The Black Moth

Gossip, scandal and an unforgettable Regency romance

Narrated by Stewart Clarke
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Pub Date 26 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 27 Aug 2021

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Brought to you by Penguin.


Diana Beauleigh is caught between two men.

Seven long years ago, Jack Carstares, the Earl of Wyncham, sacrificed his honour for his brother and has been in exile ever since.

Returning to England, Jack pretends to be a gentleman named Sir Anthony Ferndale but makes his living in a most ungentlemanly fashion, as a highwayman and a gambler.

When Jack encounters his nemesis, the Duke of Andover, in the midst of kidnapping Diana Beauleigh, the two old enemies come to blows.

Can Jack save the beautiful Diana from rakes, kidnap and ruin...?

'One of my perennial comfort authors. Heyer's books are as incisively witty and quietly subversive as any of Jane Austen's'
Joanne Harris

'Absolutely delicious tales of Regency heroes . . . Utter, immersive escapism' SOPHIE KINSELLA

'Georgette Heyer is second to none' Sunday Times

'Fabulously witty' Stephen Fry

© Georgette Heyer 1921 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Brought to you by Penguin.


Diana Beauleigh is caught between two men.

Seven long years ago, Jack Carstares, the Earl of Wyncham, sacrificed his honour for his...

Advance Praise

‘One of my perennial comfort authors. Heyer’s books are as incisively witty and quietly subversive as any of Jane Austen’s’ Joanne Harris

'Absolutely delicious tales of Regency heroes . . . Utter, immersive escapism' SOPHIE KINSELLA

‘One of my perennial comfort authors. Heyer’s books are as incisively witty and quietly subversive as any of Jane Austen’s’ Joanne Harris

'Absolutely delicious tales of Regency heroes . . . Utter...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format, Unabridged
ISBN 9781473591745
PRICE £10.83 (GBP)
DURATION 10 Hours, 40 Minutes

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 18 members

Featured Reviews

I've heard lots about this book, Heyer's first written when she was just 17. It's certainly impressive from a teenage pen and has lots of indications of the wonderful novelist Heyer will become - but it does feel uneven, if better-than-average juvenilia.

This audiobook, unusually, has a male narrator and sometimes the performance gets slightly melodramatic: a bit too much hissing from the villain, a bit too much caricature in the women. Overall, though, I liked it.

All that said, it's an interesting listen for any Heyer fans, and is wonderfully escapist - Jack, the highwayman hero, is one of Heyer's adorable leads - definitely a listen that will put a smile on your face!

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I love a good regency drama and this definitely was a good regency drama! I’ve rapidly grown in interest with Georgette Heyers works and I love the way she writes her books. She does them so well!

The outline of this plot really drew me in and it was catching once the story got going. It did take me a few chapters to get my head into the book and for it to get its hooks in but then it slowly and surely started to drag me in! It certainly has an enchanting quality to it and the storytelling ! Wow I loved the storytelling in this. It was so vivid and so well written.

The narration executed it brilliantly and it made for a great audiobook. So easy and effortless to listen to; I really enjoyed it.

It’s one of those books where you’re not sure which twists and turns are coming or how things are going to unravel. You have to keep listening just to see how the plot will develop.

I got really invested in the characters as we went along and I loved the story development between Jack and Diana. I don’t think you can go wrong with a Georgette Heyer book and this audiobook was a really great listen.

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Audio ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Audio review: I've never heard Heyer narrated by a male voice before but since you can certain;y argue that the male characters were the focal point, this narrator was a good choice. He had a pleasant, engaging voice and brought drama and nuance to the characters.

Book review: This is Heyer's first novel and compared to her subsequent books, it's perhaps not quite as accomplished. However if you compare it to the slew of regency romance currently being produced, it's most definitely a better book. For one thing, Heyer was always very precise in her historical research and the dialogue always reflects the time period with subtle adjustments to make it palatable for a modern audience. It's a testament to her skill that her books still stand the test of time decades later.

The Black Moth reminded me of a lighter take on The Scarlett Pimpernel. It was far more a swash buckling adventure than her other Regency set pieces, but I found myself just as engaged by her male leads as I have been with her female led casts. I would also point out that this book is more concerned with being an adventure story. There is romance but that is not the whole point of the plot. Despite early reservations at it not being quite what I expected, I was drawn in and ended up thoroughly enjoying the story. I imagine if you enjoy this type of historical fiction, you'll find yourself spotting the main beats well before they happen having been exposed to the basic premise in other books by later authors. Worth remembering that many of those authors are aping Heyer (as she was aping Austen) and that few of them ever write a Regency piece anywhere near as well.

This was a lot of fun. Recommended for anyone interested in light historical adventure.

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This was my first experience of Georgette Heyer and this is also her first novel.
Set in Georgian England in 1751, when the upper classes wore elaborate and extravagant clothes. The men almost more than the women. Their manners were even more florid and affected.
The hero, Jack (a disgraced Earl) is dashing, amusing and kind despite his current occupation as a highwayman.
The story is about Jack rescuing Diana from Devil Belmanoir and falling in love with her.
The machinations of the Duke of Andover and his Belmanoir family provide the background to the book.
This was quite fun, though the characters are rather shallow. Some of the language is quite archaic, so I required a few trips to Wikipedia!
The narrator was enjoyable, although his female voices tend towards shrillness.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review. All views expressed are my own.

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Firstly, my sister is a HUGE fan of Georgette Heyer, and she was intrigued to see how I would like her work. She did tell me she wasn't sure I would like it, seeing as they 'are written in the style of the time' and I find it a challenge to read this style sometimes. I have to really concentrate (which irks me as I want to relax when reading) and it does take me time to adjust to the prose. So, I went into this book tentatively.
The writing is wonderful, made even more special by the fact it was a DEBUT, written when Heyer was just 17.
The plot is smooth and interesting, although I wouldn't use the word gripping. The characters are also interesting to a degree, and not necessarily likeable for the entire book.
A mixed bag for me, but I am intrigued and want to try Heyer's other books. I also have an audiobook of Venetia, due to be published on the same day as The Black Moth, so I look forward to this one!

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If ever there was a time to read Georgette Heyer, this last horrible 18 months has been it.

Is this book melodramatic? Yes.
Is it pretty damn implausible? Yes.
Are all of the characters OTT and part of a universe of strange moral codes? Uh huh.
Do we care? Hell no!

All you need to know is that Lord John is heroic, Tracy is villainous and everything ends well in a Heyer universe. This is the kind of faux Regency world that Julia Quinn tries but fails to evoke in her Bridgerton novels - read these instead.

I was lucky enough to be given an arc audiobook version of this and enjoyed most of the characterisation. However, I’ve docked one star for the terrible voicing of Lady Lavinia which was honestly awful. I accept that it may have been deliberate as she is an annoying character but it was too irritating to listen to.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Penguin Random House UK Audio for my arc of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

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4 stars (3.5 stars, rounded up)

I adore reading GH novels, but this one hasn’t crossed the era’s as well as some of her others. To be fair this is probably because it was her first novel written in 1921 while she was still a teenager- for that alone I rounded up to 4 stars, because, well … just … wow!

But because this is her first novel, her signature prose is not quite there yet. it’s also difficult nowadays to countenance the kidnapping of women to be quite the jolly jape it’s made out to be in The Black Moth without so much as a mention of a slap on the wrist by way of penance.

Having said that I was lucky enough to be sent an Audiobook of The Black Moth in exchange for an honest review (thank-you Netgalley) and I still enjoyed the all round experience even with the limitations mentioned.

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Georgette Heyer is an author I often hear referenced and it was high time I caught up with her works so I was delighted to see an updated audio version for her debut novel. I found the narration and the story to both be entertaining with intrigue and twists along the way. Such a great work considering Georgette's age at the time of writing this. Even though it is supposed to centre around Diana, it was Lavinia I enjoyed most in this performance!

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3.5 stars

I’m still trying to get over the fact that Georgette Heyer was just 17 when she wrote this. 17! It was so polished for the first effort from a teenager, but good as it was, it wasn’t my favourite book by this author.

I was glad I listened to the audiobook for that made this all the more entertaining and possible to keep track of the myriad of characters, for the narrator was great at keeping the various characters sounding distinct. Admittedly, some of his female voices sounded a bit Mrs Doubtfire or Dick Emery at times, but you can’t be good at everything. I was grateful for that for the romance story arc wasn’t even hinted at until we were almost 50% in and I was a bit uncertain what I was reading, thinking I was there for a romance. Did people really get that het up over a game of cards? Really?

That said there was lots of action, dastardly characters getting one up one another and having sword fights and the like which got so mad at times it was like a real melodramatic soap opera. Thankfully, there was also plenty of the gentle humour of the type I like from this author so lots to keep me entertained. At times though, it did feel a bit slow and I did keep wondering where it was all going as the narrative shifted from character to character.

There was lots to enjoy and immerse myself in and I do feel like I’ve just spent a few days in Georgian England, but I’ve preferred later books from this author.

My thanks to the publisher via netgalley for the audiobook arc.

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