Cinderella: The Devil Wears Prada and other makeover fantasies

Cat_243_dover_35 By Mary Jo

First of all, Happy Groundhog Day!  This is one of my favorite holidays—no decorations to hang, no presents to buy, no cards to send.  It’s all about the marmot. <g>  (For the record, groundhogs are also called woodchucks, and, my favorite, whistlepigs.)Groundhog

On to my topic of the day.  Most of us are more or less average looking, but we clean up well for special occasions.  Which is why makeovers in books, magazines, and on tv are such fun.  It’s also why Cinderella is one of the most popular fairy tales.  Cinders says that even the most humble among us can become special and beloved with a little makeover from a fairy godmother.  What’s not to like? 

(Well, one can not like the impossible standards of beauty modern women are held up to. Here’s an interesting video clip showing how unnatural beauty is created:
http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.ca/bblank.asp?id=6895  But that’s another story.)

My Regency era books almost always have a makeover scene because I enjoy them so much.  (Note: this has nothing to do with personally wanting to mess with make-up, stylists, and wardrobe, because such things have always bored me.  But I like the idea of the transformation.)

Marriagespell_2_comp_9 I made over my heroine, Caroline, in my very first book, The Diabolical Baron, and did the same to Abby in my most recent, The Marriage Spell even though they were very different characters.  A lot of the heroines in between also got made over, whether they wanted it or not. 

It’s said that clothes make the man.  This may be even more true of the woman.  Since female power has historically been tied up with being attractive and desirable, it’s not surprising that we enjoy makeovers.  There is power in beauty.  (The dark side of the princess fantasy is that generally the princess is passive, valued for her looks and title rather than any inherent intelligence or  competence.  But that’s also a topic for another day.)

Prada_poster_1 Such scenes are also powerful on the screen, where the visual nature of the medium gives it great impact.  Which brings me to The Devil Wears Prada.  (Warning—spoilers!) 

Though I’ve not read the book, I knew the general story line of the movie.  A young Northwestern journalism graduate turns down Stanford Law School to go to New York to work as a journalist, but the only publishing job Andrea Sachs can find is as second assistant to a legendary and monstrously difficult fashion editor named Miranda Priestly.  (This is the point at which one mentions that Lauren Weisberger, author of the book on which the movie is based, worked Prada_book_cover as an assistant to Anna Wintour, legendarily difficult editor of Vogue.  But surely that’s just a coincidence….)

I wasn’t entirely sure I’d like the movie since two hours of watching people be mean isn’t my idea of a good time.  But in fact, TDWP was great fun.  A lot of this was due to the buoyant good nature of Anne Meryl_streep Hathaway, the young actress who plays Andy Sachs.  Plus, the usually likeable Meryl Streep does a wonderful (and Oscar-nominated) job as Miranda Priestly, who can drive officefuls of people to terror without raising her voice.

Anne Hathaway has a history of makeover movies—the concept is at the heart of The Princess Diaries, where a gawky San Francisco teenager discovers that she is the heir to a small but prosperous European country, and Julie Andrews is her grandmother.  (Julie Andrews!!!)  A posse of stylists and makeup artists rapidly turn Mia into a sleek, lovely young Princess_diaries woman who looks like our idea of a princess.   

The Devil Wears Prada has a more subversive agenda in mind.  Andy is smart and hard working, and deals well with the fact that her tall, size six self is considered a fat frump in an office full of fashionistas.  (The comfortable black shoes that attract sneers are exactly the sort Andy_klutzof shoes I wear. <g>)  But hard work alone isn’t enough to help her perform impossible tasks such as getting Miranda out of Miami when the city is shut down by a hurricane. 

Frustrated and exhausted, Andy has a talk with Nigel, Miranda’s long time art director, and realizes that there is more that she can put into the job: she can really do fashion rather than sticking with her undergraduate wardrobe as if she’s just a tourist passing through the business on the way to a better job.   So Stanley Tucci takes her down to the magazine’s sample room and starts looking for clothes that will fit a “fat” girl. 

With a new wardrobe and salon makeover, Andy blossoms, lookingMakeover so good that Miranda’s first assistant, Emily, can’t stand it.  Andy also gets ever better at her job—the sequence where she manages the impossible by getting copies of an unpublished Harry Potter for Miranda’s twin daughters is a hoot.  The impossible Miranda starts to prefer Andy to Emily, and decides to take the upstart assistant to the Paris fashion shows, a prize Emily has been craving all year. 

Paris brings Andy to her Black Moment as she sees the person she has become, and Hathaway_glamorous doesn’t like it.  She walks away from the job and a potential future in fashion, and finds a job as an investigative journalist.  A review that I read when the movie came out said with disappointment that Andy returned to the frumpy nerd she’d been at the beginning, but that’s not true.  She might be wearing her old clothes, but she’s putting them together in a more stylish way.  She also moves with the confidence of a woman who knows she can be glamorous when she needs to be.  The old Andy has learned from her year in fashion hell, and is now comfortable in her own skin (and jeans) as she moves into the future with the kind of work that she truly loves.

So The Devil Wears Prada goes beyond The Princess Diaries in showing that appearance isn’t everything.  Naturally this works for romance readers—we want our heroines to look great, at least when they make the effort, but even more Andy_flashy important, we want them to be good and lovable women.  We want them to be like smart, kind Andy, not just an anorexic clothes horse.  (And let’s face, on the whole, it’s easier to be good than glamorous. <g>) 

So how do you feel about Cinderella?  What are your favorite makeover scenes?  And have you ever had a magic, Cinderella moment yourself?

Mary Jo, who has figured out that wearing black and burgundy all the time is an easy way to get "a look."

80 thoughts on “Cinderella: The Devil Wears Prada and other makeover fantasies”

  1. I like Cinderella’s work ethic. I’m mixed on makeover scenes. Mostly I don’t care about them, occasionally one will grab me. I prefer (overall, exceptions abound of course) the heroine knowing who she is and her worth up front. I’ve a terrible weakness for makeovers in a Cinderella frame as long as it doesn’t cross over too far into Eliza D (although there was a really excellent My Fair Lady reworking – Judith Ivory, maybe?)
    I think I resist the message in some makeovers that the heroine is inadequate as she is. By the time she has the haircut just so and the new dresses and the stress related weight loss and she looks up to see she’s worthy….. I’m just annoyed with her. I prefer the makeovers who are perfectly happy with their perfectly fine dress, but who then allow that why yes, this is rather soft and pretty, thank you….. but get away from my hair, it’s fine! Those are my girls.

    Reply
  2. I like Cinderella’s work ethic. I’m mixed on makeover scenes. Mostly I don’t care about them, occasionally one will grab me. I prefer (overall, exceptions abound of course) the heroine knowing who she is and her worth up front. I’ve a terrible weakness for makeovers in a Cinderella frame as long as it doesn’t cross over too far into Eliza D (although there was a really excellent My Fair Lady reworking – Judith Ivory, maybe?)
    I think I resist the message in some makeovers that the heroine is inadequate as she is. By the time she has the haircut just so and the new dresses and the stress related weight loss and she looks up to see she’s worthy….. I’m just annoyed with her. I prefer the makeovers who are perfectly happy with their perfectly fine dress, but who then allow that why yes, this is rather soft and pretty, thank you….. but get away from my hair, it’s fine! Those are my girls.

    Reply
  3. I like Cinderella’s work ethic. I’m mixed on makeover scenes. Mostly I don’t care about them, occasionally one will grab me. I prefer (overall, exceptions abound of course) the heroine knowing who she is and her worth up front. I’ve a terrible weakness for makeovers in a Cinderella frame as long as it doesn’t cross over too far into Eliza D (although there was a really excellent My Fair Lady reworking – Judith Ivory, maybe?)
    I think I resist the message in some makeovers that the heroine is inadequate as she is. By the time she has the haircut just so and the new dresses and the stress related weight loss and she looks up to see she’s worthy….. I’m just annoyed with her. I prefer the makeovers who are perfectly happy with their perfectly fine dress, but who then allow that why yes, this is rather soft and pretty, thank you….. but get away from my hair, it’s fine! Those are my girls.

    Reply
  4. I like Cinderella’s work ethic. I’m mixed on makeover scenes. Mostly I don’t care about them, occasionally one will grab me. I prefer (overall, exceptions abound of course) the heroine knowing who she is and her worth up front. I’ve a terrible weakness for makeovers in a Cinderella frame as long as it doesn’t cross over too far into Eliza D (although there was a really excellent My Fair Lady reworking – Judith Ivory, maybe?)
    I think I resist the message in some makeovers that the heroine is inadequate as she is. By the time she has the haircut just so and the new dresses and the stress related weight loss and she looks up to see she’s worthy….. I’m just annoyed with her. I prefer the makeovers who are perfectly happy with their perfectly fine dress, but who then allow that why yes, this is rather soft and pretty, thank you….. but get away from my hair, it’s fine! Those are my girls.

    Reply
  5. Mary Jo,
    My daughters and I just tonight watched a DVD together. Now that they have gone to bed, I logged on the computer and read your post. Strange to say, the DVD we watched was–The Devil Wears Prada. Do you think I should buy a lottery ticket?
    Melinda

    Reply
  6. Mary Jo,
    My daughters and I just tonight watched a DVD together. Now that they have gone to bed, I logged on the computer and read your post. Strange to say, the DVD we watched was–The Devil Wears Prada. Do you think I should buy a lottery ticket?
    Melinda

    Reply
  7. Mary Jo,
    My daughters and I just tonight watched a DVD together. Now that they have gone to bed, I logged on the computer and read your post. Strange to say, the DVD we watched was–The Devil Wears Prada. Do you think I should buy a lottery ticket?
    Melinda

    Reply
  8. Mary Jo,
    My daughters and I just tonight watched a DVD together. Now that they have gone to bed, I logged on the computer and read your post. Strange to say, the DVD we watched was–The Devil Wears Prada. Do you think I should buy a lottery ticket?
    Melinda

    Reply
  9. Just had to add: what about the “I had sex and now my hair is a wild mane of curls and I am a gorgeous diva” makeover scene/plot? As in Moonstruck or The Witches of Eastwick (hm, both starring Cher. . .) They get a little nookie, and suddenly They Are Powerful and Gorgeous and Nothing Can Stand in Their Way. I always thought that communicated to women that you can’t be A Complete Woman without sex–and also, that shy straight-haired ordinary-looking girls with glasses just aren’t sexy enough.
    What do you think? Am I crazy?

    Reply
  10. Just had to add: what about the “I had sex and now my hair is a wild mane of curls and I am a gorgeous diva” makeover scene/plot? As in Moonstruck or The Witches of Eastwick (hm, both starring Cher. . .) They get a little nookie, and suddenly They Are Powerful and Gorgeous and Nothing Can Stand in Their Way. I always thought that communicated to women that you can’t be A Complete Woman without sex–and also, that shy straight-haired ordinary-looking girls with glasses just aren’t sexy enough.
    What do you think? Am I crazy?

    Reply
  11. Just had to add: what about the “I had sex and now my hair is a wild mane of curls and I am a gorgeous diva” makeover scene/plot? As in Moonstruck or The Witches of Eastwick (hm, both starring Cher. . .) They get a little nookie, and suddenly They Are Powerful and Gorgeous and Nothing Can Stand in Their Way. I always thought that communicated to women that you can’t be A Complete Woman without sex–and also, that shy straight-haired ordinary-looking girls with glasses just aren’t sexy enough.
    What do you think? Am I crazy?

    Reply
  12. Just had to add: what about the “I had sex and now my hair is a wild mane of curls and I am a gorgeous diva” makeover scene/plot? As in Moonstruck or The Witches of Eastwick (hm, both starring Cher. . .) They get a little nookie, and suddenly They Are Powerful and Gorgeous and Nothing Can Stand in Their Way. I always thought that communicated to women that you can’t be A Complete Woman without sex–and also, that shy straight-haired ordinary-looking girls with glasses just aren’t sexy enough.
    What do you think? Am I crazy?

    Reply
  13. Melinda: And not to mention, that these women are suddenly deliriously happy. You cannot be A Happy Complete Woman without sex, and ordinary girls cannot be happy.
    The movie was way better than the book. Meryl Streep sure saved the day there.

    Reply
  14. Melinda: And not to mention, that these women are suddenly deliriously happy. You cannot be A Happy Complete Woman without sex, and ordinary girls cannot be happy.
    The movie was way better than the book. Meryl Streep sure saved the day there.

    Reply
  15. Melinda: And not to mention, that these women are suddenly deliriously happy. You cannot be A Happy Complete Woman without sex, and ordinary girls cannot be happy.
    The movie was way better than the book. Meryl Streep sure saved the day there.

    Reply
  16. Melinda: And not to mention, that these women are suddenly deliriously happy. You cannot be A Happy Complete Woman without sex, and ordinary girls cannot be happy.
    The movie was way better than the book. Meryl Streep sure saved the day there.

    Reply
  17. Even my husband liked DWP, which was quite a surprise.
    Mary Jo, I’m reminded of a Georgette Heyer book (whose title escapes me), where the hero marries an unattractive (I believe she’s described as stout) Cit’s daughter for money. I kept thinking she’d have her Cinderella moment, but she doesn’t…her husband falls in love, or at least in like, with her anyway because of her prosaic wisdom. Thinking about that was eye-opening for me. Even with all the bells and (pig)whistles, if you don’t have that inner beauty, you won’t find true love.
    In one of the books I’m working on, my Cinderella improves both her attitude and appearance, only to have her husband wish for her old curves back…wishful thinking on my somewhat chubby part, I’m sure!

    Reply
  18. Even my husband liked DWP, which was quite a surprise.
    Mary Jo, I’m reminded of a Georgette Heyer book (whose title escapes me), where the hero marries an unattractive (I believe she’s described as stout) Cit’s daughter for money. I kept thinking she’d have her Cinderella moment, but she doesn’t…her husband falls in love, or at least in like, with her anyway because of her prosaic wisdom. Thinking about that was eye-opening for me. Even with all the bells and (pig)whistles, if you don’t have that inner beauty, you won’t find true love.
    In one of the books I’m working on, my Cinderella improves both her attitude and appearance, only to have her husband wish for her old curves back…wishful thinking on my somewhat chubby part, I’m sure!

    Reply
  19. Even my husband liked DWP, which was quite a surprise.
    Mary Jo, I’m reminded of a Georgette Heyer book (whose title escapes me), where the hero marries an unattractive (I believe she’s described as stout) Cit’s daughter for money. I kept thinking she’d have her Cinderella moment, but she doesn’t…her husband falls in love, or at least in like, with her anyway because of her prosaic wisdom. Thinking about that was eye-opening for me. Even with all the bells and (pig)whistles, if you don’t have that inner beauty, you won’t find true love.
    In one of the books I’m working on, my Cinderella improves both her attitude and appearance, only to have her husband wish for her old curves back…wishful thinking on my somewhat chubby part, I’m sure!

    Reply
  20. Even my husband liked DWP, which was quite a surprise.
    Mary Jo, I’m reminded of a Georgette Heyer book (whose title escapes me), where the hero marries an unattractive (I believe she’s described as stout) Cit’s daughter for money. I kept thinking she’d have her Cinderella moment, but she doesn’t…her husband falls in love, or at least in like, with her anyway because of her prosaic wisdom. Thinking about that was eye-opening for me. Even with all the bells and (pig)whistles, if you don’t have that inner beauty, you won’t find true love.
    In one of the books I’m working on, my Cinderella improves both her attitude and appearance, only to have her husband wish for her old curves back…wishful thinking on my somewhat chubby part, I’m sure!

    Reply
  21. Cinderella’s appeal will always be there — I think deep down, a lot of women feel that if they just had the right stylist, they’d look every bit as good as the people on the red carpet (or as the belles of the ball). And in many cases, I think they’re right.
    Interesting take on Prada, though. When I saw it with my daughter, we didn’t think it was a Cinderella story so much as an “Industrious Apprentice” story, that whole American Dream notion that hard work, quick thinking, and adaptability are the keys to getting ahead.
    Andie changes her appearance not to become more beautiful (no one’s going to make Anne Hathaway look beastly) to achieve acceptance, and success — the classic pattern of most newcomers to an exisiting society, whether choosing the Brooks Brothers ‘power suit’ to work on Wall Street, or a 19th century immigrant putting aside old-country clothes and dressing like “Americans”.
    The demanding boss is her formidable conflict to be resolved. Her success wouldn’t be nearly so satsifying if Miranda had been nice and supportive.
    And that’s exactly why the ending rang so horribly false to us. She works so hard for the prize, then tosses it aside by the fountain as carelessly as Mary Tyler Moore does her beret in the old TV show? She obliges the whiney, grubby boyfriend who disses her ambition and success every step of the way while he’s working as a sous chef? In NYC, where renting a closet costs more each month than saner people in the rest of the country pay for an entire house?
    Or to translate it into writerly terms: if as a struggling newbie, you worked incredibly hard to produce a saleable ms. and were finally offered a great deal with a major publisher, with the promotion to put your book on the NYT list, would you then be willing to withdraw your promising ms. because you’d rather write exactly what you wanted for an e-pub?
    Oh, well, enough of my soap-box…but it is interesting how often that old blind-man-describing-the-elephant parable rings true — esp. with movies and books! *G*
    And yes, even with the (to me) dopey ending, the movie was infinitely better than the book.

    Reply
  22. Cinderella’s appeal will always be there — I think deep down, a lot of women feel that if they just had the right stylist, they’d look every bit as good as the people on the red carpet (or as the belles of the ball). And in many cases, I think they’re right.
    Interesting take on Prada, though. When I saw it with my daughter, we didn’t think it was a Cinderella story so much as an “Industrious Apprentice” story, that whole American Dream notion that hard work, quick thinking, and adaptability are the keys to getting ahead.
    Andie changes her appearance not to become more beautiful (no one’s going to make Anne Hathaway look beastly) to achieve acceptance, and success — the classic pattern of most newcomers to an exisiting society, whether choosing the Brooks Brothers ‘power suit’ to work on Wall Street, or a 19th century immigrant putting aside old-country clothes and dressing like “Americans”.
    The demanding boss is her formidable conflict to be resolved. Her success wouldn’t be nearly so satsifying if Miranda had been nice and supportive.
    And that’s exactly why the ending rang so horribly false to us. She works so hard for the prize, then tosses it aside by the fountain as carelessly as Mary Tyler Moore does her beret in the old TV show? She obliges the whiney, grubby boyfriend who disses her ambition and success every step of the way while he’s working as a sous chef? In NYC, where renting a closet costs more each month than saner people in the rest of the country pay for an entire house?
    Or to translate it into writerly terms: if as a struggling newbie, you worked incredibly hard to produce a saleable ms. and were finally offered a great deal with a major publisher, with the promotion to put your book on the NYT list, would you then be willing to withdraw your promising ms. because you’d rather write exactly what you wanted for an e-pub?
    Oh, well, enough of my soap-box…but it is interesting how often that old blind-man-describing-the-elephant parable rings true — esp. with movies and books! *G*
    And yes, even with the (to me) dopey ending, the movie was infinitely better than the book.

    Reply
  23. Cinderella’s appeal will always be there — I think deep down, a lot of women feel that if they just had the right stylist, they’d look every bit as good as the people on the red carpet (or as the belles of the ball). And in many cases, I think they’re right.
    Interesting take on Prada, though. When I saw it with my daughter, we didn’t think it was a Cinderella story so much as an “Industrious Apprentice” story, that whole American Dream notion that hard work, quick thinking, and adaptability are the keys to getting ahead.
    Andie changes her appearance not to become more beautiful (no one’s going to make Anne Hathaway look beastly) to achieve acceptance, and success — the classic pattern of most newcomers to an exisiting society, whether choosing the Brooks Brothers ‘power suit’ to work on Wall Street, or a 19th century immigrant putting aside old-country clothes and dressing like “Americans”.
    The demanding boss is her formidable conflict to be resolved. Her success wouldn’t be nearly so satsifying if Miranda had been nice and supportive.
    And that’s exactly why the ending rang so horribly false to us. She works so hard for the prize, then tosses it aside by the fountain as carelessly as Mary Tyler Moore does her beret in the old TV show? She obliges the whiney, grubby boyfriend who disses her ambition and success every step of the way while he’s working as a sous chef? In NYC, where renting a closet costs more each month than saner people in the rest of the country pay for an entire house?
    Or to translate it into writerly terms: if as a struggling newbie, you worked incredibly hard to produce a saleable ms. and were finally offered a great deal with a major publisher, with the promotion to put your book on the NYT list, would you then be willing to withdraw your promising ms. because you’d rather write exactly what you wanted for an e-pub?
    Oh, well, enough of my soap-box…but it is interesting how often that old blind-man-describing-the-elephant parable rings true — esp. with movies and books! *G*
    And yes, even with the (to me) dopey ending, the movie was infinitely better than the book.

    Reply
  24. Cinderella’s appeal will always be there — I think deep down, a lot of women feel that if they just had the right stylist, they’d look every bit as good as the people on the red carpet (or as the belles of the ball). And in many cases, I think they’re right.
    Interesting take on Prada, though. When I saw it with my daughter, we didn’t think it was a Cinderella story so much as an “Industrious Apprentice” story, that whole American Dream notion that hard work, quick thinking, and adaptability are the keys to getting ahead.
    Andie changes her appearance not to become more beautiful (no one’s going to make Anne Hathaway look beastly) to achieve acceptance, and success — the classic pattern of most newcomers to an exisiting society, whether choosing the Brooks Brothers ‘power suit’ to work on Wall Street, or a 19th century immigrant putting aside old-country clothes and dressing like “Americans”.
    The demanding boss is her formidable conflict to be resolved. Her success wouldn’t be nearly so satsifying if Miranda had been nice and supportive.
    And that’s exactly why the ending rang so horribly false to us. She works so hard for the prize, then tosses it aside by the fountain as carelessly as Mary Tyler Moore does her beret in the old TV show? She obliges the whiney, grubby boyfriend who disses her ambition and success every step of the way while he’s working as a sous chef? In NYC, where renting a closet costs more each month than saner people in the rest of the country pay for an entire house?
    Or to translate it into writerly terms: if as a struggling newbie, you worked incredibly hard to produce a saleable ms. and were finally offered a great deal with a major publisher, with the promotion to put your book on the NYT list, would you then be willing to withdraw your promising ms. because you’d rather write exactly what you wanted for an e-pub?
    Oh, well, enough of my soap-box…but it is interesting how often that old blind-man-describing-the-elephant parable rings true — esp. with movies and books! *G*
    And yes, even with the (to me) dopey ending, the movie was infinitely better than the book.

    Reply
  25. Maggie R: I think the Heyer you were trying to remember is “A Convenient Marriage.” The hero fell in love with his plain wife because she was a restful person, unlike his first love, the gorgeous drama queen. I liked this story because it shows love developing as a result of committment, rather than on the basis of passion. Not to say that passion isn’t wonderful, but on its own it lacks the foundation for a long-lasting relationship.

    Reply
  26. Maggie R: I think the Heyer you were trying to remember is “A Convenient Marriage.” The hero fell in love with his plain wife because she was a restful person, unlike his first love, the gorgeous drama queen. I liked this story because it shows love developing as a result of committment, rather than on the basis of passion. Not to say that passion isn’t wonderful, but on its own it lacks the foundation for a long-lasting relationship.

    Reply
  27. Maggie R: I think the Heyer you were trying to remember is “A Convenient Marriage.” The hero fell in love with his plain wife because she was a restful person, unlike his first love, the gorgeous drama queen. I liked this story because it shows love developing as a result of committment, rather than on the basis of passion. Not to say that passion isn’t wonderful, but on its own it lacks the foundation for a long-lasting relationship.

    Reply
  28. Maggie R: I think the Heyer you were trying to remember is “A Convenient Marriage.” The hero fell in love with his plain wife because she was a restful person, unlike his first love, the gorgeous drama queen. I liked this story because it shows love developing as a result of committment, rather than on the basis of passion. Not to say that passion isn’t wonderful, but on its own it lacks the foundation for a long-lasting relationship.

    Reply
  29. From MJP:
    Susan/Miranda, I agree that Prada really isn’t really a Cinderella makeover story. Rather, it’s classic chick lit because it’s about a young woman just entering the adult world and trying to figure out what she wants.
    Because Andy is an overachiever, she gets very, very good at fashion before realizing that this isn’t the path she wants. She’ll make a great investigative reporter. 🙂 I a gree that the relationship with cute Nate isn’t going anywhere. With them in different cities and vastly different professions, they’ll have less and less in common and they’ll drift apart. I imagine they put him in at the end to show that Andy was back to her true self. A self where someday, Nate will be a fond memory but no more.
    I just tied Prada and Cinderella together because the makeover thing interests me. 🙂
    A CIVIL CONTRACT is one of my favorite Heyers. It shows the development of real love that skips the crazy-in-love romantic phase. Honorable Adam inherits an estate in bankruptcy and can’t afford to marry his high maintenance sweetheart, Julia. Instead he marries Jenny, a plain merchant’s daughter who has quietly loved him for years, and who comes with the dowry he needs to save his family and estate.
    By the end, Adam loves Jenny deeply, though she mourns the fact that she’ll never have the fairy dust romance that he had with Julia. (Who would have made Adam’s life miserable!) It’s a quiet, realistic book, more like Jane Austen than Heyer’s romantic comedies.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  30. From MJP:
    Susan/Miranda, I agree that Prada really isn’t really a Cinderella makeover story. Rather, it’s classic chick lit because it’s about a young woman just entering the adult world and trying to figure out what she wants.
    Because Andy is an overachiever, she gets very, very good at fashion before realizing that this isn’t the path she wants. She’ll make a great investigative reporter. 🙂 I a gree that the relationship with cute Nate isn’t going anywhere. With them in different cities and vastly different professions, they’ll have less and less in common and they’ll drift apart. I imagine they put him in at the end to show that Andy was back to her true self. A self where someday, Nate will be a fond memory but no more.
    I just tied Prada and Cinderella together because the makeover thing interests me. 🙂
    A CIVIL CONTRACT is one of my favorite Heyers. It shows the development of real love that skips the crazy-in-love romantic phase. Honorable Adam inherits an estate in bankruptcy and can’t afford to marry his high maintenance sweetheart, Julia. Instead he marries Jenny, a plain merchant’s daughter who has quietly loved him for years, and who comes with the dowry he needs to save his family and estate.
    By the end, Adam loves Jenny deeply, though she mourns the fact that she’ll never have the fairy dust romance that he had with Julia. (Who would have made Adam’s life miserable!) It’s a quiet, realistic book, more like Jane Austen than Heyer’s romantic comedies.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  31. From MJP:
    Susan/Miranda, I agree that Prada really isn’t really a Cinderella makeover story. Rather, it’s classic chick lit because it’s about a young woman just entering the adult world and trying to figure out what she wants.
    Because Andy is an overachiever, she gets very, very good at fashion before realizing that this isn’t the path she wants. She’ll make a great investigative reporter. 🙂 I a gree that the relationship with cute Nate isn’t going anywhere. With them in different cities and vastly different professions, they’ll have less and less in common and they’ll drift apart. I imagine they put him in at the end to show that Andy was back to her true self. A self where someday, Nate will be a fond memory but no more.
    I just tied Prada and Cinderella together because the makeover thing interests me. 🙂
    A CIVIL CONTRACT is one of my favorite Heyers. It shows the development of real love that skips the crazy-in-love romantic phase. Honorable Adam inherits an estate in bankruptcy and can’t afford to marry his high maintenance sweetheart, Julia. Instead he marries Jenny, a plain merchant’s daughter who has quietly loved him for years, and who comes with the dowry he needs to save his family and estate.
    By the end, Adam loves Jenny deeply, though she mourns the fact that she’ll never have the fairy dust romance that he had with Julia. (Who would have made Adam’s life miserable!) It’s a quiet, realistic book, more like Jane Austen than Heyer’s romantic comedies.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  32. From MJP:
    Susan/Miranda, I agree that Prada really isn’t really a Cinderella makeover story. Rather, it’s classic chick lit because it’s about a young woman just entering the adult world and trying to figure out what she wants.
    Because Andy is an overachiever, she gets very, very good at fashion before realizing that this isn’t the path she wants. She’ll make a great investigative reporter. 🙂 I a gree that the relationship with cute Nate isn’t going anywhere. With them in different cities and vastly different professions, they’ll have less and less in common and they’ll drift apart. I imagine they put him in at the end to show that Andy was back to her true self. A self where someday, Nate will be a fond memory but no more.
    I just tied Prada and Cinderella together because the makeover thing interests me. 🙂
    A CIVIL CONTRACT is one of my favorite Heyers. It shows the development of real love that skips the crazy-in-love romantic phase. Honorable Adam inherits an estate in bankruptcy and can’t afford to marry his high maintenance sweetheart, Julia. Instead he marries Jenny, a plain merchant’s daughter who has quietly loved him for years, and who comes with the dowry he needs to save his family and estate.
    By the end, Adam loves Jenny deeply, though she mourns the fact that she’ll never have the fairy dust romance that he had with Julia. (Who would have made Adam’s life miserable!) It’s a quiet, realistic book, more like Jane Austen than Heyer’s romantic comedies.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  33. I have never seen DWP so I can’t speak to the movie. But I do enjoy makeover scenes in a book but only when the hero or heroine are deciding to become who they really are. A good example is the secondary character in MJ’s ANGEL ROGUE. (who wears burgundy brown, btw) She hides who she really is because it doesn’t fit with society. Then she meets a perceptive man who prefers who she really is over the person she pretends to be. And she decides to become (not change).
    All of this reminds me of poem by Emerson. “What lies behind us and what lies before us is nothing compared to what lies within us.” So, I guess I’m with RevMelinda. The right clothes, makeup, hair and sex does not a woman make. And, if I were you, Melinda, I’d by that lottery ticket.
    Nina

    Reply
  34. I have never seen DWP so I can’t speak to the movie. But I do enjoy makeover scenes in a book but only when the hero or heroine are deciding to become who they really are. A good example is the secondary character in MJ’s ANGEL ROGUE. (who wears burgundy brown, btw) She hides who she really is because it doesn’t fit with society. Then she meets a perceptive man who prefers who she really is over the person she pretends to be. And she decides to become (not change).
    All of this reminds me of poem by Emerson. “What lies behind us and what lies before us is nothing compared to what lies within us.” So, I guess I’m with RevMelinda. The right clothes, makeup, hair and sex does not a woman make. And, if I were you, Melinda, I’d by that lottery ticket.
    Nina

    Reply
  35. I have never seen DWP so I can’t speak to the movie. But I do enjoy makeover scenes in a book but only when the hero or heroine are deciding to become who they really are. A good example is the secondary character in MJ’s ANGEL ROGUE. (who wears burgundy brown, btw) She hides who she really is because it doesn’t fit with society. Then she meets a perceptive man who prefers who she really is over the person she pretends to be. And she decides to become (not change).
    All of this reminds me of poem by Emerson. “What lies behind us and what lies before us is nothing compared to what lies within us.” So, I guess I’m with RevMelinda. The right clothes, makeup, hair and sex does not a woman make. And, if I were you, Melinda, I’d by that lottery ticket.
    Nina

    Reply
  36. I have never seen DWP so I can’t speak to the movie. But I do enjoy makeover scenes in a book but only when the hero or heroine are deciding to become who they really are. A good example is the secondary character in MJ’s ANGEL ROGUE. (who wears burgundy brown, btw) She hides who she really is because it doesn’t fit with society. Then she meets a perceptive man who prefers who she really is over the person she pretends to be. And she decides to become (not change).
    All of this reminds me of poem by Emerson. “What lies behind us and what lies before us is nothing compared to what lies within us.” So, I guess I’m with RevMelinda. The right clothes, makeup, hair and sex does not a woman make. And, if I were you, Melinda, I’d by that lottery ticket.
    Nina

    Reply
  37. I like the idea — and believe — that loving someone makes you see him or her as beautiful. That’s why I liked “Ella Enchanted” (the book, which is infinitely better than the just-OK movie), “Ever After” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”
    *Spoiler alert*
    In TMHTF, Barbra Streisand’s character does go through a metamorphosis, but her husband already loves her by then and was fighting it. At the end, when they’re back together, she says her body will revert back to the way it was, and he says “Oh, thank goodness.” He loved who she was and came to see her as beautiful, even though he initially chose her because he didn’t want to be physically attracted to her.
    I know a lot of people don’t like this movie, but I think it’s a great Cinderella tale!

    Reply
  38. I like the idea — and believe — that loving someone makes you see him or her as beautiful. That’s why I liked “Ella Enchanted” (the book, which is infinitely better than the just-OK movie), “Ever After” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”
    *Spoiler alert*
    In TMHTF, Barbra Streisand’s character does go through a metamorphosis, but her husband already loves her by then and was fighting it. At the end, when they’re back together, she says her body will revert back to the way it was, and he says “Oh, thank goodness.” He loved who she was and came to see her as beautiful, even though he initially chose her because he didn’t want to be physically attracted to her.
    I know a lot of people don’t like this movie, but I think it’s a great Cinderella tale!

    Reply
  39. I like the idea — and believe — that loving someone makes you see him or her as beautiful. That’s why I liked “Ella Enchanted” (the book, which is infinitely better than the just-OK movie), “Ever After” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”
    *Spoiler alert*
    In TMHTF, Barbra Streisand’s character does go through a metamorphosis, but her husband already loves her by then and was fighting it. At the end, when they’re back together, she says her body will revert back to the way it was, and he says “Oh, thank goodness.” He loved who she was and came to see her as beautiful, even though he initially chose her because he didn’t want to be physically attracted to her.
    I know a lot of people don’t like this movie, but I think it’s a great Cinderella tale!

    Reply
  40. I like the idea — and believe — that loving someone makes you see him or her as beautiful. That’s why I liked “Ella Enchanted” (the book, which is infinitely better than the just-OK movie), “Ever After” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”
    *Spoiler alert*
    In TMHTF, Barbra Streisand’s character does go through a metamorphosis, but her husband already loves her by then and was fighting it. At the end, when they’re back together, she says her body will revert back to the way it was, and he says “Oh, thank goodness.” He loved who she was and came to see her as beautiful, even though he initially chose her because he didn’t want to be physically attracted to her.
    I know a lot of people don’t like this movie, but I think it’s a great Cinderella tale!

    Reply
  41. Hello, new poster here. I’ve been following this site for quite awhile, and finally decided to throw my two cents in, as well as ask a random, unrelated question.
    As far as the Cinderella theme goes, I love makeovers. I’ve got a degree in Drama and went from Actor to Costume Designer over the course of my studies, so it is a given that I love transformation as well as the playful aspect of ‘dressing up’. How people dress and look is a complex process and people’s choices regarding their appearance can reveal or conceal a lot about themselves, There’s also an aspect of makeovers that to me is subversive in a superficial society, wherein people learn how to wear the mask that smooths their way in life–the power suit etc.
    I’m a stay-at-home Mom these days and lately I tend to dress up a lot more just to make a statement that says, “I’m Not Just a Soccer Mom, People!” So I can relate when the frumpy governess gets turned out in new saucy duds and starts turning heads. Of course, I enjoy it when the hero has known her worth all along.
    Off-topic, like many other posters on this site, I’m an aspiring writer with a WIP, or MIP as I’ve heard them called. I’m curious about all the wenches travel experiences in Great Britain and elsewhere. Do you all have favorite places, tourist sites, museums etc that have provided you with great research material or just an amazing sense of another time?
    And… thank you to all the wenches for this wonderful blog, and your wonderful books!

    Reply
  42. Hello, new poster here. I’ve been following this site for quite awhile, and finally decided to throw my two cents in, as well as ask a random, unrelated question.
    As far as the Cinderella theme goes, I love makeovers. I’ve got a degree in Drama and went from Actor to Costume Designer over the course of my studies, so it is a given that I love transformation as well as the playful aspect of ‘dressing up’. How people dress and look is a complex process and people’s choices regarding their appearance can reveal or conceal a lot about themselves, There’s also an aspect of makeovers that to me is subversive in a superficial society, wherein people learn how to wear the mask that smooths their way in life–the power suit etc.
    I’m a stay-at-home Mom these days and lately I tend to dress up a lot more just to make a statement that says, “I’m Not Just a Soccer Mom, People!” So I can relate when the frumpy governess gets turned out in new saucy duds and starts turning heads. Of course, I enjoy it when the hero has known her worth all along.
    Off-topic, like many other posters on this site, I’m an aspiring writer with a WIP, or MIP as I’ve heard them called. I’m curious about all the wenches travel experiences in Great Britain and elsewhere. Do you all have favorite places, tourist sites, museums etc that have provided you with great research material or just an amazing sense of another time?
    And… thank you to all the wenches for this wonderful blog, and your wonderful books!

    Reply
  43. Hello, new poster here. I’ve been following this site for quite awhile, and finally decided to throw my two cents in, as well as ask a random, unrelated question.
    As far as the Cinderella theme goes, I love makeovers. I’ve got a degree in Drama and went from Actor to Costume Designer over the course of my studies, so it is a given that I love transformation as well as the playful aspect of ‘dressing up’. How people dress and look is a complex process and people’s choices regarding their appearance can reveal or conceal a lot about themselves, There’s also an aspect of makeovers that to me is subversive in a superficial society, wherein people learn how to wear the mask that smooths their way in life–the power suit etc.
    I’m a stay-at-home Mom these days and lately I tend to dress up a lot more just to make a statement that says, “I’m Not Just a Soccer Mom, People!” So I can relate when the frumpy governess gets turned out in new saucy duds and starts turning heads. Of course, I enjoy it when the hero has known her worth all along.
    Off-topic, like many other posters on this site, I’m an aspiring writer with a WIP, or MIP as I’ve heard them called. I’m curious about all the wenches travel experiences in Great Britain and elsewhere. Do you all have favorite places, tourist sites, museums etc that have provided you with great research material or just an amazing sense of another time?
    And… thank you to all the wenches for this wonderful blog, and your wonderful books!

    Reply
  44. Hello, new poster here. I’ve been following this site for quite awhile, and finally decided to throw my two cents in, as well as ask a random, unrelated question.
    As far as the Cinderella theme goes, I love makeovers. I’ve got a degree in Drama and went from Actor to Costume Designer over the course of my studies, so it is a given that I love transformation as well as the playful aspect of ‘dressing up’. How people dress and look is a complex process and people’s choices regarding their appearance can reveal or conceal a lot about themselves, There’s also an aspect of makeovers that to me is subversive in a superficial society, wherein people learn how to wear the mask that smooths their way in life–the power suit etc.
    I’m a stay-at-home Mom these days and lately I tend to dress up a lot more just to make a statement that says, “I’m Not Just a Soccer Mom, People!” So I can relate when the frumpy governess gets turned out in new saucy duds and starts turning heads. Of course, I enjoy it when the hero has known her worth all along.
    Off-topic, like many other posters on this site, I’m an aspiring writer with a WIP, or MIP as I’ve heard them called. I’m curious about all the wenches travel experiences in Great Britain and elsewhere. Do you all have favorite places, tourist sites, museums etc that have provided you with great research material or just an amazing sense of another time?
    And… thank you to all the wenches for this wonderful blog, and your wonderful books!

    Reply
  45. Sure, I like them. . . but the person has to want to do it, not someone forces them to do it. Hmm, not sure if that makes sense. (the brain cells are snoozing. . .)
    Let me try it this way (and I’ll probably just make it worse!) — if it’s an instance where the character is like the rest of us, where after a long period of being one way, wearing certain clothes, feeling a particular way, they want to give themselves a change and maybe feel better. But if people are forced into to fit in, not thrilled with it, but of course like it when they discover they didn’t need to. 🙂
    Think that works. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  46. Sure, I like them. . . but the person has to want to do it, not someone forces them to do it. Hmm, not sure if that makes sense. (the brain cells are snoozing. . .)
    Let me try it this way (and I’ll probably just make it worse!) — if it’s an instance where the character is like the rest of us, where after a long period of being one way, wearing certain clothes, feeling a particular way, they want to give themselves a change and maybe feel better. But if people are forced into to fit in, not thrilled with it, but of course like it when they discover they didn’t need to. 🙂
    Think that works. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  47. Sure, I like them. . . but the person has to want to do it, not someone forces them to do it. Hmm, not sure if that makes sense. (the brain cells are snoozing. . .)
    Let me try it this way (and I’ll probably just make it worse!) — if it’s an instance where the character is like the rest of us, where after a long period of being one way, wearing certain clothes, feeling a particular way, they want to give themselves a change and maybe feel better. But if people are forced into to fit in, not thrilled with it, but of course like it when they discover they didn’t need to. 🙂
    Think that works. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  48. Sure, I like them. . . but the person has to want to do it, not someone forces them to do it. Hmm, not sure if that makes sense. (the brain cells are snoozing. . .)
    Let me try it this way (and I’ll probably just make it worse!) — if it’s an instance where the character is like the rest of us, where after a long period of being one way, wearing certain clothes, feeling a particular way, they want to give themselves a change and maybe feel better. But if people are forced into to fit in, not thrilled with it, but of course like it when they discover they didn’t need to. 🙂
    Think that works. 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  49. Thanks for the Heyer title. I generally have no regrets with all the mistakes I’ve made in life, thinking that “they made me the person I am today.” But I gave away all my Heyers!!! What was I thinking? I’m trying to gradually build my collection back up but have a looong way to go.

    Reply
  50. Thanks for the Heyer title. I generally have no regrets with all the mistakes I’ve made in life, thinking that “they made me the person I am today.” But I gave away all my Heyers!!! What was I thinking? I’m trying to gradually build my collection back up but have a looong way to go.

    Reply
  51. Thanks for the Heyer title. I generally have no regrets with all the mistakes I’ve made in life, thinking that “they made me the person I am today.” But I gave away all my Heyers!!! What was I thinking? I’m trying to gradually build my collection back up but have a looong way to go.

    Reply
  52. Thanks for the Heyer title. I generally have no regrets with all the mistakes I’ve made in life, thinking that “they made me the person I am today.” But I gave away all my Heyers!!! What was I thinking? I’m trying to gradually build my collection back up but have a looong way to go.

    Reply
  53. From MJP:
    Maggie, you gave away all your Heyers? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??? I know, there’s never enough bookshelf space, but still. I’d think that most of her titles should be available used from some place like abe.com
    Nina does a lovely job of describing the positive side of a makeover–when it helps someone become more herself. Lois, I agree it’s not fun to see someone coerced.
    In many of my books, the heroine gets sent to the modiste and pushed beyond her comfort zone because of changing life circumstances, and she the clothes help her become more comfortable with the life changes.
    As jrox (welcome!) says, how one dresses has a lot to do with how they fit into society. Wearing the right costume can do wonders for one’s confidence–and it can conceal one’s more subversive streaks.
    As to being in England–I lived there for over two years and traveled widely, so there are many, many places that are in my mental filing cabinets.
    A favorite place, visited long before I started writing, was a collapsed blackhouse village on Harris and Lewis. It was long abandoned but with a little restored living museum in one building. I looked around and thought, “This would make a great setting for a chase scene.”
    Many years later, I did exactly that in Shattered Rainbows. Grist for the mill is EVERYWHERE in Britain.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  54. From MJP:
    Maggie, you gave away all your Heyers? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??? I know, there’s never enough bookshelf space, but still. I’d think that most of her titles should be available used from some place like abe.com
    Nina does a lovely job of describing the positive side of a makeover–when it helps someone become more herself. Lois, I agree it’s not fun to see someone coerced.
    In many of my books, the heroine gets sent to the modiste and pushed beyond her comfort zone because of changing life circumstances, and she the clothes help her become more comfortable with the life changes.
    As jrox (welcome!) says, how one dresses has a lot to do with how they fit into society. Wearing the right costume can do wonders for one’s confidence–and it can conceal one’s more subversive streaks.
    As to being in England–I lived there for over two years and traveled widely, so there are many, many places that are in my mental filing cabinets.
    A favorite place, visited long before I started writing, was a collapsed blackhouse village on Harris and Lewis. It was long abandoned but with a little restored living museum in one building. I looked around and thought, “This would make a great setting for a chase scene.”
    Many years later, I did exactly that in Shattered Rainbows. Grist for the mill is EVERYWHERE in Britain.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  55. From MJP:
    Maggie, you gave away all your Heyers? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??? I know, there’s never enough bookshelf space, but still. I’d think that most of her titles should be available used from some place like abe.com
    Nina does a lovely job of describing the positive side of a makeover–when it helps someone become more herself. Lois, I agree it’s not fun to see someone coerced.
    In many of my books, the heroine gets sent to the modiste and pushed beyond her comfort zone because of changing life circumstances, and she the clothes help her become more comfortable with the life changes.
    As jrox (welcome!) says, how one dresses has a lot to do with how they fit into society. Wearing the right costume can do wonders for one’s confidence–and it can conceal one’s more subversive streaks.
    As to being in England–I lived there for over two years and traveled widely, so there are many, many places that are in my mental filing cabinets.
    A favorite place, visited long before I started writing, was a collapsed blackhouse village on Harris and Lewis. It was long abandoned but with a little restored living museum in one building. I looked around and thought, “This would make a great setting for a chase scene.”
    Many years later, I did exactly that in Shattered Rainbows. Grist for the mill is EVERYWHERE in Britain.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  56. From MJP:
    Maggie, you gave away all your Heyers? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??? I know, there’s never enough bookshelf space, but still. I’d think that most of her titles should be available used from some place like abe.com
    Nina does a lovely job of describing the positive side of a makeover–when it helps someone become more herself. Lois, I agree it’s not fun to see someone coerced.
    In many of my books, the heroine gets sent to the modiste and pushed beyond her comfort zone because of changing life circumstances, and she the clothes help her become more comfortable with the life changes.
    As jrox (welcome!) says, how one dresses has a lot to do with how they fit into society. Wearing the right costume can do wonders for one’s confidence–and it can conceal one’s more subversive streaks.
    As to being in England–I lived there for over two years and traveled widely, so there are many, many places that are in my mental filing cabinets.
    A favorite place, visited long before I started writing, was a collapsed blackhouse village on Harris and Lewis. It was long abandoned but with a little restored living museum in one building. I looked around and thought, “This would make a great setting for a chase scene.”
    Many years later, I did exactly that in Shattered Rainbows. Grist for the mill is EVERYWHERE in Britain.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  57. I stand corrected. MJP is absolutely right- the Heyer in question is “A Civil Contract.” My only plea is that it has been several years and many,many volumes ago that I last read it and memory sometimes fails me.
    Every now and then they are re-releasing Heyer titles, so if you are patient you can probably fill out your collection. But a UBS such as alibris or half.com might have them for a lot less, even if you add in the postage. I’ve had very good luck with ordering from online sources.

    Reply
  58. I stand corrected. MJP is absolutely right- the Heyer in question is “A Civil Contract.” My only plea is that it has been several years and many,many volumes ago that I last read it and memory sometimes fails me.
    Every now and then they are re-releasing Heyer titles, so if you are patient you can probably fill out your collection. But a UBS such as alibris or half.com might have them for a lot less, even if you add in the postage. I’ve had very good luck with ordering from online sources.

    Reply
  59. I stand corrected. MJP is absolutely right- the Heyer in question is “A Civil Contract.” My only plea is that it has been several years and many,many volumes ago that I last read it and memory sometimes fails me.
    Every now and then they are re-releasing Heyer titles, so if you are patient you can probably fill out your collection. But a UBS such as alibris or half.com might have them for a lot less, even if you add in the postage. I’ve had very good luck with ordering from online sources.

    Reply
  60. I stand corrected. MJP is absolutely right- the Heyer in question is “A Civil Contract.” My only plea is that it has been several years and many,many volumes ago that I last read it and memory sometimes fails me.
    Every now and then they are re-releasing Heyer titles, so if you are patient you can probably fill out your collection. But a UBS such as alibris or half.com might have them for a lot less, even if you add in the postage. I’ve had very good luck with ordering from online sources.

    Reply
  61. Melinda, many thanks for providing the link to those delicious covers. Harlequin’s U.S. covers hardly compare with these lovely ones.

    Reply
  62. Melinda, many thanks for providing the link to those delicious covers. Harlequin’s U.S. covers hardly compare with these lovely ones.

    Reply
  63. Melinda, many thanks for providing the link to those delicious covers. Harlequin’s U.S. covers hardly compare with these lovely ones.

    Reply
  64. Melinda, many thanks for providing the link to those delicious covers. Harlequin’s U.S. covers hardly compare with these lovely ones.

    Reply
  65. The only problem about the new UK Heyer reprints is that they are in a slightly larger format, 5 x 8 inches instead of 4¼ x 7. If one happened to have the run shelved somewhere where the larger format would not fit, it would be a considerable nuisance. I now have a mixture of them, because a lot of my Heyers were falling apart and needed replacing.
    The new editions are well-printed and -produced, and the cover art is quite acceptable, all based on fairly obscure ‘fine art’ oil-paintings, but not brilliant. Most are out of period – Victorian rather than Georgian or Regency. Better than the old Pan paperbacks’ covers though.

    Reply
  66. The only problem about the new UK Heyer reprints is that they are in a slightly larger format, 5 x 8 inches instead of 4¼ x 7. If one happened to have the run shelved somewhere where the larger format would not fit, it would be a considerable nuisance. I now have a mixture of them, because a lot of my Heyers were falling apart and needed replacing.
    The new editions are well-printed and -produced, and the cover art is quite acceptable, all based on fairly obscure ‘fine art’ oil-paintings, but not brilliant. Most are out of period – Victorian rather than Georgian or Regency. Better than the old Pan paperbacks’ covers though.

    Reply
  67. The only problem about the new UK Heyer reprints is that they are in a slightly larger format, 5 x 8 inches instead of 4¼ x 7. If one happened to have the run shelved somewhere where the larger format would not fit, it would be a considerable nuisance. I now have a mixture of them, because a lot of my Heyers were falling apart and needed replacing.
    The new editions are well-printed and -produced, and the cover art is quite acceptable, all based on fairly obscure ‘fine art’ oil-paintings, but not brilliant. Most are out of period – Victorian rather than Georgian or Regency. Better than the old Pan paperbacks’ covers though.

    Reply
  68. The only problem about the new UK Heyer reprints is that they are in a slightly larger format, 5 x 8 inches instead of 4¼ x 7. If one happened to have the run shelved somewhere where the larger format would not fit, it would be a considerable nuisance. I now have a mixture of them, because a lot of my Heyers were falling apart and needed replacing.
    The new editions are well-printed and -produced, and the cover art is quite acceptable, all based on fairly obscure ‘fine art’ oil-paintings, but not brilliant. Most are out of period – Victorian rather than Georgian or Regency. Better than the old Pan paperbacks’ covers though.

    Reply
  69. I like makeovers…IF they’re done for believable reasons. For wanting to “fit in” or to gain confidence or credibility. I can even accept them as a necessary plot device. But to intimate that the change will actually create a person who does not really exist, no!
    To me, no matter what persona one tries to project to others… one still has to “live” with the person who exists behind the mask. So, unless that makeover affects both the inner and outer person in a permanent fashion, it doesn’t seem like a very honest thing to do.
    I probably feel this way because I have known too many people whose outer self wasn’t all that attractive and yet, in their presence, their inner qualities came through so strongly that you almost forgot their appearance.
    I’ll grant you that a handsome package draws more attention than one wrapped in brown paper and string, but since most readers envision a story’s characters according to their own imagination and perceptions, I don’t think all heroes and heroines need to be knee-knocking gorgeous and wrapped in satin to be believable!
    A person can be short, frumpy, overweight or scrawny, have no wealth or sense of style and still be a very interesting, worthwhile individual. Quite often, the finest people you know are the ones who wear the most ordinary faces.
    In fact, being ordinary may even make them nicer people!
    So you can list me as being against makeovers… as a general rule.

    Reply
  70. I like makeovers…IF they’re done for believable reasons. For wanting to “fit in” or to gain confidence or credibility. I can even accept them as a necessary plot device. But to intimate that the change will actually create a person who does not really exist, no!
    To me, no matter what persona one tries to project to others… one still has to “live” with the person who exists behind the mask. So, unless that makeover affects both the inner and outer person in a permanent fashion, it doesn’t seem like a very honest thing to do.
    I probably feel this way because I have known too many people whose outer self wasn’t all that attractive and yet, in their presence, their inner qualities came through so strongly that you almost forgot their appearance.
    I’ll grant you that a handsome package draws more attention than one wrapped in brown paper and string, but since most readers envision a story’s characters according to their own imagination and perceptions, I don’t think all heroes and heroines need to be knee-knocking gorgeous and wrapped in satin to be believable!
    A person can be short, frumpy, overweight or scrawny, have no wealth or sense of style and still be a very interesting, worthwhile individual. Quite often, the finest people you know are the ones who wear the most ordinary faces.
    In fact, being ordinary may even make them nicer people!
    So you can list me as being against makeovers… as a general rule.

    Reply
  71. I like makeovers…IF they’re done for believable reasons. For wanting to “fit in” or to gain confidence or credibility. I can even accept them as a necessary plot device. But to intimate that the change will actually create a person who does not really exist, no!
    To me, no matter what persona one tries to project to others… one still has to “live” with the person who exists behind the mask. So, unless that makeover affects both the inner and outer person in a permanent fashion, it doesn’t seem like a very honest thing to do.
    I probably feel this way because I have known too many people whose outer self wasn’t all that attractive and yet, in their presence, their inner qualities came through so strongly that you almost forgot their appearance.
    I’ll grant you that a handsome package draws more attention than one wrapped in brown paper and string, but since most readers envision a story’s characters according to their own imagination and perceptions, I don’t think all heroes and heroines need to be knee-knocking gorgeous and wrapped in satin to be believable!
    A person can be short, frumpy, overweight or scrawny, have no wealth or sense of style and still be a very interesting, worthwhile individual. Quite often, the finest people you know are the ones who wear the most ordinary faces.
    In fact, being ordinary may even make them nicer people!
    So you can list me as being against makeovers… as a general rule.

    Reply
  72. I like makeovers…IF they’re done for believable reasons. For wanting to “fit in” or to gain confidence or credibility. I can even accept them as a necessary plot device. But to intimate that the change will actually create a person who does not really exist, no!
    To me, no matter what persona one tries to project to others… one still has to “live” with the person who exists behind the mask. So, unless that makeover affects both the inner and outer person in a permanent fashion, it doesn’t seem like a very honest thing to do.
    I probably feel this way because I have known too many people whose outer self wasn’t all that attractive and yet, in their presence, their inner qualities came through so strongly that you almost forgot their appearance.
    I’ll grant you that a handsome package draws more attention than one wrapped in brown paper and string, but since most readers envision a story’s characters according to their own imagination and perceptions, I don’t think all heroes and heroines need to be knee-knocking gorgeous and wrapped in satin to be believable!
    A person can be short, frumpy, overweight or scrawny, have no wealth or sense of style and still be a very interesting, worthwhile individual. Quite often, the finest people you know are the ones who wear the most ordinary faces.
    In fact, being ordinary may even make them nicer people!
    So you can list me as being against makeovers… as a general rule.

    Reply

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