These Old Shades

· Historical Romances Book 3 · Sourcebooks, Inc.
24 reviews

About this ebook

"Heyer was one of the great protagonists of the historical novel in the post-war golden age..." —Philippa Gregory

Considered the book that launched Gerogette Heyer's career, These Old Shades features two of Heyer's most memorable characters: Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignominy and comes to love and marry.

The Duke is known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscience, and his debauched lifestyle. Late one evening, he is accosted by a young person dressed in ragged boy's clothing running away from a brutal rustic guardian. The Duke buys "Leon" and makes the child his page. "Leon" is in fact Leonie, and she serves the Duke with deep devotion. When he uncovers the true story of her birth, he wreaks an unforgettable revenge on her sinister father in a chilling scene of public humiliation.


"Our Georgette Heyer display of the Sourcebooks reprints has been a huge success, not only to those early fans like myself, but to many new readers who appreciate her style and wit."

Nancy Olson, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

"Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen."

Publishers Weekly

"Wonderful characters, elegant, witty writing, perfect period detail, and rapturously romantic. Georgette Heyer achieves what the rest of us only aspire to."

Katie Fforde

"Absolute monarch of the Regency romance."

Kirkus Reviews

Ratings and reviews

24 reviews
A Google user
September 29, 2012
I loved this book's witty, droll humor. The love relationship that grows beween the hardened Duke of Allistair and his irrepressible ward Leon (Leonie) is sweet, which is surprising and delightful. I had some difficulty with the author's premise that high birth determines a person's real worth and environment has little to no effect on shaping their character. I beg to differ, but still give it 5 stars for its delightful repartee.
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A Google user
July 22, 2010
This was an extremely beautiful romantic story. It showed a love that slowly and unconsciously grew as Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, tried to solve the “puzzle” that Leon/Leonie represented. For all the good it did him to keep her at arm’s length, her unconditional love for him torn the walls that he surrounded himself. In the end, instead of using her as the key to his own vengeance, he learned to love and treasure her as the key to his heart. Overall, it was a very touching story. My favourite G.H. book.
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Patricia B
September 28, 2015
A May-December romance with much adventure and elegance of wit. Heyer always draws me in with her timeless heroes, strong heroines, and throughout all adventures and misdeeds there is humor to be found. After thirty years of rereading her stories, this is still among my top five favorite Heyer books.
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About the author

The late Georgette Heyer was a very private woman. Her historical novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades, though she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or private life. She was born in Wimbledon in August 1902. She wrote her first novel, The Black Moth, at the age of seventeen to amuse her convalescent brother; it was published in 1921 and became an instant success.

Heyer published 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Heyer's large volume of works included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. She was married to George Ronald Rougier, a barrister, and they had one son, Richard.

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