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.
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.
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 World of Georgette Heyer by Jane Aiken Hodge.
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