My Lord John – Georgette Heyer

Most people, if they know Georgette Heyer at all, know the author for either her detective novels or the Regency romances she wrote. I first came across her through both of these genres when I wasn’t quite old enough for adult books but had definitely outgrown children’s books.

I read my way through any books I could get my hands on as they came into the second-hand bookshop in the local market and eventually landed this one.

The Lord John of the title is John of Lancaster, third son of Henry of Bolingbroke, later King Henry IV. It starts when he is around 6 and finishes just as his oldest brother Henry is starting to take up some of the reins of government due to his father’s ill-health. The book ends abruptly as Heyer had to put it to one side to complete more popular books to pay her tax bill! She intended this book to be the first of a trilogy about the House of Lancaster during through the Wars of the Roses.

As I remembered it, from 40 years ago, this book had a different feel to it and, to an extent, it awakened my interest in the Wars of the Roses; I live in Yorkshire in what would have been a Lancastrian supporting area.

Rereading the book as a “proper grown-up” with more knowledge of the history of the period this book wasn’t as interesting as I remembered it being. It was a chore getting through to the end feels as though it needs a good edit to lop out some of the boring bits.

It did remind though that I always wanted to know more about John of Lancaster and what he did with his life. If anyone can recommend a book I’d be grateful.


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