Another very enjoyable read from Georgette Heyer. I found this one just as amusing and sweet as Frederica. And as with the other Heyer books I have read, it was fascinating to read all of the details of fashion that she goes into.
The story of The Corinthian is perhaps more absurd than in the other books I have read by Heyer, but she manages to pull it off. It begins with Sir Richard Wyndham being accosted by his sister and mother, as they attempt to bully him into marrying. He feels he has no choice, but the woman to whom he is supposed to propose is connected to a family whose sons are nothing but trouble, and would drain Richard's fortunes if he let them. The woman herself understands the situation, and has no ideals about falling in love with him. Sir Richard goes out that night and gets completely drunk, and we get the impression that he had hopes of one day falling in love himself.
His life changes that night however, when he is walking home drunk in the early hours of the morning. He comes across a young woman escaping from her home by means of a rope ladder out the second story window. Due to his drunkeness, he makes some interesting choices, and ends up helping her continue her escape by escorting her - she disguised as a boy, and he as her tutor. The girl is seventeen-year-old Penelope Creed, and she is escaping her own unwanted marriage. She is completely naive, and totally unaware of the compromising position she has put both herself and Sir Richard in. Their situation only gets more absurd, with the addition of thieves, murderers, and young lovers too silly or scared to elope. But the romance that develops between the two main characters is lovely, and I never got tired about reading about Penelope.
Besides the delightful two main characters, there are several supporting characters that are also amusing and fun to read about. One surprising character is that of Cedric Brandon. When we first meet him, at the home of Sir Richard's intended bride, who is his older sister, he seems annoying and foppish. And maybe he is, but he is also thoroughly entertaining, and he in no way expects Richard to saddle himself with the Brandon family's difficulties. Besides the characters, the way that Heyer describes the fashions of the time is also fascinating. She seems to mock much of it, especially the men's fashion, adding another layer of humor. All in all this was a very enjoyable read.