Review 1420: The Talisman Ring

Having greatly enjoyed a play based on The Talisman Ring, I thought it was about time I reread the original. So, I pulled out my old, tattered paperback copy (copyrighted 1964) and read it again.

Sylvester Lavenham is dying and wishes to assure that his granddaughter is taken care of. So, he proposes a marriage to his nephew, Sir Tristram Shield. The granddaughter, Eustacie de Vauban, is young, French, and volatile. She agrees to marry Sir Tristram, but having romantic tendencies, she is taken aback by his matter-of-face nature. Changing her mind, she decides to steal away at dead of night to London with the aim of becoming a governess.

Unfortunately, she is taken by smugglers who are trying to escape some excisemen. To her delight, she finds that the leader is her cousin Ludovic Lavenham, famously wanted for murdering a man who refused to return his talisman ring, which he pledged while gaming. During their escape, Ludovic is shot, and Eustacie takes him to a local inn for help.

Here’s the poster from the play.

Of course, Ludovic is not guilty of murder and several characters join forces to prove his innocence. But if you think Ludovic and Eustacie are the romantic lead characters of this novel, you don’t know Heyer. For at the inn, they encounter Sarah Thane, an older young woman with a quick sense of humor.

The Talisman Ring is a typical Heyer romantic comedy, with a complicated, ridiculous plot, one brave but foolhardy hero, a vivacious heroine, and a likable older couple to anchor the romance. It’s lots of fun, as Heyer’s novels usually are.

Related Posts

Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle


Friday’s Child



6 thoughts on “Review 1420: The Talisman Ring

  1. Helen November 19, 2019 / 1:46 pm

    This was the first Heyer novel I read and I remember enjoying it, although I’ve since read a lot of others that I liked more. I’ll have to read it again one day.

    • whatmeread November 19, 2019 / 3:38 pm

      Yes, I felt the same way, but when I reread it, I found I liked it a lot better. It’s a lot of fun.

  2. Liz Dexter November 20, 2019 / 2:07 am

    Ah, I love Heyer and it’s always nice to see her being read around the blogosphere. I read most of them in a nice green hardback edition from the school library in my teens, and have been collecting the reissued paperbacks for a few years now, although I also have some older ones. This is a great one, and it never seems to matter that she recycles themes and scenes, does it?!

    • whatmeread November 20, 2019 / 10:39 am

      No, and I often see her playing with a character in one novel who becomes the main character of another, just with a different name.

  3. Lisbeth Ekelöf November 20, 2019 / 5:25 am

    Used to read Georgette Heyer when I was young. Always a good, romantic read, but not over romantic. I will try this one out. Interesting that you say, the romance is not what it seems to be. Makes me curious.

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