Friday, August 9, 2013

Cotillion by Georgette Heyer

Title: Cotillion
Author: Georgette Heyer
Read by: Clare Wille
Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks - 2009
Length: Approximately 4 hours, sadly it is abridged
Source: MP3 Audio through Wisconsin Public Library Consortium – Overdrive on my Droid

Cotillion is my favorite Georgette Heyer novel so far. I loved it when I first read it in print a few years ago, and I enjoyed the audiobook version. I wish it wasn’t abridged, but it is still delightful. I only wish there were more Georgette Heyer audiobooks to listen to. Naxos, please make more!

Cotillion is the story of Kitty Charing. She is the young ward of an eccentric old man named Matthew. She was the daughter of a family friend that he raised as his own. He gathers together his nephews and tells them that he will leave Kitty his entire fortune, provided that she marries one of his nephews. Kitty is not pleased by this situation, especially as the rascal Jack Westruther that she has a crush on, failed to make the meeting. One of the other nephews Honorable Freddy Standish comes across Kitty as he arrives late and she is trying to run away. He decides to help her out by pretending to be engaged. She can then visit his family in London and finally get to see the City as well as try to find Jack. Shenanigans ensue.

I loved how both Kitty and Freddy have a great love of helping others and are a couple of matchmakers. They are both wonderful characters, amongst my favorite in literature. Freddy is a dandy, very tied up in his appearance. But he also has a heart of gold. Kitty is headstrong, but she has led a very sheltered life and wants to see more of the world. She also has a heart of gold and she is willing to make mistakes and learn from them. The genius to Cotillion for me is that I thought it would be a very predictable romantic tale, but it went off in a much unexpected and very pleasurable direction. The first time I read it, I was amazed how my perceptions of the characters changed as I read through the novel.

 Clare Wille is not Richard Armitage narrating this audiobook, but she is the next best thing. She was a delightful reader of the novel. I also loved the classical music that was interspersed between sections of the novel. I read on Goodreads that Clare Wille also narrated Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. That is now on my list of future audiobooks! Georgette Heyer novels are perfectly in the audiobook format. They are engaging stories with great characters. When you add in perfect narrators and music, it is a winning combination. Listening to her tales has never made chores go faster!


  1. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I've never read Heyer. This sounds good.

  2. I've never read Heyer, but Cotillion has been recommended as a good starting point. Too bad this was abridged - it's on my audible wish list and I didn't even notice! Will look for a print edition instead.