Cotillion or The Book of Too Many Men

Ok, fine. I'm probably the only one who things that Georgette Heyer's Cotillion is the one of too many men. There were just too many male cousins and I kept getting them all confused, except for Freddy and Dolph.

I don't know why but every time I read a Heyer novel I worry that it's not going to be good. The only reason that I can think of as to why is because the first one I read was my friend's favourite and I was kind of worried that the rest wouldn't be good. And now, while I realize that all the novels I've read were good and enjoyable I'm expecting a dud. There's got to be a total dub in her collection somewhere....right?

Kitty is a young woman, of age, who stands to inherit a substantial fortune from her guardian...but only if she marries one of his nephews. And he seems to have a bloody lot of nephews. The first chapter opens with three of them. Then they talk about a couple of more. And of course all the guys have two or three names - John, Jimmy, Lord Whazhisface (making all these up of course). Normally I have no problem following the multiple names thing but I kept getting thrown off in this one, particularly with Jack. When his Mr. Westruther name was first used I was confused as heck. I really should have used one of the handy genealogical charts that I found on Georgette-Heyer.com.

Ever notice how you'll read a Heyer novel and the plot isn't that different from others you've read and the main characters aren't that different from the main characters in one of her other books but then there's a supporting character and they just make all the difference? In Cotillion that character is Lord Dolphinton. Ah Dolph! How I enjoyed him (although back to the multiple name thing I was confused as heck when he was first called "Foster"). Dolph was great.

Oh right, I was attempting to talk about the plot. Oops. So all of Uncle Matthew's nephews are called to visit and told what's happening and then expected to offer for Kitty. Dolph does because his mother (a true meanie and would be the quintessential mother-in-law from hell) forced him to ask her. Kitty declines. Then Revend Hugh, the resident pompous ass, asked her, "out of pity" so that he could "properly educate" her...and get his paws on the twenty thousand pounds. Kitty declined. Jack, Uncle Matthews (and it's suspected Kitty's) favourite didn't show up at all. And Freddy, well, Freddy shows up late. But will Freddy be the one to save Kitty? Hmmmm....

It was fun in the way that all of Heyer's novels are fun. I've yet to read a bad Heyer. And it's totally worth reading for Dolph.