THE BLACK MOTH was well received, and a compulsive writer was born. Her second, third, fourth, and fifth novels were published by 1925 when she married, so she must have been doing a lot of writing while she was being courted by her husband-to-be.
Heyer met Ronald Rougier during Christmas of 1920. He was two years her senior. More about Rougier's background later.
Heyer went out with Rougier for five years, and they became engaged in the Spring of 1925, the year her fifth novel was published. A month following that engagement, George Heyer died suddenly of a heart attack after playing tennis with his future son-in-law. George Heyer's death, besides being a personal tragedy, was an economic disaster for the family, and Georgette became the central anchor for the famiy. Boris and Frank were only 19 and 15 at the time; Boris was working, but Frank would need to be put through school and Cambridge, and Georgette was the one who would do this.
Now she was not just writing compulsively, but because it was necessary to help take care of her family. She was already a well-established author, and when her sixth novel was published it was an instant success. These Old Shades sold 190,000 copies on publication without any publicity. It is speculated that this confirmed Heyer's belief that it wasn't necessary for her to spend a lot of time or effort on publicity, and this suited her very well. She and her husband were very private people, especially after her father's death. She was happy to be Mrs. Rougier in public, and keep the author, Georgette Heyer, extremely private and secluded from the public.
Information taken from The Private Life of Georgette Heyer by Jane Aiken Hodge.
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