Thursday, December 20, 2007

Turning In New Directions, Part One

In 1928 Georgette joined her husband in Macedonia, which was to be his last prospecting job. In Macedonia she almost died from an anesthetic while in the dentist's chair, and lived in a "haunted house" where she wrote Pastel. Hodge posits that the climax of this book, where the main character, Frances, has her baby, shows how Georgette's mind was working; she was ready to have a baby. Pastel was dedicated to her mother.

Ronald had never really wanted to be a mining engineer, anyway, so the two decided to return to England. Georgette had shown that she could support them with her writing, and that is what she planned to do while Ronald looked about him for a new career.

By 1929 they were back in London, and for a time Ronald was a partner in a gas, light, and coke company. Georgette continued writing. She had tried five different publishers before settling on Heinemann. A. S. Frere, Heinemann's managing director, became a lifelong friend and confidant to Georgette. Hodge writes that Frere recalled that Georgette was discouraged about her career when they first met; then after the success of These Old Shades, Heinemann decided to take over the rights of her previous books, reprinting The Great Roxhythe and The Black Moth in 1929, and changing The Transformation of Philip Jettan to Powder and Patch in 1930.

In 1929 Georgette published Beauvallet with Heinemann. This new historical novel was set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth and was another fast-paced, swashbuckling story, centering on the hero. She dedicated this book to her brother Frank.

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