Throwback Thursday Review: The Corinthian

The Corinthian audiobook cover. A cropped image featuring a painting of a man's torso. He is wearing regency dress, a velvety jacket and a high collared white shirt and cravat. The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Duration: 8 hrs 21 mins.

Sir Richard Wyndham is is one of Regency London's most eligible bachelors, but the time has come for him to marry. On the cusp of making a proposal that will trap the handsome, dapper, Corinthian into a marriage of convenience, he meets the unruly and unconventional Penelope as she climbs from a window to escape a similarly unappealing marriage of her own. A drunken Richard accompanies the precocious young lady as she goes 'on the run' dressed as a boy, and plenty of madcap adventures follow the unlikely pair.

Not nearly as simpering as many such regency romances, The Corinthian has become one of my favourite of Heyer's. Brimming with wit and adventure, Penn and Richard find themselves in an ever-knotting tangle of mischief, mayhem, and mishaps to the last. Quite daft but ultimately rather charming, despite the ending feeling somewhat abrupt. There has been criticism from contemporary reviewers because of the age-gap between teenage Penn and 30-something Richard, but I felt that Heyer handled it very gently and respectfully. Though Richard does, at first, believe her to be far too young for him - or he far too old for her - he is patient, kind, and not too condescending, as is often the way with an 'older' man in such romances. Their friendship blossoms very naturally, and although the ending for the couple is predictable they certainly do not take the expected path to get there!

There's a real feeling of warmth between the characters, and I was certainly rooting for them by the end.

Georgina Sutton's audiobook narration for the various characters was lively and engaging, capturing both Penn's youthful spirit and Richard's wry amusement well.

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