The Nonesuch

The Nonesuch

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by Georgette Heyer
     
 

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A charming Georgette Heyer romance about finding love at any age.

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

Overview

A charming Georgette Heyer romance about finding love at any age.

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.

Editorial Reviews

A Blog of Bokos
The details in Georgette Heyer's books are amazing. They make you feel like you are really there in that time and location. A great read for those that just can't get enough of those sorts of details.
— Nicole Heffernan
The Tome Traveller's Weblog
There is no doubt that Georgette Heyer is the queen of witty banter and sparkling repartee. Her wonderful use of language leads to a light and frothy novel that is so enjoyable that it is impossible to read it without smiling.
— Carey Andereson
Books 4 Moms
The biggest delight is the picturesque way that Georgette Heyer describes the period.
— Christine Plaisted
Jane Austen's World
The Nonesuch looks like a typical Regency romance, but as Georgette Heyer always provides, there is much more between the covers.
— Lady Anne
Bookfoolery and Babble
I love the witty dialogue, the characters, the storyline, the setting, the action... It was a tremendously fun, light-hearted read.
— Nancy Horner
Night Owl Romance
Georgette Heyer is a highly gifted writer who creates amazing characters, witty dialogue, and fabulous intrigue that is combined with well-researched Regency cant, dress, food and behavior as no one else can. For any fan of Jane Austen's wonderful writing, Georgette Heyer is a wonderful continuation.
— Danya
The Burton Review
[I]it is so charming with the style of writing it becomes amusing and witty... The book made me smile.
— Marie Burton
Ex Libris
I really enjoyed this book and Heyer's characterizations... The folks at Sourcebooks [are] doing a remarkable job in bringing back the magic that is Georgette Heyer's Regency novels.
— Sharon Goforth
The Book Girl
I love Heyer's voice and style of writing. Her characters a lovely and the situations they find themselves in are hilarious.
— Carrie Zimmerman
Maymay's Memos
The characters are fun and alive.
— Shawn Remfry
From the Publisher
"Georgette Heyer is a highly gifted writer who creates amazing characters, witty dialogue, and fabulous intrigue that is combined with well-researched Regency cant, dress, food and behavior as no one else can. For any fan of Jane Austen's wonderful writing, Georgette Heyer is a wonderful continuation." - Night Owl Romance

"[I]it is so charming with the style of writing it becomes amusing and witty... The book made me smile. " - The Burton Review

" I love Heyer's voice and style of writing. Her characters a lovely and the situations they find themselves in are hilarious." - The Book Girl

"The characters are fun and alive." - Maymay's Memos

" I love the witty dialogue, the characters, the storyline, the setting, the action... It was a tremendously fun, light-hearted read." - Bookfoolery and Babble

"I really enjoyed this book and Heyer's characterizations... The folks at Sourcebooks [are] doing a remarkable job in bringing back the magic that is Georgette Heyer's Regency novels." - Ex Libris

"The Nonesuch looks like a typical Regency romance, but as Georgette Heyer always provides, there is much more between the covers." - Jane Austen's World

"There is no doubt that Georgette Heyer is the queen of witty banter and sparkling repartee. Her wonderful use of language leads to a light and frothy novel that is so enjoyable that it is impossible to read it without smiling." - The Tome Traveller's Weblog

"The details in Georgette Heyer's books are amazing. They make you feel like you are really there in that time and location. A great read for those that just can't get enough of those sorts of details." - A Blog of Books

"The biggest delight is the picturesque way that Georgette Heyer describes the period." - Books 4 Moms

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402227035
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
24,512
File size:
940 KB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter One

There was a twinkle in the Nonesuch's eye as he scanned the countenances of his assembled relations, but his voice was perfectly grave, even a trifle apologetic. 'I am afraid it is quite true, ma'am,' he said, addressing himself to his Aunt Sophia. 'I am the heir.'

Since the question, so indignantly posed by Lady Lindeth, had been rhetorical, this very frank and manly confession surprised no one. They all knew that old Cousin Joseph Calver had left his fortune to Waldo; and when Lady Lindeth had summoned him to account for himself she had acted on the impulse of the moment, and with no expectation of hearing the news denied. Nor had she had any very real expectation of Waldo's renouncing the bequest in favour of her only child. She naturally felt that no worthier heir to eccentric Cousin Joseph's estate existed than Julian; and she had done her best to introduce the noble orphan to him, even enduring the rigours of a week spent at Harrogate, when Julian had been an engaging child in nankeens and a frilled shirt, and she had tried (quite unavailingly) to gain entrance to Broom Hall. Three times had she driven out from Harrogate, the bored but docile little boy beside her, only to be told, twice, by Cousin Joseph's butler, that the Master was not feeling clever enough to receive
visitors; and, once, that the Master would thank her not to come pestering him, because he didn't want to see her, nor her son, nor anyone else. Enquiry had elicited the information that the only visitor ever admitted into the house was the doctor. Local opinion was divided, charitable persons maintaining that a disappointment suffered in his youth was responsible for this churlishness; others asserting that he was a muckworm who grudged every groat he was obliged to spend. Having had the opportunity to perceive the neglected condition of the grounds of Broom Hall, Lady Lindeth had ranged herself with the majority. A suspicion that Cousin Joseph might not be as plump in the pocket as was supposed had occurred only to be dismissed: Broom Hall, though greatly inferior in style and size to young Lord Lindeth's seat in the Midlands, was a very respectable house, with probably as many as thirty bedrooms. It did not stand in a park, but its gardens appeared to be extensive; and she was credibly informed that most of the surrounding land belonged to the estate. She had left Harrogate much inclined to think that Cousin Joseph's fortune was considerably larger than had previously been supposed. She did not grudge it to him, but she would have thought herself a very unnatural parent had she not made a push to secure it for her son. So she had swallowed her resentment at the treatment she had received, and had continued, throughout the succeeding years, to send Joseph small Christmas gifts, and periodical letters, affectionately enquiring after the state of his health, and regaling him with accounts of Julian's virtues, beauty, and scholastic progress. And after all her pains he had left his entire estate to Waldo, who was neither the most senior of his relations nor the one who bore his name!

The most senior of the three cousins gathered together in Lady Lindeth's drawing-room was George Wingham, the son of her ladyship's eldest sister. He was a very worthy man, however prosy; she was not particularly fond of him, but she thought she could have borne it better had Cousin Joseph made him his heir, for she was obliged to acknowledge that his seniority gave him a certain amount of right to the bequest. Not, of course, so good a right as Laurence Calver. Lady Lindeth held Laurence, the youngest of her nephews, in contempt and dislike, but she hoped she was a just woman, and she felt she could have supported with equanimity his succession to a fortune which he would have lost no time in dissipating.

But that Cousin Joseph, ignoring the claims of George, and Laurence, and her beloved Julian, should have named Waldo Hawkridge as his heir was so intolerable that had she been of a nervous disposition she thought she must have succumbed to Spasms when she had first heard the incredible news. As it was, she had been unable to speak for a full minute; and when she did she had merely uttered Waldo's name, in a voice so vibrant with loathing that Julian, the bearer of the tidings, had been startled. 'But, Mama-!' he had expostulated. 'You like Waldo!'

That was perfectly true, but quite beside the point, as she crossly told her son. She was, in fact, much attached to Waldo, but neither her fondness for him nor her gratitude for his unfailing kindness to Julian prevented her from feeling positively unwell whenever she thought of his enormous wealth. To learn that Cousin Joseph's estate was to be added to an already indecently large fortune did make her feel for a few minutes that so far from liking him she detested him.

She said now, in a peevish tone: 'I can't conceive what should have induced that disagreeable old man to choose you for his heir!'

'There is no understanding it at all,' Sir Waldo replied sympathetically.

'I don't believe you ever so much as saw him, either!'

'No, I never did.'

'Well, I must own,' said George, 'that it was an odd sort of a thing to do. One would have thought - However, none of us had the least claim on the old fellow, and I'm sure he had a perfect right to leave his money where he chose!'

At this, Laurence Calver, who had been lounging on the sofa, and moodily playing with an ornate quizzing-glass, let the glass fall on the end of its ribbon, and jerked himself up, saying angrily: 'You had no claim to it - or Waldo - or Lindeth! But I'm a Calver! I - I think it damnable!'

'Very possibly!' snapped his aunt. 'But you will be good enough not to use such language in my presence, if you please!'

He coloured, and mumbled an apology, but the reproof did nothing to improve his temper, and he embarked on a long and incoherent diatribe, which ranged stammeringly over a wide ground, embracing all the real and fancied causes of his sense of ill-usage, the malevolence of Joseph Calver, and the suspected duplicity of Waldo Hawkridge.

Until George Wingham intervened, he was heard in unresponsive silence. His oblique animadversions on Sir Waldo's character did indeed bring a flash into Lord Lindeth's eyes, but he folded his lips tightly on a retort. Laurence had always been jealous of Waldo: everyone knew that; and very ludicrous it was to watch his attempts to outshine his cousin. He was several years younger than Waldo, and he possessed none of the attributes which Nature had so generously bestowed on the Nonesuch. Failing to excel in any of the sports which had won for Waldo his title, he had lately turned towards the dandy-set, abandoning the sporting attire of the Corinthian for all the extravagances of fashion popular amongst the young dandies. Julian, three years his junior, thought that he looked ridiculous in any guise; and instinctively turned his eyes towards Waldo. They warmed as they looked, for to Julian Sir Waldo was at once a magnificent personage in whose company it was an honour to be seen, the big cousin who had taught him to ride, drive, shoot, fish, and box; a fount of wisdom; and the surest refuge in times of stress. He had even taught him something of his own way with the starched folds of a neckcloth: not the intricacies of the Mathematical or the Oriental Tie, but an elegant fashion of his own, as unobtrusive as it was exquisite. Laurence would do well to imitate the quiet neatness of Waldo's dress, Julian thought, not realizing that the plain, close-fitting coats which so admirably became Waldo could only be worn to advantage by men of splendid physique. Less fortunate aspirants to high fashion were obliged to adopt a more florid style, with padding to disguise sloping shoulders, and huge, laid-back lapels to widen a narrow chest.

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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The Nonesuch 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Celia_Cristina More than 1 year ago
Think Jane Austen's distant cousin- and I mean this as a compliment in case it doesn't sound that way. I feel like all the modern re-imaginings of regency period stories tend to put WAY too much emphasis on flowery prose that seems anachronistic in terms of style. Georgette Heyer always hits it dead on, and if anything I occasionally find myself lost with some of the colloquialisms. The Nonesuch was a great story with a great romance that steered clear of the dramatic or sappy. The only reason I gave it four instead of five stars is that this one, like a few others of Heyer's that I've read, ends sort of abruptly, but then so did all of Jane Austen's novels. It probably would have detracted from the story to add an extra ten pages of what-happens-next, but I would have enjoyed it anyway ;)
Schmooby-Doo More than 1 year ago
Memorable characters, a good romance. Could beautiful but spoiled Tiffany get the guy? Will her well-born governess Ancilla win the biggest catch of all? Read THE NONESUCH and find out. I think you will enjoy this very well written historical book! A favorite of our family of Heyer fans!
TheViewFromHere More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed my first outing with Heyer. I was impressed with her historical accuracy. Quick read and fun.
jca85 More than 1 year ago
Escape into the past - the world of the Nonesuch is not a glossed-over modern cast stuck in an outdated past but a fully-drawn world with characters that live and breathe in their time and place, fully rounded and carefully drawn. Strong, vital and individual characters ready to charm and entice.
InMaschera More than 1 year ago
Like most of Georgette Heyer's works, it's sheer enjoyment from beginning to end. Although this one is entirely just a wholesome romance (no sex, just love) it exhibits her delicious tongue-in-cheek comedy. Her books are light but not shallow, and infused with the author's immense intelligence without being "intellectual." Thorough historical knowledge bases, as always, her deft escapist writing with their likable characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a classic Georgette Heyer novel full of lovely period descriptive passages and sutle humor. One to read again.
happyendingamust More than 1 year ago
This author started the Regency genre and is still the best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'd give quite a few Heyer's 5 stars, but I have to leave SOMETHING for Jane Austen, to distinguish her from the crowd! This was my first Heyer, too, first read about 15 years ago--and I quickly read everything else by her that I could get my hands on! While it is not my favorite, it is in my top 10--and of course, everything she wrote show-cases her talent and marvelous sense of humor! Heyer seldom wrote Gothic (I doubt ghosts and sinister retainers were amusing enough for her), and it is a pity she must be lumped in with the 'romance crowd': the excellence of her writing and historical detail ought to see her more widely appreciated. I read once that her version of the battle of Waterloo in An Infamous Army was much more accurate than many an historian's!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My mom bought me a couple of Georgette Heyer books because she loved them when she was young and they are good, clean, romance novels. I now enjoy all of them. They provide a good, easy, read with cute stories. The inexpensive paperbacks can go anywhere, and I call them my "bathtub reading".
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