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Heyer's heroes: An investigation into Georgette Heyer and her literary 'mark' on the Regency hero

Georgette Heyer, a writer most famous for her Regency romances, has not entered the portals of any literary canon, yet her writing has had an impact on the literary world in terms of her contribution to popular fiction. The body of Scholarship on Georgette Heyer is not large and this thesis seeks to contribute to and extend previous research through an analysis of her heroes, in particular, the Regency hero. This investigation into her heroes reveals that Heyer was influenced by the heroes of both literary and popular writers and, in turn, helped to create a new genre of romantic hero. Georgette Heyer's two prototypes, 'Mark I: The brusque, savage sort with a foul temper' and 'Mark II: Suave, well-dressed, rich, and a famous whip', have their roots in literary tradition. A study of her novels reveals the heavy influence of pre-twentieth century writers, particularly Charlotte Br nte, Lord Byron, and Jane Austen, and the twentieth century works of Baroness Orczy. In the Regency novels, Heyer's heroes are suave, sophisticated men: Corinthians, top-sawyers, leaders of fashion - the type of archetypal hero one might expect in popular historical romance fiction. Indeed, Heyer's novels are of fundamental importance in the creation and popularising of this archetype. Georgette Heyer also redefines the romantic genre by introducing the rake as a type of anti-hero and subverting the heroic norm with dandified and plain men also playing the heroic role. Through Georgette Heyer's contribution to the Regency romance, the Heyer hero has become a recognised and frequently replicated type.
Type of thesis
Warner, C. R. (2010). Heyer’s heroes: An investigation into Georgette Heyer and her literary ‘mark’ on the Regency hero (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4406
The University of Waikato
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