You rarely hear about Georgette Heyer in the press. Whilst Jane Austen continues to be widely and openly loved (often screamed from rooftops and argued over in academic literature), Georgette is considerably less publicly adored these days. Part of this is probably because she hasn’t sneaked into all forms of popular culture in quite the same way, like the many popular TV and filmic adaptations of Jane’s works (see here for all you need to know about Georgette film rights and what’s happening there). She’s “not exactly forgotten, but not as popular as she was in her day”, as Stephen Fry put it in a recent interview.
Stephen Fry, British national treasure, apparently loves Georgette Heyer as much as we do.
He mentioned in a BBC Four interview that when people come to his house and sees his book collection, he imagines they may be shocked to see Georgette Heyer novels.
He said: “People must look at them because their covers are pretty excruciating. They look like the most appalling kind of female romance fiction but actually I stand by her. I think she’s a fabulous writer.”
Heyer is known for her perfectionist level of historical details and language. Fry agrees: “She captures the language of late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century England superbly.”
He also mentions his first Heyer experience: “There was one called The Reluctant Widow… and that’s the first one I read, and then I became hooked – completely hooked.”
Stephen Fry loves Georgette Heyer
Not to mention Stephen unveiled an English Heritage blue plaque commemorating Georgette Heyer’s birthplace in June 2015.