I needed some light reading so I picked up another Georgette Heyer novel while I was at the library last week. I'll admit to selecting Powder and Patch because it was the smallest of the Georgette Heyer novels and I wanted a quick read:-)
Powder and Patch is one of Georgette Heyer's first novels. You can tell this when reading the book when compared to other novels. It's not as well developed as Arabella or Sylvestor (the only other two Georgette Heyer novels that I've read), but it's still a good book.
The interesting part of this novel is that it's a Cinderella type story in reverse. Most movies and books have a dowdy female that is made to look beautiful and win the day (Princess Diaries, Miss Congeniality, Sabrina, My Fair Lady, etc. etc.). In this book, Philip Jettan is a simple squire with no polish. His childhood sweetheart, Cleone Charteris, does not want to marry a man with no dress style and rough manners, she wants a man who is refined, well dressed, well spoken, etc. Philip's father also wants him to be more refined. Philip leaves for Paris, learns how to dress (in lace, tights, makeup, polished nails, and jewels - no less!), flirt with the ladies, dual, or in short, how to be a dandy. When he returns, Cleone is not sure that this new Philip is what she wanted.
I enjoyed the book, but the constant french phrases annoyed me - probably because I don't know french so I had no idea what Philip was saying. Also I can't imagine a world with dandified men who wear tights, nail polish, etc. I'm glad I don't live in that era as I don't think I would find Ben so attractive if he was dancing around in tights and speaking french:-)