A Civil Contract ebook

by Georgette Heyer

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Home Georgette Heyer A Civil Contract. A civil contract, . 9. I have been thinking about it a great deal, and I perceive that it is now my duty to contract a Brilliant Alliance. Do you think I could, if I set my mind to it?’ ‘No, certainly not!

Home Georgette Heyer A Civil Contract. Do you think I could, if I set my mind to it?’ ‘No, certainly not!

by. Heyer, Georgette, 1902-1974. On inheriting an almost bankrupt estate, a Regency aristocrat decides to contract a marriage of convenience.

by. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books.

A Civil Contract book. A Civil Contract is a departure from the Heyer romantic plotlines.

A Civil Contract is a Regency romance novel by Georgette Heyer, first published in 1961. Set in 1814-1815, it is also a historical novel and follows the general pattern of storytelling of Heyer's other novels. The romantic plot centers on a viscount who reluctantly enters a marriage of convenience with a wealthy commoner's daughter. Viscount Lynton comes home to find himself the heir to debts after the death of his father.

Random House, 28 февр. For more than fifty years Georgette Heyer brought romance and adventure to a wordwide readership and Civil Contarct shows how she continues to be loved today. A brilliant Regency romance full of spirited heroines and dashing heroes, by the queen of the genre. Adam Deveril, the new Viscount Lynton and a hero at Salamanca, returns from the Peninsula War to find his family on the brink of ruin and the broad acres of his ancestral home mortgaged to the hilt.

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Электронная книга "A Civil Contract", Georgette Heyer Georgette Heyer wrote over fifty novels, including Regency romances, mysteries, and historical fiction

Электронная книга "A Civil Contract", Georgette Heyer. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "A Civil Contract" для чтения в офлайн-режиме. Georgette Heyer wrote over fifty novels, including Regency romances, mysteries, and historical fiction. Другие книги автора Georgette Heyer.

Book by Georgette Heyer
I love Georgette Heyer – I’ve already posted twenty adoring reviews of her novels. I also adore this one, but I freely admit, it’s a bit different. The title says it all, because in the Regency marriage was, apart from an institution, a civil contract, a rock-solid one that required an Act of Parliament to worm out of. Heyer was an historian, and in the way An Infamous Army taps into the battle of Waterloo, this is an unvarnished history of a marriage in the Regency. When it was published in 1961, the book business wasn’t quite so slavish about genres, demanding that books conform to their genre template. In that template, the noble Adam Deveril would eventually fall hopelessly in love with Jenny, the woman he marries to save his family from ruin. But this is a more mature story, and I think anyone who’s been married a few years past the honeymoon will see themselves in it somewhere. Heyer was an established name, and likely to be given her head in what she wanted to write. All that being said, I can understand the reviews that didn’t find this to be an extremely satisfying novel. And it’s certainly not a first Heyer! Go to Venetia for that, or Cotillion or Arabella or even The Toll-Gate. Heyer had just finished the rollicking story The Unknown Ajax, and she wrote her editor that, in this book, she wanted to “make a quiet story interesting.” I think she succeeded.

It was a story that played itself out numberless times throughout the 19th century. Adam Deveril is an officer in the 52nd, a wounded veteran of the Napoleonic wars that are nearing a close. The army is all he’s ever known. He returns home after the sudden death of his father to discover that the sporty and irresponsible Viscount Lynton has driven his family’s already troubled finances into the ground. Adam finds himself so deeply in debt he’ll probably have to sell Fontley, his family’s historic holding in Lincolnshire. He’s been in love for some time with Julia Oversley, daughter of longtime family friends. They were never officially betrothed, and he now realizes he can’t marry her. He puts a good face on it for his family, but he’s in a great deal of pain. Ironically it’s Julia’s father, Lord Oversley, who first proposes an obvious solution to Adam, that he marry money. By the end of the century it was wealthy American heiresses who crossed the Atlantic in droves to marry a title, but in the Regency it was more likely to be the daughter of a rich, home-grown tradesman, a common strategy that could launch a low-born man’s descendants into the aristocracy. Oversley has done business with a man named Jonathan Chawleigh, a Cit, or City man of incredible wealth openly shopping for a title for his daughter. Chawleigh is a great character, almost brutal where money is concerned, as a self-made man had to be. He has no illusions for himself, and won’t even socialize with Adam; it’s all for the Plan, all for his daughter. The first scene between Chawleigh and a horrified Adam Deveril is really funny, where British social rank is reduced to a commodity, until it begins to hit home for Adam that all this might really happen. Though Adam knows he can’t marry Julia, he has no intention whatsoever of marrying Jenny Chawleigh, until, slowly, the trap closes around him. This is where Heyer really shines, in her ability to make the reader understand the realities of the period, that Adam is neither mercenary nor ruthless, but simply pressed on every side by family responsibility, while most of the people around him, people he respects, push him toward this solution.

Jenny Chawleigh is plain and practical, and has been a friend of Julia Oversley’s for some time. She’s already met Adam, and deeply respects him, though he doesn’t remember her, or any of their conversations that took place some time before. Jenny’s also a great character, and she rings true. As to why she would marry a man who doesn’t love her, this rings true as well. Jenny’s proud, meaning the entire situation is rarely addressed, but on the rare occasion she does it makes for a very touching scene, often with Lydia, Adam’s younger sister whom Jenny befriends. As usual with Heyer all the secondary characters shine, and Lydia is great, particularly in her odd friendship with Jonathan Chawleigh of all people. Lydia openly resents Jenny at first, but comes to love her, as she comes to a more adult understanding of marriage while she watches her brother’s from a near distance. There’s little Jenny wouldn’t do to make Adam happy, or at least content, both indulging him and running interference for him while she helps him achieve his various dreams, including a degree of financial independence that restores his pride.

There is never a love scene between them, as there would almost doubtless be nowadays. Arguably one is needed, though the book is sexually aware in a delicate way. Adam Deveril is something of a beau ideal, without the ruthlessness in many of Heyer’s heroes. He’s sensitive about the money Jonathan Chawleigh tries to drown them in, when many aristocrats would have grabbed it with both hands. It leads to conflict, but also some really funny scenes about New Money excesses. As the marriage unfolds, Adam’s principal emotion regarding Jenny is deep guilt. “I take everything, and give nothing,” is the thought that comes to him on several occasions when Jenny’s awareness of her status hits him in the face.

But building a home and family brings Adam and Jenny close, despite the things Adam knows he’ll never have. Heyer saw an adult, functioning marriage as a partnership, no stars in the eyes that blind you to the fact you wouldn’t really suit, until you find yourself fifteen years into a life with someone who gets on your nerves. Someone you married because you thought they were pretty. This is a constant theme in her books, despite her reputation for writing romances. In her stories of great loves, they are people lucky enough to have a deep attraction for someone who also suits them, someone who’ll make them genuinely happy in the long run, even if on the surface this seems improbable. That’s the theme of A Civil Contract even in the marriages of other characters, the tug of war between adolescent love and a quieter sort that lasts.

By the standards of a modern Regency romance, there are moments in this that are downright painful, particularly Adam’s internal narrative, his private thoughts about Jenny. Also Jenny’s utter lack of one wisp of sexual appeal, something to give her some armour against humiliation, is problematic, though clearly Heyer admires the character, as she always admired capable women. It’s a shame Heyer was always working under financial pressures, committed to two books a year, one thriller and one romance. It often caused a dismissive attitude regarding her own books, when she’d say she was “sick to death of the thing!” which she said about this one. Endings could be hard for her on a tight schedule, and a handful of her books show this clearly. But she obviously cared deeply about this one – she rewrote the end at least once while being pressed to deliver it, and I think it’s great. The war in France has erupted again, and in the chaos of news from Belgium about the final grudge match between Napoleon and Wellington, Adam Deveril bucks the word on the street and puts his faith in Wellington, with the biggest gamble of his life. Adam’s financial rebirth becomes a smooth metaphor for the choices he’s made with Jenny, and his sudden, surprised understanding of how he feels about those choices. The finish to Adam and Jenny’s quiet story left me feeling good all day. A different sort of love story, not simple and not wildly romantic, but richly satisfying all the same.
How many times have we read of the wastrel father who unexpectedly dies and leaves a mountain of debt AND a title to his level-headed son? In this case, the title is "viscount" and the hero is Adam Deveril, a soldier who loves being a soldier. In fact, soldiering is the only thing he's ever wanted to do, so he's torn on giving up that career forever. There's really no choice though, as his commander reminds him, and Adam, being the reasonable man he is, agrees. He must resign, go home, and work his way through the mess left behind by his father.
How to get out of the debt is the basis for the marriage of convenience that will join Adam to Jenny Chawleigh, a young woman not of Adam's class, whose father is rich enough to buy her a titled husband. Sounds typical, right? It's not at all thanks to Heyer's deft plotting and characterizations. Jenny just happens to be a friend of the young woman who loves Adam and who is deeply loved in return by him. There's no happy maneuvering that allows Adam to end up with his beloved. Instead, we get heartbreaking scenes throughout the novel: ending the relationship, running into each
other at various functions, etc. Jenny KNOWS how much they hurt, but she is powerless to do anything. Her father wants a title for his only child, and Adam needs the Chawleigh money to save his family and name from ruin. Jenny is not beautiful and knows she can't compete with romantic
love. Her only hope and desire is to make a "comfortable" marriage. She is logical in this.
There are secondary romances interwoven that not only make sense but also add to the richness of details.
I found it intriguing that there's no lightning bolt of "Oh, I've fallen in love with my wife!" which is often the case in marriage of convenience themes. Instead, we have love grow out of respect and necessity between two honorable people.
This book turns the usual romance on its head - the beautiful girl doesn't get the man she thinks she loves because he can't afford to marry her. Instead, he is forced to marry for money a girl who is the daughter of a wealthy merchant and is the opposite of the beautiful girl the hero loves. This is a very mature look at love and marriage as the hero,Adam, and his plain heiress wife,Jenny, learn to make the best of their lives together. The story has wonderful characters like Jenny's papa who is a self-made man with no pretensions to gentility, Adam's mother who invented guilt-trips and his sister Lydia who has a zest for life. I didn't like it when I first read it in high school but now that I am quite a bit older I find it very enjoyable as the characters have more dimension and depth than those in the typical romance. Give it a try and I believe you will like it.
A Civil Contract ebook
Georgette Heyer
Genre Fiction
EPUB size:
1707 kb
FB2 size:
1660 kb
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1628 kb
Arrow Books Ltd; New Ed edition (1997)
393 pages
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