“She is a Jade”: A Georgian Gaming Woman Re-imagined in Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter
Po-Yu, Rick Wei
Abstract: This essay aims to study the images of a modern Faro lady in Georgette Heyer’s historical romance Faro’s Daughter. It is divided into three parts. The first part examines Faro ladies in the history and literature of Georgian England, and it compares Heyer’s heroine Deborah Grantham to them. The second talks about how Deborah embodies female virtues that are not appreciated by eighteenth-century gender law but are celebrated by feminist thinking such as Mary Wollstonecraft’s. The third shows that Deborah in Heyer’s work reflects the first-wave feminist thinking but does not follow all the trends of criticism and literary taste. The study juxtaposes Heyer’s heroine with one of the notorious Georgian female gamer Lady Albinia Hobart and argues that Deborah is a reformed Faro lady. The study also examines Deborah in Faro’s Daughter as a combination and rejection of eighteenth- and twentieth-century feminists such as Mary Wollstonecraft and Simone de Beauvoir, showing that Heyer finds her own path of feminist criticism. If historical romance is a sub-genre that revises history, Heyer’s heroine, as the essay tries to point out, represents a revision of feminist discourse.
Keywords: Georgette Heyer, gaming, eighteenth-century England, feminism
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Published in 2018