Sprig Muslin

Sprig Muslin

by Georgette Heyer


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A dashing man of honor...

En route to propose to his sensible acquaintance Lady Hester, Sir Gareth Ludlow finds young, pretty Amanda wandering unattended and knows it is his duty to bring her back to her family. This turns out to be a challenge as Amanda seems to possess an imagination as intriguing as it is dangerous.

Georgette Heyer's historical novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers. She wrote over 50 books, including Regency romances, mysteries, and historical fiction. She was known as the Queen of Regency romance, and was legendary for her research, historical accuracy, and her extraordinary plots and characterizations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402255496
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 12/01/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 104,191
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Georgette Heyer's historical novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers. She wrote over 50 books, including Regency romances, mysteries, and historical fiction. She was known as the Queen of Regency romance, and was legendary for her research, historical accuracy, and her extraordinary plots and characterizations.

Read an Excerpt

Sprig Muslin

By Georgette Heyer

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-83624-4

Chapter One

MRS. WETHERBY WAS delighted to receive a morning call from her only surviving brother, but for the first half hour of his visit she was granted no opportunity to do more than exchange a few commonplaces with him over the heads of her vociferous offspring.

Sir Gareth Ludlow had arrived in Mount Street just as the schoolroom party, comprising Miss Anna, a lively damsel within a year of her debut, Miss Elizabeth, and Master Philip, were returning from a promenade in the park under the aegis of their governess. No sooner did these delicately nurtured children catch sight of their uncle's tall, elegant figure than they threw to the winds every precept of gentility, so carefully instilled into their heads by Miss Felbridge, and, with piercing shrieks of: "Uncle Gary, Uncle Gary!" raced helter-skelter down the street, to engulf Sir Gareth on their doorstep. By the time Miss Felbridge, clucking but indulgent, had overtaken them, the butler was holding open the door, and Sir Gareth was being borne into the house by his enthusiastic young relatives. He was being pelted with questions and confidences, his eldest niece hanging affectionately on one arm, and his youngest nephew trying to claim his attention by tugging violently at the other, but he disengaged himself forlong enough to offer his hand to Miss Felbridge, saying with the smile which never failed to set her heart fluttering in her chaste bosom: "How do you do? Don't scold them! It is quite my fault - though why I should have this shocking effect upon them I can't conceive! Are you quite well again? You were suffering all the discomfort of a bad attack of rheumatism when last we met."

Miss Felbridge blushed, thanked, and disclaimed, thinking that it was just like dear Sir Gareth to remember such an unimportant thing as the governess's rheumatism. Any further interchange was cut short by the arrival on the scene of Mr. Leigh Wetherby, who erupted from the library at the back of the house, exclaiming: "Is that Uncle Gary! Oh, by Jove, sir, I'm devilish glad to see you! There's something I particularly wish to ask you!"

The whole party then swept Sir Gareth upstairs to the drawing-room, all talking at the tops of their voices, and thus deaf to a halfhearted attempt on Miss Felbridge's part to restrain her charges from bursting in upon their mama in this very irregular fashion.

It would have been useless to have persisted, of course. The young Wetherbys, from Leigh, undergoing the rigours of coaching to enable him to embark upon a University career later in the year, to Philip, wrestling with pothooks and hangers, were unanimous in giving it as their considered opinion that nowhere was there to be found a more admirable uncle than Sir Gareth. An attempt to whisk the younger members off to the schoolroom could only have resulted in failure, or, at the best, in a fit of prolonged sulks.

In the well-chosen words of Mr. Leigh Wetherby, Sir Gareth was the most bang-up fellow that ever drew breath. A noted Corinthian, he was never too high in the instep to show a nephew aspiring to dandyism how to arrange his neckcloth. Master Jack Wetherby, unconcerned with such fopperies as this, spoke warmly of his openhandedness and entire comprehension of the more urgent needs of young gentlemen enduring the privations of life at Eton College. Miss Anna, by no means out yet, knew no greater source of joy and pride than to be taken up to sit beside him in his curricle for a turn or two round the Park, the envy (she was convinced) of every other, less favoured, damsel. As for Miss Elizabeth, and Master Philip, they regarded him as a fount of such dizzy delights as visits to Astley's Amphitheatre, or a Grand Display of Fireworks, and could perceive no fault in him.

They were not singular: very few people found fault with Gareth Ludlow. Watching him, as he contrived, while displaying over and over again for the edification of little Philip the magical properties of his repeating watch, to lend an ear to the particular problem exercising Leigh's mind, Mrs. Wetherby thought that you would be hard put to it to find a more attractive man, and wished, as she had done a thousand times before, that she could discover some bride for him lovely enough to drive out of his heart the memory of his dead love. Heaven knew that she had spared no pains during the seven years that had elapsed since Clarissa's death to accomplish this end. She had introduced to his notice any number of eligible females, several of them as witty as they were beautiful, but she had never been able to detect in his gray eyes so much as a flicker of the look that had warmed them when they had rested on Clarissa Lincombe.

These reflections were interrupted by the entrance of Mr. Wetherby, a dependable-looking man in the early forties, who grasped his brother-in-law's hand, saying briefly: "Ha, Gary! Glad to see you!" and lost no time in despatching his offspring about their several businesses. This done, he told his wife that she shouldn't encourage the brats to plague their uncle.

Sir Gareth, having regained possession of his watch and his quizzing-glass, slipped the one into his pocket, and hung the other round his neck by its long black riband, and said: "They don't plague me. I think I had better take Leigh along with me to Crawley Heath next month. A good mill will give him something other to think of than the set of his coats. No, I know you don't approve of prize-fighting, Trixie, but you'll have the boy trying to join the dandy-set if you don't take care!"

"Nonsense! You don't wish to burden yourself with a scrubby schoolboy!" said Warren, imperfectly concealing his gratification at the invitation.

"Yes, I do: I like Leigh. You needn't fear I shall let him get into mischief: I won't."

Mrs. Wetherby broke in on this, giving utterance to the thought in her mind. "Oh, my dear Gary, if you knew how much I long to see you with a son of your own to indulge!"


Excerpted from Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer Copyright © 2004 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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sprig Muslin 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
This book is hilarious! I was laughing at every turn of the page! Sir Gareth stumbles upon Amanda who appears to be roaming about the countryside alone. His life will never be the same! Amanda is an adventerous young lady with a lively imagination that will have you going "what will she think of next?" She leads Sir Gareth on a wonderful adventure to prove a point to her grandparent and guardian: Amanda always gets what she wants." Sir Gareth is on his way to ask Lady Hester (I think that's her name) to marry him. When he encounters Amanda, he knows he can't let a pretty young lady wander about the countryside by himself, so he takes it upon himself to act as her guardian. What happens in the end.. read it and find out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been trying to find this book for a long time as I read it many years ago. I love the understated heroine even though she has a minor part to play in all heros goings on. Most enjoyable!
Stacey42 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sir Gareth Ludlow needs to wed & resolves to propose to a friend of his long deceased fiancée. One his way to propose to Lady Hester he encounters a young miss named Amanda who is running away from home to meet up with the officer she is in love with. There are mishaps, misunderstandings & an encounter with a dangerous highwayman! Wonderfully written! Very amusing.
2chances on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Oh, hooray! They have re-issued Sprig Muslin, the first Georgette Heyer novel I ever read, just as my tatty old paperback copy disintegrated completely! Sprig Muslin is one of the lightest of Heyer's lighter-than-air concoctions, and I remember that when I read it the first time, I was disappointed (SPOILER!) that the hero did not end up with the young and beautiful girl. Now I find myself quite charmed by the more unexpected denouement, and giggling happily at the understated humor. Oh, Georgette. You deserve accolades for your delightful Regencies - but alas, lesser authors turned the whole genre into predictable silliness. Does the re-issue of your novels mean you are finally appreciated at your true worth?
Figgles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pleasant read (and a "sad romp" as Ms Heyer would put it!) but I shouldn't have read it immediately after "The Foundling" as it is a reworking of that plot. It is a better book, especially with the additional depth of character given to the role of Lady Hester and the more mature hero (Sir Gareth). So, do read it, but put a couple of books between this one and the earlier version!
richardderus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I confess it true: I am such a noddycock that this is the first of the estimable Miss Heyer's trashy novels that I e'er did peruse. Dash it all, how was I to know she was a veritable caryatid of culture, a purveyoress of fine wordsmithing, an artiste?Yeah, so she invented the Regency romance, or close enough to it. Yeah, she was an English homemaker. And by today's "so what did you smell like after you murdered those teenagers, Mr. Dahmer?" celebrity standards, she was a complete nonentity. Never gave an interview, never went on tour, never so much as blew a kiss to a crowd.And still her legend lives on. I imagine the Regency period of English history would still be a giant snorefest for the youth of America if it were not for Miss Heyer's Regency-set romances. They spawned myriad imitatrixes to mine the rich seam, from the time she started out at age nineteen until this good day. And beyond, I suspect. She wrote well over 50 titles, she had a half-century career, she was a commercial powerhouse. She was a game-changer for the publishing industry. She was, in short, JRR Tolkien but female (and fun to read).You won't spot historical inaccuracies in her books. You won't spot infelicities of style. You won't see violence or mayhem, though the odd lord does get shot or sliced with a sword.What you will see is simple, direct, and graceful writing, not precious or cutesy-poo drivel. You will see implausible-but-consistent plotting. You will see clearly and concisely drawn characters, people one can believe really went to Almack's and faught in the Peninsular campaign and made their debuts to the ton. You will, if you climb down off your preconceived notions, get a rare treat...a book that's a pleasure to read and a disappointment to finish, but is just exactly the right length.Recommended. Most heartily. Damme if it's not.
riverwillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book has an unprepossessing start, Sir Gareth Ludlow has finally decided to marry and has determined to offer for the hand of Lady Hester, a friend of his long dead fiancee. But it quickly picks up when Sir Gareth encounters Amanda, an innocent, yet resourceful runaway who quickly embroils Sir Gareth in a series of scrapes. This is a delightful romp as the characters dart across the countryside in various carriages. Wonderful.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was introduced to Georgette Heyer about a year ago and she has become a favorite. Sprig Muslin reads like a comedy of manners. Set in the Regency Period, it is the story of Amanda, a young runaway girl, Sir Gareth, the high-society bachelor who takes on the role of her protector, and the shy daughter of an Earl, Lady Hester, who rejects Gareth while all the while being in love with him.With an outstanding cast of characters who always get the wrong end of the stick the story romps along with many complications and much humor. As with all Georgette Heyers¿ historical novels, the language is a delight to read and where else will you find phrases like ¿Go away, you odious, impertinent creature¿ or ¿By Jove, sir, I am devilish glad to see you¿.I thoroughly enjoyed Sprig Muslin and look forward to discovering my next Georgette Heyer.
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