your nearest and dearest!'

‘Oh, no, not them!' he agreed.

Her bosom swelled. ‘You are the most abom —' She stopped, with a gasp; visibly wrought with herself; and contrived, by a heroic effort, to force the smile back to her lips, and to say, with a tolerable assumption of amusement: ‘Wretch! I shan't allow you to take a rise out of me! I want to talk to you about Jane!'

‘Who the devil is — Oh, yes, I know! One of your girls!'

‘My eldest daughter, and, let me remind you, your niece, Alverstoke!'

‘Unjust, Louisa, I needed no reminder!'

‘I am bringing the dear child out this season,' she announced, ignoring the interpolation. ‘I shall present her, of course, at one of the Drawing-rooms — if the Queen holds any more, but they say her health is now so indifferent that —'

‘You'll have to do something about her freckles — if she's the one I think she is,' he interrupted. ‘Have you tried citron-water?'

‘I didn't invite you to come here to discuss Jane's appearance!' she snapped.

‘Well, why did you invite me?'

‘To ask you to hold a ball in her honour — at Alverstoke House!' she disclosed, rushing her fence.

‘To do what?'

‘I know very well what you are going to say, but only consider, Vernon! She is your niece, and what place could be more suitable for her come-out ball than Alverstoke House?'

‘This house!' he responded, without hesitation.

‘Oh, don't be so disagreeable! I am persuaded they could not dance above thirty couples in this room, and only think of all the fuss and botheration!'

‘I am thinking of it,' said his lordship.

‘But there can be no comparison! I mean, here, where I should be obliged to remove all the furniture from my drawing-room, besides using the dining-room for supper, and the parlour for the ladies' cloaks — and Alverstoke House, where there is such a splendid ballroom! And it is my own old home, too!'

‘It is also my home,' said the Marquis. ‘My memory is occasionally faulty, but I retain the liveliest recollection of what you so rightly term the fuss and botheration that attended the balls given there for Augusta, for yourself, and for Eliza, and my answer, dear sister, is No!'

‘Have you no proper feeling?' she said tragically.

He had drawn an enamel snuff-box from his pocket, and was critically studying the painting on its lid. ‘No, none at all. I wonder if I made a mistake when I purchased this? I liked it at the time, but I begin to find it a trifle insipid.' He sighed, and opened the box, with a practised flick of his thumb. ‘And I most assuredly do not like this mixture,' he said, inhaling an infinitesimal pinch, and dusting his fingers with an expression of distaste. ‘You will say, of course, that I should have known better than to have permitted Mendlesham to thrust his Sort upon me, and you are perfectly right: one should always mix one's own.' He got up. ‘Well, if that's all, I'll take my leave of you.'

‘It is not all!' she uttered, her colour much heightened. ‘I knew how it would be, of course — oh, I knew!'

‘I imagine you might, but why the devil you wasted my time —'

‘Because I hoped that for once in your life you might show some — some sensibility! some apprehension of what is due to your family! even some affection for poor Jane!'

‘Rainbow-chasing, Louisa! My lack of sensibility has distressed you for years; I haven't the least affection for your poor Jane, whom I should be hard put to it to recognise, if I met her unawares; and I've yet to learn that the Buxteds are members of my family.'

‘Am I not a member of your family?' she demanded. ‘Do you forget that I am your sister?'

‘No: I've never been granted the opportunity to forget it. Oh, don't fly off the hooks again — you can have no notion how bracket-faced you look when you get into one of your pelters! Console yourself with my assurance that if Buxted had left you purse-pinched I should have felt myself obliged to let you hang on my sleeve.' He looked mockingly down at her. ‘Yes, I know you're about to tell me that you haven't sixpence to scratch with, but the plain truth is that you are very well to do in the world, my dear Louisa, but the most unconscionable pinch-penny of my acquaintance! Now, don't nauseate me by prating of affection! You've no more for me than I have for you.'

Considerably disconcerted by this direct attack, she stammered: ‘How can you say so? When I am sure I have always been most sincerely attached to you!'

‘You deceive yourself, sister: not to me, but to my purse!'

‘Oh, how can you be so unjust? And as for my being well to do in the world, I daresay that you, with your reckless extravagance, would be astonished to learn that I am obliged to exercise the strictest economy! Why, pray, do you imagine that I removed from our beautiful house in Albemarle Street when Buxted died, and came to live in this out-of-the-way place?'

He smiled. ‘Since there was not the least occasion for that removal, I can only suppose that it was from your incurable love of sconcing the reckoning.'

‘If you mean that I was obliged to reduce my expenses —'

‘No, merely that you were unable to resist the temptation to do so.'

‘With five children left on my hands —' She broke off, warned by the quizzical look in his eye that it would be unwise to develop this theme.

‘Just so!' he said sympathetically. ‘I think we had better part, don't you?'

‘Sometimes,' said Lady Buxted, with suppressed passion, ‘I think you must be the most odious, unnatural creature that ever drew breath! No doubt if it had been Endymion who had applied to you you would have been all compliance!'

These bitter words appeared powerfully to affect the Marquis, but after a stunned moment he pulled himself together, and recommended his sister, in faint but soothing accents, to retire to bed with a paregoric draught. ‘For you are sadly out of curl, Louisa, believe me! Do let me assure you that if ever Endymion should ask me to give a ball in his honour I shall take steps to have him placed under restraint!'

‘Oh, how detestable you are!' she exclaimed. ‘You know very well I didn't mean — that what I meant — that —'

‘No, no, don't explain it to me!' he interrupted. ‘It is quite unnecessary, I promise you! I perfectly understand you — indeed, I've done so for years! You — and I rather fancy, Augusta too — have persuaded yourself that I have a strong partiality for Endymion —'

‘That — that moonling!'

‘You are too severe: merely a slow-top!'

‘Yes, we all know that you think him a positive pattern-card of perfection!' she said angrily, kneading her handkerchief between her hands.

He had been idly swinging his quizzing-glass on the end of its long riband, but was moved by this interjection to raise the glass to one eye, the better to survey his sister's enflamed countenance. ‘What a very odd interpretation to put upon my words!' he remarked.

‘Don't tell me!' retorted Lady Buxted, in full career. ‘Whatever your precious Endymion wants he may have for the asking! While your sisters —'

‘I hesitate to interrupt you, Louisa,' murmured his lordship untruthfully, ‘but I think that extremely doubtful. I'm not at all benevolent, you know.'

‘And you don't make him an allowance, I collect! Oh, no, indeed!'

‘So that's what's wound you up, is it? What a very hubble-bubble creature you are! At one moment you revile me for behaving scaly to my family, and at the next you come to cuffs with me for honouring my obligations to my heir!'

‘That block!' she ejaculated. ‘If he is to become the head of the family I shan't be able to bear it!'

‘Well, don't put yourself into a taking on that score!' he recommended. ‘Very likely you won't be obliged to bear it, for the chances are that you'll predecease me. I can give you five years, you know.'

Lady Buxted, unable to find words adequate to the occasion, sought refuge in a burst of tears, reproaching her brother, between sobs, for his unkindness. But if she thought to soften his heart by these tactics she was the more mistaken: amongst the many things which bored him feminine tears and recriminations ranked high. Saying, with unconvincing solicitude, that if he had guessed that she was out of sorts he would not have inflicted his presence on her, he took his leave, sped on his way by the fervently expressed hope of his sister that she would at least live to see him come by his deserts.

She stopped crying as soon as the door shut behind the Marquis; and might have recovered some degree of equanimity had not her elder son chosen to come into the room a few minutes later, to ask her, with a sad want of tact, whether his uncle had been visiting her; and, if so, what he had had to say to her proposal. Upon learning from her that Alverstoke had been as disobliging as she had always known he would be, he looked grave, but said that he could not be sorry, for, having thought the matter over carefully, he could not like the scheme.

Lady Buxted's disposition was not a loving one. She was quite as selfish as her brother, and far less honest, for she neither acknowledged, nor, indeed, recognised her shortcomings. She had long since convinced herself that her life was one long sacrifice to her fatherless children; and, by the simple expedients of prefixing the names of her two sons and three daughters by doting epithets, speaking of them (though not invariably to them) in caressing accents, and informing the world at large that she had no thought or ambition that was not centred on her offspring, she contrived to figure, in the eyes of the uncritical majority, as a devoted parent.

Of her children, Carlton, whom she rather too frequently alluded to as her First-Born, was her favourite. He had never caused her to feel a moment's anxiety. From being a stolid little boy, accepting his mama at her own valuation, he had grown into a worthy young man, with a deep sense of his responsibilities, and a serious turn of mind which not only kept him out of the scrapes into which his livelier cousin Gregory fell, but which made it quite impossible for him to understand what Gregory, or any other of his contemporaries, found to amuse them in their larks and revel-routs. His understanding was moderate, and his processes of thought as slow as they were painstaking, but he was not at all conceited, merely priding himself on his commonsense. Nor was he jealous of George, his younger brother, whose intelligence he knew to be superior to his own. He was, in fact, proud of George, thinking him a very needle-witted boy; and although his lucubrations had shown him that such ardent spirits as George's might well lead that promising youth from the path of virtue, he never divulged this apprehension to his mother, or informed her of his intention to keep a watchful eye on George, when George's schooldays came to an end. He neither confided in her, nor argued with her; and not even to his sister Jane had he ever uttered a word of criticism of her.

He was four-and-twenty years of age, but as he had as yet shown no disposition to assert himself it came as an unpleasant surprise to his mother when he said that he knew of no reason why Jane's come-out ball should be held at his uncle's house, and at his expense. He sank rapidly in her affection; and, her temper being already exacerbated, they might soon have been at dagger-drawing if he had not prudently withdrawn from the engagement.

He was grieved to discover presently that Jane partook of her mother's sentiments upon this occasion, asserting that it was detestable of Uncle Vernon to be so disobliging, and so hardfisted as to begrudge the expenditure of a few hundred pounds.

‘I am persuaded, Jane,' said Buxted gravely, ‘that you have too much propriety of taste to wish to be so much beholden to my uncle.'

‘Oh, fiddle-faddle!' she exclaimed angrily. ‘Pray, why shouldn't I be beholden to him? I'm sure it's no more than his duty, after all!'

His upper lip seemed to lengthen, as it always did when he was displeased; he said in a repressive voice: ‘I make every allowance for your disappointment, but I venture to think that you will find a party here, in your own home, very much more enjoyable than a vast rout at Alverstoke House, where more than half the guests, I daresay, would be quite unknown to you.'

His second sister, Maria, who, with her own come-out in view, was quite as indignant as Jane, was unable to contain herself, but barely waited for him to come to the end of his measured speech before demanding why he talked such gammon. ‘More enjoyable to hold a nip-farthing ball here, with no more than fifty persons invited, than to make her first appearance at Alverstoke House? You must be all about in your head!' she told his lordship. ‘It will be the shabbiest affair, for you know what Mama is! But if my uncle were to give a ball, only think how magnificent it would be! Hundreds of guests, and all of the first consequence! Lobsters, and aspic jellies and — and Chantillies, and creams —'

‘Invited to the ball?' interpolated Carlton, with ponderous humour.

‘And champagne!' struck in Jane, paying no heed to him. ‘And I should have stood at the head of the great staircase, with Mama, and my uncle, in a white satin gown, trimmed with rosebuds, and pink gauze, and a wreath!'

This beautiful vision caused tears to well into her eyes, but failed to arouse enthusiasm in either Maria or in Carlton, Maria objecting that with her freckles and sandy hair she would look like a quiz; and Carlton saying that he wondered at it that his sisters should think so much of worldly trumpery. Neither thought it worth while to reply to this; but when he added that for his part he was glad Alverstoke had refused to give the ball, they were quite as much incensed as had been their mama, and far more vociferous. So he went away, leaving his sisters to deplore his prosiness, quarrel about rosebuds and pink gauze, and agree that while their uncle was detestable it was probably Mama's fault, for setting up his back, which neither damsel doubted for an instant that she had done.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2012

    FREDERICA Absolutely the best of Georgette Heyer!

    HA! What a humorous book with wonderfully developed characters! The book has all the elements you come to expect from Regency books, but the extra characters provide such a surprisingly delightful new direction that you will put this one on your favorites shelf to read again and again through the years!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 22, 2010

    Georgette Heyer: Queen of the Regency Romance

    For anyone who knows Georgette Heyer's books, nothing more needs to be said. For anyone else, what are you waiting for? Frederica is a wonderful story with two strongwilled protaganists. Alverstoke is rich nobleman and used to having his way. He's also used to dealing with - and thwarting - the many people (like his sisters) who are constantly badgering him for favors and even more money.

    Frederica, the oldest of five children, is also strong-willed and used to getting her way - but for completely different reasons than Alvestoke. Her family is relatively poor. Even when her father was alive, she was the one who took care of the family and managed their affairs. If Alverstoke's strong will comes from having everything and having far too many people who would like a piece of it, Frederica's strong will comes from having almost nothing and no one apart from her sister and three brothers.

    Now, chance has given Frederica an unexpected opportunity to come to London for the season. She wants nothing for herself - but she is determined to give her younger sister a chance at a good marriage. She has also decided that Alverstoke is the very person to help her achieve this ambition.

    Sit back, pick up this book, and enjoy. Then, read the rest of Heyer's wonderful fiction.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 16, 2012

    An all-time favorite

    A managing female on the shelf wants her beautiful younger sister to make a good match. Younger brothers, large dog with personality, hot air balloon, etc, loose in London make for one escapade after another. And of course the requisite peer whose life is never the same after he meets Frederica!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    For the Jane Austen lover

    Clever and literate, Georgette Heyer was the original "Regency Romance" writer. Her research is impeccable on the period and her characters are always appropriate to the period. She will run several plots with multiple characters into a fantastic tangle and then unravel them with a delightful twist at the end. Never dark in tone, always upbeat in attitude, Heyer is the ultimate escapist writer. She is Jane Austen on a roller coaster and with a grand sense of humor. Frederica is one of her funniest novels and should be on your permanent shelf (and so should all of her others!!)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 10, 2010

    GEorgette Heyer

    I have only recently discovered Miss Heyer's work. I love all of her characters. They are silly, honest, and quite believable. Frederica is enchanting. The plots ar secondary, but still able to hold interest. Drawing room farces is a term that often comes to mind. Jane Austin's only rival. Regency romance as it was meant to be.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 26, 2014

    Lots of antics.

    The relationship between the main characters was best friends but, lacked real romance. The two didn't seem to feel any "sparks" when the other was near nor become aware of any romantic sensations until the last pages! The abundant antics kept me engaged, as well as the creative writing but, the over all "love" story and ending left me disappointed.

    S.A.K.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2014

    One of Georgette Heyer's Best

    Classic story of spinster meets Man-About-Town. Dialog is wonderful and descriptions can't be beat. I've read most of her Regency Romances and feel this is one of the best.

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

    Posted August 7, 2013

    No bedroom scenes!

    I've read this book many times over the years and I still enjoy it. ESPECIALLY the younger brothers. I appreciate the lack of bedroom scenes which are becoming rediculous in current books. I love to laugh and this one does it for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 17, 2012

    One of My Favorites

    Lots of fun, a great Regency Romance from Heyer

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2011

    Tops my list

    Light and fun, Georgette Heyer's Frederica is truly exceptional. Frederica is possesed of a strong personality that manages to be both caring and bold. Full of humor and good clean fun, Heyer's regency romance is unlike anything found on today's shelves.

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

    Posted April 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Heyer is delightful on the order of Jane Austen!

    If you enjoy Jane Austen, you will most likely also enjoy Georgette Heyer. Her characters are witty and intelligent. The stories are wonderfully readable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Georgette Heyer is the author to beat for Georgian-era romances

    Frederica, while not Heyer's best, easily surpasses many of the novels of this genre today. Her dialogues are witty, the locations interesting, and her research is obvious. In this novel, she includes the latest (of the period) in rail technology and balloon ascension. If you like Jane Austen, Heyer is a must-read. But start with The Black Moth, which is probably her best. Then read The Devil's Cub. And ignore the covers; I quibble with the fact that the characters represented on them don't match those inside the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 5, 2009

    One of My Favorite Heyers

    Frederica was the second Heyer I read and remains one of my top three favorites of her books (the other two are The Grand Sophy and Sylvester). Those who love Jane Austen are often referred to Heyer as a good substitute, but really Heyer transcends the comparison. Her works, especially this one, capture the same light, sparkling style of Pride and Prejudice or Emma. They are often satiric, but never malicious. These are not romance novels in the style of Harlequin...these are period novels driven by characters so finely drawn and developed they practically leap off the page. The new Sourcebooks editions are nicely bound, of a good size and feel. They certainly do better justice to Heyer's works than many of the previous editions, with artwork that acurately reflects the time period of the novels. These are keepers.

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

    Posted November 30, 2007

    Riotous......

    Classic Heyer Regency - a must-have for her fans, and, indeed, anyone with a taste for good historical fiction with a strong sense of the ridiculous. These are not 'bodice-rippers', nor did Heyer write explicit sex scenes. Her books are true classics, the modern equivalents of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. And when I say 'modern', I realize that some of her books were written almost as long ago as Austen's were when Heyer started writing, so that is an interesting perspective to keep in mind.

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

    Posted February 23, 2000

    An excellent book on all points.

    A very engaging tale, filled with humor and romance.

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

    Posted October 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)