Critic and novelist A. S. Byatt wrote a long memorial piece for The Sunday Times when she died, based on interviews with her husband, her good friend, Carola Oman, and two of her publisher friends. That is about the only written source for any information on her early life. Hodge supplemented that info with interviews with her surviving family and friends and some of the letters to which she was given access when she wrote The Private World Of Georgette Heyer, published in 1984.
Heyer's brother, Frank, asserted that the four suppressed contemporary novels (Instead of the Thorn, Helen, Barren Corn, and Pastel) were somewhat autobiographical in nature, in particular Helen. But it is still a guessing game, as far as I can see, as to which parts of the novels were autobiographical.
We have Hodge's work, based on the only written and interview sources available, and we have our own opinions or surmises as to what she was really like and what her life was really like. She will forever remain somewhat of a mystery. I guess it should be that way because she obviously preferred it that way while she was living. But those of us who have had a love affair with her work still crave more.
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