Thursday, August 25, 2011


Well, I sat down to write what I'm sure would have been a brilliantly witty post about something or other, but got distracted by getting caught up on Jennifer Crusie's blog, which then led me to check out the sale on Georgette Heyer's books at Amazon, and to read the SBTB review of The Grand Sophy, and eventually to generally completely forget what I was going to say.

I have to admit they've got me thinking about The Grand Sophy, which I reviewed a few months ago.  I may have to re-read it.  The SBTB reviewer was horrified by the anti-semitism, which made me a bit ashamed of myself that it hadn't bothered me more.  I did notice it, and I did think it was poorly done-- not just that the stereotype of the Jewish moneylender is there, but that it was done in such a heavy-handed way.

But it was such an brief, isolated incident in the book, sort of like a cul-de-sac, that I am embarrassed to admit that it didn't really register with me. Partly because I think you have to cut Heyer some slack (not a lot, but some) for being of her time.  Yes, it was published after WWII (1950), but the 50s and early 60s were one of the peaks of anti-semitism (at least in our country, I'm not sure about England)-- not so much physical harassment as exclusion from social clubs, country clubs, sporting events, the political arena, etc.  It doesn't excuse it, not by a long shot, but maybe gives it a bit of context.  Heyer was probably typical of her era.

So maybe I will re-read it and report back.  On the other hand, it's not one of my favorite of Heyer's, so maybe I don't care enough to re-read it while there are still so many others of hers I haven't read. 

Anyway.  I'm off for the weekend.  My boys are going on a backpacking trip, and I'm turning everything off and having my own mini-retreat.  I have a stack of books, but I may end up just doing a jigsaw puzzle and listening to music.  I'm going to the new student barbecue on Saturday afternoon, but other than that, I'm going to be completely anti-social for the next four days and I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it.  YAY.


  1. We were just talking about how much the world has changed and what is acceptable or politically correct. The movie THE HELP brought this home for us. I was born in the 50's so imagine all the books and sayings we said not even thinking. The world has changed so much since WWII. Although the political correctness has gone a little off the rail, IMO. Common sense should be the norm. If it is going to hurt someone, don't do or say it.

    Have you noticed another period piece TV series; Mad Men and the new stewardess series Come Fly With Me? Does that mean everything old is new again? ;)

    Can I come have a silent weekend with you? It sounds divine! Lucky, lucky you.

  2. This is not an authour I'm familiar with so I can't say. But Carol is right, we have come so far. For that I am really glad. I do agree though, common sense should be the general rule.

    Enjoy your own personal time. You totally deserve it!

  3. Funny that for all my love of "romance" books I had never read anything by Georgette Heyer until last week. B&N had a bunch of her ebooks on sale so picked up several. The Grand Sophy wasn't one of them but will have to read it and see what I see.

    Have fun on your mini tech retreat. I have a very hard time totally disengaging from technology, even when traveling to far away places. We could even get the internet in some places in Rwanda. Ridiculous.

  4. I'm envious of your mini-retreat. Enjoy it because I plan to live vicariously through you.

  5. The mini-retreat was fabulous. I felt like I could have used ONE MORE day, but it's entirely possible that no matter how long it was, I would have wanted ONE MORE DAY. :-)

    the new student barbecue was actually pretty fun, in spite of my grumpy, antisocial tendencies. It continues to amaze me how much the other students seem to accept my ancient presence with them. It HAS to be like having their mother there, but they don't seem to mind too much.

    The whole political correctness issue is deserving of much thought. I'm back on campus, where it is carried to ABSURD lengths. And also I live in redneck central. I get both extremes. As always, am searching for some middle ground. I may have more thoughts about this sometime.