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By Georgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer had a handful of unforgettable heroines, of which Arabella is among the such a lot engaging.

Daughter of a modest state clergyman, Arabella Tallant is on her approach to London while her carriage breaks down open air the searching resort of the rich Mr. Robert Beaumaris. Her delight stung whilst she overhears a comment of her host's, Arabella pretends to be an heiress, a pretense that deeply amuses the jaded Beau. To counter her white lie, Beaumaris launches her into excessive society and thereby topics her to all types of fortune hunters and different embarrassments.

When compassionate Arabella rescues such unlucky creatures as a mistreated chimney sweep and a mixed-breed mongrel, she foists them upon Beaumaris, who reveals he particularly enjoys the position of rescuer and is quickly given the chance to turn out his worthy within the individual of Arabella's impetuous younger brother...

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Example text

He says that cards are to blame for many of the evils –’ ‘Yes, my dear, very likely! ’ said Mrs Tallant, somewhat obscurely. She fidgeted with her reticule for a moment, and then added, a little consciously: ‘I should not tease Papa with telling him the whole history of our doings today, girls. ’ Her daughters did not pretend to misunderstand her. ’ said Sophia. ‘No,’ agreed Arabella. ‘And particularly not about the fifty pounds, for I am sure he would say it was too much, and I must give it back to my uncle!

After a moment’s stupefaction he said resolutely: ‘That settles it! I shan’t come downstairs today after all. ’ ‘No, indeed! ’ There was a box lying open upon Mama’s dressing-table. ’ ‘My father gave them to me,’ said Mrs Tallant, sighing faintly. ‘Of course I have never worn them of late years, for I have no occasion to. Besides, they are scarcely suitable for a clergyman’s wife. But I have had them cleaned, and I mean to lend them to you to take with you to London. And I have asked Papa if he thinks I might give you Grandmama Tallant’s pearl necklet, and he sees no objection to it.

Did Mama wear it in company? What was in this elegant box? Poudre à la Maréchale! But did Mama then powder her hair, like the picture of Grandmama Tallant, up at the Hall? Oh, not quite like that! A gray powder? Oh, Mama, no! indd 29 6/10/09 2:20:50 PM Georgette Heyer without a gray hair to your head! How did you dress it? Not cut at all ? Curls to the waist at the back? And all those rolls and puffs over the ears! How could Mama have had the patience to do it? So odd as it must have looked, too!

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