I discovered Georgette Heyer when I was sixteen years old, and literally devoured all of her historical romances that I could get my hands on. And when I finished those, I moved onto her 1920s-set crime novels.
They're all brilliant, with masterfully drawn characters and conflict to make your heart ahce. her heroines are strong and sassy and her heroes are swoonworthy.
But I have a soft spot for one hero in particular: Freddy Standen.
He appears in Cotillion, whose name (meaning a dance with four couples) indicates the kind of complex and entangled relationships that will ensue.
Our heroine - Kitty - is told that if she marries one of her Great-Uncle Matthew's many great-nephews, she will become heiress to his fortune. She sets her sights on Jack and begs Freddy to step in and pretend to be engaged to her in order to allow her to come to London.
The novel's very funny, incredibly engaging, and also has one of my favourite proposal speeches:“
"You don’t feel you could marry me instead? Got no brains, of course, and I ain’t a handsome fellow, like Jack, but I love you. Don’t think I could ever love anyone else. Daresay it ain’t any use telling you, but—well, there it is!”
There's a group of us online, the #DashItAlls (named for Freddy's favourite exclamation when faced with whatever exploit Kitty's done now) who are very much in favour of having Cotillion adapted for the big screen, and this got me thinking.
Who would make the perfect Freddy Standen?
So I give you, my prospective Freddys:
Tom was my first thought. He's done period drama before, has a smile that would suit Freddy perfectly, and he's more than a little loveable.
I think it was Avril Tremayne who highlighted Claflin's "fresh-faced" look - he could totally pull off baffled bemusement at Kitty's antics.
Jack O'Connell first made his mark on the third season of Skins, but he's been hitting the big screen recently, including in Undefeated. This would give him the perfect chance to flex his period drama muscles...
Peter in the Narnia films, and Crown Prince Liam in E!'s The Royals, Moseley has got the rakish look down and would bring some undisputed charm to the role.
Oliver Chris has plenty of experience playing rakish toffs (including the delicious Nick Medhurst BBC3's sitcom Bluestone 42), as well as having a remarkable CV of period drama on stage and screen. plus you can imagine him saying"Dash it all" perfectly!
Is Freddy your favourite Heyer hero? And what do you think of my imagined Freddys? Join in the debate in the comments!
Ali Williams grew up in Croydon and spent her teenage years in a convent girls' school. She then fled to university where she discovered champagne cocktails, a capella singing and erotica.
These days she blogs about perceptions of romance, #StrongRomanceHeroines and women in society, and spends the rest of her time sat at her brand new writing desk, cracking on with her first novel (affectionately referred to as the Sussex Shaggers).
Passionately vocal about the wonders of romance, Ali defies you to slam romance novels within her hearing!