The Unknown Ajax – Georgette Heyer

Read for the Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge.

This is the kind of Heyer book I really like.     It was laugh out loud funny in parts – probably pretty anachronistic for the time period, but so fun it didn’t matter.

Lord Darracott is a cranky old coot presiding over the families of his four sons.   (He had a couple daughters too, but once they were married off, he ceased to care about him, which tells you a lot about him.)     His second, formerly favorite son, Hugh, had the audacity of marry “a weaver’s daughter” (really a rich mill owner’s daughter, but oh the trades-tainted humanity!), so Lord Darracott disowned him.     So, when the oldest son, and his son are killed in a boating accident, it comes as a huge surprise to the rest of the family that Hugh (now long dead) in fact had a son, also named Hugh, and this Hugh is now the heir to the Darracott title.    (There’s no fortune – Lord Darrocott being a cheap and stubborn old coot).

So Hugo, as he’s known, is summoned to the family home to meet his remaining uncle, two aunts, and assorted cousins, including the sons of Uncle Matthew, who always assumed they were the heirs.    Hugo’s a big man, a Major in the army, but with a broad Yorkshire accent.    Half the family (the men) takes him for a buffoon, but his aunts and his cousin Anthea see a little more in Hugo then the men can see.

This is solid family drama – it’s all about the interactions in the Darracott family, and I enjoyed them all thoroughly.    Naturally, Hugo is able to save the day from an invented catastrophe, and everything ends happily ever after.

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