A few months ago, a fabulous friend of mine asked me participate in a new podcast she’s working on. The premise? All guests would be allocated a Georgette Heyer (1902-1974) book and we’d discuss it. Given that I was about to spend a month and a bit in a very small, isolated location, I was sure I’d have to wait until back in the city to purchase said book and then arrange the recording. Now Georgette Heyer (pronounced ‘Hair’) is a bit of a mystery, as she was a prolific but very private writer. She was genre-defining (Regency Romance) and by all accounts, a little bit of an oddity. But if you’re a Jane Austen fan, then it’s like being able to discover the same sort of world.
Who Is This E. Gordon?
Anyway, within a few days of arriving, I visited the absolutely wonderful bookstore on the island (oh how I love this place: it has not just a bookstore, but a library AND a huge book-by-donation section at the recycling depot) and wandered the shelves. On impulse, I asked the owner, Liz (yes, I’d already made friends), if she had any GH books. She looked at me a little quizzically and then said, you know, it’s weird but I got a whole stack in about a month ago, and she lead me to the used section in the sunny atrium and showed me a pile of what is almost every single GH book, lovingly marked as being the property of E.Gordon. (Who is this E. Gordon? Why did s/he donate the whole collection? why part with it now, given that most of the books are about 50 years old? Mystery!).
How Could I Say No?
I dutifully carried my assigned book (along with a pile of several others, including these two) home, restraining myself from buying more from the tempting pile. And then I promptly went back to buy the whole collection. On my last day on the island, I of course went back to the bookstore for a final browse. As soon as I walked in, Liz says “I found three more!”.
And so now, I am back in the city, ploughing through every one of about 30 wonderful, rolicking books and enjoying them all.
Thanks E. Gordon!