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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


Dec 1, 2021

It’s time for Heyer Today, the podcast in which we investigate the life and work of our favourite historical novelist, Georgette Heyer.

We also explore why her books have yet to be made into films, in spite of being utterly delightful. Here to talk to Sara-Mae about that, amongst myriad other things, is none other than Joanne Harris (MBE).

Best known for her delicious and highly successful novel Chocolat, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche, Joanne is very well placed to be able to talk about the difficulties of adapting a book into film. Not only that, she’s also a huge Heyer fan. We can’t wait to pick her brains about this, as well as her favourite Heyer novels.

She’s been a teacher, with 15 novels and two collections of short stories under her belt as well as dabbling in television, writing screenplays, a musical and three cookbooks.

She’s outspoken about author’s rights, but does so with pith and humour, though she’s not just tweeting about such things, she’s actively adding to the discourse by chairing the Society of Authors (SOA), and being a member of the Board of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). I could go on for days about this fabulous woman, who lists her hobbies as “mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion of the system”. Her appetite for life expresses itself through her work and the appreciation she exhibits for beauty in writing which is lyrical, delicate and yet at the same time earthy.

But her greatest skill is evocation, tugging at the threads and sinews that bind the mind and heart. Join Sara-Mae as she tucks in to a tasty discussion of Georgette Heyer and what makes her work so satisfying to those of us who love her.

Learn more:

Quotes taken from this article for The Daily Telegraph in January 2001.

Thanks to Janet Clarkson, from whose blog we found the John Mollard quote

THE ART OF COOKERY by John Mollard (published in 1836)

“French Pupton of Pigeons” recipe in THE LONDON ART OF COOKERY And Housekeepers Complete Assistant by John Farley (published in 1787)

Lauren Gilbert’s blog

You can find Message to Bears here:

Tom’s music here:

and Emma’s website is