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Heyer Today

Heyer Today: a podcast about Georgette Heyer 

Last year, we won bronze for our season 1: The Sugar Baby Confessionals. This year, we’ve given ourselves a massive challenge: we’ve created a series twice as long, with over 39 participants, original music, a cinematic investigation and a book club rolled into one.

And guess what? Episode 1, featuring Stephen Fry, is already out now!

From February 2020, we’ll be releasing half our epic season on a weekly basis. What’s it like? Try a mash up of You Must Remember This, Unspooled and the Guardian Books Podcast. It’s hilarious, poignant, insightful, historically fascinating, smart and full of fabulous guests (who? Glad you asked… only Stephen Fry, Joanne Harris, Harriet Evans, Mary Jo Putney…to name but three).

What’s it about?

“I think myself I ought to be shot for writing such nonsense.”

As a bestselling author, Georgette Heyer hasn’t been out of print since 1921 – so why hasn’t Hollywood snapped up her plots for a big screen franchise?

  • Jane Austen – 6 best-selling Regency romances; 6 major screen adaptations.
  • Georgette Heyer – 34 best-selling Regency romances; 0 major screen adaptations.

One major film producer has been trying to get the first big screen adaptation of Heyer’s ‘The Grand Sophy’ made for years, but what’s been standing in the way? We’ll investigate the difficulties facing film makers when it comes to period work.

Plus, find out what the uber-Heyerites think of Sophy’s choice. We chat to Peter Buckman (agent for Heyer’s estate) about his struggles with trying to get a Heyer film made, and we  chart his journey towards adapting one of her books himself.

Join our Regency romance book club!

Every alternate week, we’ll attempt to convert people who’ve never heard of Heyer, including comedians Emma Moran, Glen Tickle, Dom Patmore, Rhiannon Shaw and Kate Hinksman.

Discover what Hollywood producers, Australian biographers, British national treasures and worldwide readers think about Heyer’s popularity. And join super-fans and newbies as they discover and discuss some of the top-selling novels of our time – in Heyer Today.

Highlights include:

  • Actor Stephen Fry on how he came to be hooked on Heyer
  • Author Joanne Harris on why adapting books into film can be problematic
  • Producer Andy Paterson discusses a mystery project and the difficulties of bringing Heyer’s work to the screen
  • Best-selling historical romance novelist, Mary Jo Putney, on writing Regency romance through a 21st century lens
  • Peter Buckman on his joy in adapting Heyer’s work
  • Romance novelist Harriet Evans lists her all-time favourite Heyers and why
  • Susannah Fullerton, head of the Jane Austen Society in Australia, compares Austen and Heyer
  • Acclaimed biographer Jennifer Kloester shares some anecdotes about her journey in discovering never-before-seen letters from Heyer and doing Heyer justice
  • Blogger Eleanor Turner (Jane to Georgette) discusses Heyer related on-dits and crim cons
  • Comedians who’ve never read Heyer, fall in love (or not!) with her work
  • Author Jane Holland and literary agent Alison Bonami from LBA on Heyer’s greatest romantic heroes
  • Audio drama inspired by Heyer’s life
  • Music from the incomparable Emma Gatrill and Message to Bears, plus original music composed especially for the podcast


Nov 17, 2021

Welcome to Heyer Today, the podcast about all things relating to Regency romance queen, Georgette Heyer.

This week, Sara-Mae will be chatting with playwright Christina Calvit and director Dorothy Milne, who worked together on the acclaimed Heyer adaptations of The Talisman Ring, Pistols for Two, Cotillion and Sylvester at Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre.

The theatre has a distinguished record of literary adaptations, including some Austen novels, so when we heard about Dorothy and Christina’s version of Sylvester, we were absolutely gutted we wouldn’t be able to see it.

Christina is no stranger to reshaping a literary work, with over a dozen theatrical adaptations under her belt, including Wuthering Heights; A Room with a View; Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice as well as our four Heyers.

She worked with Dorothy Milne, a veteran at Lifeline, who’s directed over twenty productions. Not only was she an ensemble cast member, she also served as the theatre’s Artistic Director from 1999-2019. Both women have been showered in awards, so they were well equipped to tackle Heyer’s books. We chat about how Heyer’s dialogue lends itself to the visual medium, which other novels they’d love to adapt, our favourite Heyers, and why they think Heyer’s work has been misunderstood over the years.

Oh, and we’ll also be asking the delightful Kathy Skok, a fan from the Heyer Facebook group, for her review of The Talisman Ring play. She got to see a production based on Christina and Dorothy’s adaptation.

Picture courtesy of David and Melissa Beresford - Ludovic (played by Jeremy Bode) comforts Eustacie (played by Carinda Washburn)


You can find Message to Bears here.

Tom Chadd’s music here.

and Emma Gatrill’s website is here.

Don’t forget to rate, review and recommend our podcast, it really helps others to find us. Also, please say hi on our social media channels, we’re @fablegazers on Instagram and @fable_gazers on Twitter.

Useful links:

Lifeline Theatre

Lovestreet Theatre adaptation of The Talisman Ring, developed and produced by David and Melissa Beresford, based on Christina's script.