100 Years. 100 Books – #16 1921


The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer – Fans of historical romance fiction will immediately recognize Heyer’s name and place as one of the great authors of the genre. The Black Moth was her first novel, a Georgian romance set in the 1750’s that recounts the adventures of disgraced nobleman Jack Carstares. There are many staples of historical fiction here – the aforementioned disgraced nobleman turned highwayman who really isn’t guilty of the crime of which he’s been accused; the gentle, beautiful young woman who meets the hero under questionable circumstances and force shim to change his errant ways; the struggle not to fall in love; the wicked or weak sibling, and so on.

As the story opens, we find Jack Carstares masquerading as a highwayman, robbing the rich to give to the poor, after having fallen from grace by being accused of cheating at cards. He has been cast out by family and friends alike, even though the real culprit is his younger, weaker brother. Jack’s new identity and life is challenged when he holds up a coach only to find it occupied by his brother, who immediately recognizes him. This presents a problem because the men’s father has died, and Jack, as eldest son, inherits the family property and wealth. Jack having been absent for many years in exile, young er brother Dick has managed the inheritance. Jack wants none of it, however, and continues on his wicked way, only to meet the lovely Diana Beauleigh, who shows him the error of his ways.

For fans of historical and especially Regency romances, but not really my cup of tea.

2 out of 5 catalog cards.

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