by Georgette Heyer is set immediately after the Jacobite uprisings. Hilarious!
Another favorite! I have reread this one so many times, I had to use contact paper to hold the cover together. It's subtle with longing as Prudence and Robin hope for security and respectibility, but gamely play along with their irrepressible father.
Much of Heyer's work is devoted to the Regency period, so this Georgian novel stand out with more antiquated phrasing and fashions. The historical details are meticulously but effortlessly woven, the fashions described in loving detail along with political sensibilites. However, the author's compelling characters make this one of my favorites.
Prudence and her brother Robin begin the novel dressed each as the opposite sex. There is an initial disconcerting scese where you wonder whether Peter Merriot (Prudence) has a gay crush on huge, masculine Anthony Fanshawe. She does--but Prudence (Peter) is dressed to look like a young man, and must keep her attraction secret.
Robin (dressed as Kate) likewise falls in love with a "pair of pansy-brown eyes" and all the tangles and drama make a never-boring tableau. Their father, who has led them through a hair-raising series of adventures, is revealed to be a person of surprising consequence. This entertaining drama has masked balls, highwaymen, footpads, duels, and lots of strong drink and cards. The scene-stealing father's tendency toward grandiose delusions tickles the funnybone.