Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pseudonym, Stella Martin

Pseudonym, Stella Martin


First published in 1923 under the title THE TRANSFORMATION OF PHILIP JETTAN, and under Heyer's pseudonym, Stella Martin.

The third book published by Georgette Heyer was Powder and Patch. My copy is a Mandarin paperback. I don't yet have a hard cover copy, but will be looking for one; preferably an old one.

This book is the story of Philip Jettan, a very good, very irreproachable young man, who has all his life been in love with his childhood playmate, Cleone. When Cleone returns from her ladies' seminary, having acquired the polish and accomplishments necessary for a young lady about to be presented to society, she finds fault with Philip because he is not like the foppish dandies she has met in Town. Her heart may whisper his name to her, but as the book says, "Cleone was stern with her heart, for there was much in Mr. Jettan which did not meet with her approval." Even Philip's father wishes there were just a touch more wildness in his son. Philip is a good, steady man, who takes care of his responsibilities, has a good sense of humor and all the best character traits. But Cleone wishes for a little more dash; and she has become accustomed to being flirted with, and Philip does not flirt -- he just says what he thinks.

On the advice of his father and uncle, Philip travels to Paris for an extended visit where he "transforms". He starts dressing, acting and speaking the part of a handsome, foppish, indolent young man of means. He even writes poetry and fights duels!! When Cleone sees him again, it is as if he is an entirely different person. But although this is what she seemingly wanted all along, for some reason she finds she doesn't like it, and wants the old Philip back.

The book is very funny, and although, being only her third published work, it is not one of her best, still she writes it with a lot of insight and her characteristic wit. Of her first three I like it the best.

Next entry: The Personal Lives

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