Beauvallet is one of my top favorite Georgette Heyer romances. It’s one I would recommend for a guy to read because of how daredevil the hero is and how much action and high jinks take place.

Sir Nicholas Beauvallet is a dashing pirate with a rakish charm. He’s the bane of the Spanish empire and good friends with other famous privateers such as Sir Francis Drake. He’s gallant, courageous to the point of foolhardiness, and full of confidence. His ego is adorable because it’s so over-inflated and lighthearted.

Dona Dominica de Rada y Sylva is a gutsy heroine. When captured she steals Beauvallet’s dagger and waves it at his nose. When forced aboard Beauvallet’s ship she snubs him, flirts outrageously with another officer, and ignores him. Obviously she’s just hiding her true feelings—the instantaneous crush, the deepening attraction, the utter fascination. The more she pushes him the more under his spell she falls.

When he promises to win her hand in marriage, she scoffs. Not likely! When he says he’ll pursue her right to her doorstep in the heart of Spain, she laughs. Impossible! When he says, “Risk not!” she begins to hope. But can it be done?

Some of the funniest scenes are Beauvallet flaunting his presence under the Spanish aristocracy and nobody being the wiser. I’m so happy that Heyer kept it in mostly Beauvallet’s point of view because we got to his side of the story and laugh at the supposedly mystical and magical escapes he managed to execute under Spanish noses.

It’s also an unusual historical I feel because of the monarchs and events happening.

Relative Time Period – Tudor:

  • Spanish Inquisition – 1478 to 1834
  • Henri III – 1551 to 1589
  • Elizabeth I 1533 to 1603
  • Phillip II -  1527 to 1598
  • Sir Francis Drake1577 to 1580 – around world trip

The references to the Spanish Inquisition are just cloying and realistic enough to make you shudder with all the “infinite kindness of the church” and whatnot. I’m not an expert of anything, but the way the dialogue happened almost made one think that King Phillip had no idea what truly happened during the churches inquisition sessions. Does anybody know if he did or not?

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Buy: Beauvallet

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 heidenkind March 18, 2010 at 12:49 AM

If I remember correctly, I THINK the Spanish Inquisition was under direct control of the monarchy. So yes, he did know–and the monarchy used the Inquisition to control their subjects.

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2 Keira March 18, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Oh the King knew about the inquisition but the way the church official talked about it in the novel to the King made me think the King thought it was all hearts and flowers when it really was all about torture and cruelty.

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