April Lady

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April Lady
First edition
Author Georgette Heyer
Cover artist Arthur Barbosa
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Regency, Romance
Publisher William Heinemann
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 268 pp

April Lady is a Regency romance novel by Georgette Heyer. It is in many respects a classic example of her work: light, with some drama and delicately handled romance. Heyer writes from the perspective of two main characters throughout the book. The story is set in 1813.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

April Lady is the story of Nell or Helen Cardross (néé Irvine), the beautiful young wife of the Earl of Cardross. She is of a "good family," one that is accepted by high society, but nonetheless her father and brother spend freely and the family is known to be impoverished. Cardross, on the other hand, is significantly older and has been out in society for some time. Rich and handsome, he could have his pick of the season's débutantes. He falls for Nell on sight and, in spite of the warnings of his friends who are concerned about the gambling habits of her family, he proposes to her at once.

Nell's mother, who has "more hair than wit", tells Nell that Cardross wants an heir and wishes to marry into a good family. She also tells her that she must be a conformable wife and not trouble Cardross. Consequently, Nell, who fell for her husband in the same instant he fell for her, keeps him at arm's length and spends a lot of money until he starts to doubt her affection.

The couple dance at this misunderstanding for many months, ably assisted by Cardross' half-sister, her fiancé Jeremy, Nell's brother Dysart, and Cardross' cousin Felix. Cardross realizes that Nell was innocent and had not stolen his jewels. It had been his sister as she was about to elope and needed money. Jeremy brought her back and Cardross consented to their marriage. Cardross comes to know that Felix and Nell were just friends and he tells Nell that he had no mistress. He paid Dysart's debts though he hated his gambling. Everything ends well as Cardross and Nell tell each other their feelings. There is a happy ending.


Lady Helen (Nell) Irvine - the heroine, Countess of Cadross, daughter of Lord Pevensey

Lord Giles Merion, Lord Cardross - The hero, Earl of Cardross, 30+, Lives in Grosvenor Square, Country estate is Merion

Dysart Irvine - the heroine's brother, a Member of the beggars club, Viscount, son of Lord Pevensey

Mr Felix Hethersett - cousin of Lord Cardross

Lady Letitia (Letty) Merion - Lord Cardross's half-sister, an heiress

Mrs Thorne - Letitia's aunt

Mr Jeremy Allendale - an aspiring diplomat, about to take up a position in the court of the Regent of Portugal in Brazil

Lady Chudleigh - aunt of Lord Cardross

Mr Cornelius (Corny) Fancot - Dyson Irvine's friend, and fellow member of the Beggars club

Lady Orsett - Lord Cardross' mistress