Drawing tonight for two Georgette Heyer books. Leave a comment at this link on Why I Love Georgette Heyer. Congratulations winners, Jan and Ginger, chosen through Random Number Generator! Thank you all for making a comment!
Georgette Heyer in 1923, when she was 21 and lived in Ridgway Place. She had already written The Black Moth for her sick brother Boris.
Georgette Heyer was born 110 years ago (August 16, 1902) at 103 Woodside, a mere 500 yards from Wimbledon Library. She was named after her father George, a descendant of a Russian fur merchant who had immigrated to England during the mid-19th century. The family lived at Woodside from 1902 to 1906 before moving to 1 Courthope Road. Georgette’s family lived in several houses in Wimbledon, all middle class, all close to each other.
Tony Grant, who lives in Wimbledon and took the images of her childhood homes and neighborhood for this post, speculates that “Maybe her father and mother rented rather than bought. That might not sound strange to you but it is rare for us. We generally buy our houses [and] don’t move that often.”
Georgette Heyer’s birthplace. Image @Tony Grant
Another view of her birthplace
He adds an interesting tidbit: “People here don’t really appreciate her that much. They tend to think she was always trying to give them a history lesson. Things they knew anyway…But I can see how someone who wanted to immerse themselves in the period would love her.”
Georgette Heyer came from a respectable background. She and her family lived at various addresses in Wimbledon: 103 Woodside (1902-6), 1 Courthope Road (c.1907-9), 11 Homefield Road (1918) and 5 Ridgway Place (1923–5).
The Albany, Mayfair
She was married to George Ronald Rougier CBE QC, a mining engineer who later became a shopkeeper and then a barrister. For 24 years the couple lived in a rented space in Albany House in Mayfair, London, a swanky area where so many of her upper crust characters shopped and danced and found romance. They had one son, Richard. Georgette experienced great success during her lifetime, receiving excellent reviews and seeing the sales of her novels increase yearly. Almost 40 years after her death in 1974, her novels, especially her Regency romances, remain in print.
While Georgette was aware of the popularity of her Regency romances, she was unhappy that her more serious historical novels were not similarly embraced. On August 16th of this year, Tony reports that the Wimbledon Library will have no events to remember her by. “I feel quite sad now”, he added, “[She] probably needs a 150th anniversary to get a mention!”
Other Georgette Heyer Reviews on this blog: