Every once and a while a popular author’s fame outlives them. When this surprising thing happens there must be a re-examination of their work – did their earthly success blind critics from recognising their actual greatness?
Georgette Heyer is the mother of all Regency Romance. It was Heyer and not Jane Austen, who created the genre, and who truly exploited its various possibilities. Like Austen’s novels, Heyer’s Regency Romances have endured well beyond the life of their author. They have succeeded despite having inspired a whole industry of writers to produce innumerable inferior imitations, novels that have clogged the market.
Those who love to read light-hearted, warm, witty, intelligent historical romance fiction, in fact, romance readers of all persuasions, have returned, time and again, to Heyer’s novels – to The Grand Sophy, Cotillion, Sylvester, Faro’s Daughter etc.
Like Heyer, P.G. Wodehouse’s entertaining comedies have survived well beyond the death of their creator. They have even survived the oblivion of being out of print. Their reputation (laughter lingers longest), and the occasional copy found in a second-hand bookshop kept the pilot light of Wodehouse’s fame alight.
Now back in print and in bright new covers, the comic genius who kept thousands of readers in stitches, will delight a whole new generation. The debt owed by English comedy to P.G. Wodehouse is immense. Reading Wodehouse again reveals just how much it owes. So many great one-liners, hysterical scenarios, comic characters find their origins here. Whether you’re experiencing Wodehouse’s Jeeves novels for the first time, or whether you’re returning for a second or third visit, you’ll be certain to find laughs on every page.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection.