Georgette Heyer did an enormous amount of research for her novels
and often enjoyed not including specific dates in her novels, preferring
instead to date them by period events or even costumes.
Below we have a list that Susan, Kate, Katherine, Laura and others from the
have compiled that lists the dates of those books that we have been
able to figure out.
||Birthdate in text, Battle of Hastings
|My Lord John
||Dates in Chapter headings
|Simon the Coldheart
||Simon is 14 at beginning, 17 in 1403, seige begins in 1417
||Date given in text (ch. 6)
||Battle of Worcester
|The Great Roxhythe
||Opens: 1668, Closes: 1685
||[Chap. 1] He was very exquisite, this gentleman, adorned with all the
coloured silks, velvets and furbelows which that Year of Grace, 1668, demanded.
[Chap. 8] Hardly a fortnight after the King's death, my Lord Sunderland
waited on Lord Roxhythe at Bevan House.
||Just after the rebellion of '45
|The Black Moth
||Mrs. Fanshawe met Jack "three years ago" in '48,
at the end we are told that "Miss Gunning is to marry Coventry." (They
married on 5 March 1752.)
|Powder and Patch
||Sir Maurice married 1729, Philip is 23 (allow 1 yr. to birth)
|These Old Shades
||Avon involved in rebellion of "ten years ago",
the 8th prince of Condé was 20 in 1756, and the book has a "day in
November" after "sold Léon to the Duke a month ago."
||24 years after These Old Shades as Dominic
is "Twenty-four all but a month or two".
|The Convenient Marriage
||Horry's godfather and namesake, Horace
Walpole was "rising sixty" years old.
Edward Heron (Horry's sister's sweetheart)
was wounded in the Battle of Bunker Hill (June 1775) and sent home to recover.
|The Talisman Ring
||The French king just lost his head: Sylvester says "How long is now
since they sent the King to the guillotine? Over a month, eh? Mark me,
Tristam, the Queen will go the same road before the year is out."
||New unpowdered heads and Max's cropped hair
(Pitt's tax on powder in 1795), late queen of France (1793),
and Deb's dress at Vauxhall
||Date of letter in text (ch. 1)
||Cedric Brandon says he will have Sir Richard bye him a pair
of colors and go off to the Peninsula.
|The Spanish Bride
||Battles of Peninsular War -- Badajos thru Waterloo
|The Reluctant Widow
||The secret plans are for Wellington's campaign in the spring, and he
may march on Madrid again (Madrid - June 1812). It seems to be winter
in England also, as it's cold and Nicky and John are shooting rabbits.
||Brigade-Major going to Spain, after Salamanca and
Gareth's brother died at Salamanca.
||Battle of Lutzen
"The victory of Bonaparte at Lutzen over General Wittgenstein, commanding
the combined forces of Russia and Prussia, had not long been known in
London, and was still being much discussed."
|A Civil Contract
|An Infamous Army
|The Grand Sophy
||Sophy was in Brussels "last year" (Waterloo)
||Glenarvon published, many other clues
||Meg's husband goes to China with Lord Amherst.
||Sir Waldo asks of
Miss Trent's father: "Was he engaged at Waterloo?"
Miss Trent refers to her brother serving
in the Army of Occupation in France (which was withdrawn in November 1818).
It was also after the war
that Leeds became a boom town, leading to the blackening of the houses
(from the steam engines driving the mills), and the slums which aroused
Lord Lindeth's social conscience.
||Captain Staple had resigned his
commission and rejoined as a volunteer for Waterloo.
|The Quiet Gentleman
||Spring of 1816
||In Chapter 1: But the seventh Earl, surviving a minor, but rather
bloody engagement at the
village of Genappe, and a major engagement at Waterloo, still showed no
disposition to return to the home of his ancestors... Not until twelve
calendar months had passed since his father's death did his cousin, and the
Dowager Countess, receive tidings from him that he was in England, and about
to take possession of his inheritance.
||after June 1816
||"Waterloo was a year ago last June; I make it eighteen months"
|The Black Sheep
||Stacy Calverliegh cannot open a gambling house in Paris because
"with Napoleon on Helena, all the English are flocking to Paris".
|The Unknown Ajax
||Hugo's father died in 1793 when Hugo was 3 and
Hugo is now 27. As well, in Ch.6;
"Good God, have you been engaged for two years?" she exclaimed.
"Better nor that," he said. "It was in the Spring of '15 that it happened,
and now we're in September."
||Occupation Army in France, Napoleon on Helena
||Christopher's father had died in 1816:
"Lord Denville had died, quite suddenly, in the early spring of 1816; and
since that date, some fifteen months previously, Lady Denville had not set
eyes on her younger son."
||Spring of 1817
||Arabella received an invitation "to have the honour of
meeting Her Majesty the Queen"
(Queen Charlotte died in November 1818)
Mr Beaumaris is "quite the most noted figure
in society since poor Brummell was done up!"
(Brummell fled to France in 1816)
The reference to the fate (in the previous year) of the Master
(Chimney) Sweep, Mr William Molys, whose
trials for the death of a boy in his employ took place in 1816. He was
first tried for the murder of the apprentice, John Hewlings, and
acquitted, then indicted for assault on the same child, found guilty,
and sentenced to two years imprisonment.
Mr. Emden in "Regency Pageant" gives the date of 1819
(which may be a typo) for 'Golden' Ball Hughes' inheritance, and says that he
inherited from his step-father, Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, and took his
step-father's name. The only thing he doesn't say is where he got this
information. Gronow merely says that Ball was at Eton with him, and
that he was left the fortune by his uncle, Admiral Hughes, but no date.
Admiral Hughes died in 1794.
Lady Bridlington's visit to the British Museum to see the Elgin Marbles
after she has already seen them twice (they were purchased by the
government in 1816).
||18 months after publication of Glenarvon
||Kate is 24 now and was 12 when Mama died in Portugal (e.g. during the
Papa sold out after Waterloo (June 1815) and he and Kate set up house in London
Kate began her governess career with the Astley's in the autumn and was there
for 6 months. It was this following spring that the events took place.
Logic: Papa is unlikely to have run through his prize money by fall of '15 so
earliest date is spring of 1817. It is entirely reasonable that they made it
another year before the tax cart got him. Any much later than that begins to
grow unlikely because the wars would be "old news" and not discussed with as
much interest (and everyone seems to be quite interested in Kate's
|Lady of Quality
|| Contradictory dating? Lucy's father died 10 years ago at the
battle of Corunna (1808) -> 1818 and the
death of Princess Charlotte - 1817.
||(of a temple in Green Park): "erected there as part of the pageantry
of the Peace celebrations in 1814, but as this temporary structure had
been demolished, Charis thought, four years, later, that the Green Park
was hardly worth a visit."
Alverstoke is three years Brummell's junior (Chap. 6) and he has given
his age to Frederica as 37 (Chap. 3). Since Brummell was born in 1778,
Alverstoke must have been born in 1781, therefore it is now 1818.
||"The old Queen seems to have recovered from the spasm she suffered in
the spring."... and "Then we had Clarence's marriage in July:...".
William, Duke of Clarence married Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen on the
11 July 1818.
Queen Charlotte's spasm was supposedly caused by hearing that her
daughter-in-law (and niece) the Duchess of Cumberland, to whom she had
denied the court, had somehow gone behind her back and met with her
newest daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge (again, married in
1818). The opening chapter mentions an "autumnal mist" but no "large
shooting parties until November", so approximately Sep-Oct 1818.
||Sir Francis died 3 yrs ago, just after Waterloo (ch. 1)