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Along with Jane Austen’s, Georgette Heyer’s are some of my favourite books. Like Jane, Georgette has some wonderfully witty lines, and my all time favourite, from ‘Devil’s Cub’ is “But then, you chose puce.” The context for this line is below. Thinking that Georgette and puce would make an interesting theme for this contest I was surprised to find, while researching, a website dedicated to mentions of “puce” in her books! Called The Puce Page!! (@http://www.georgette-heyer.com/puce.html it is part of the Georgette Heyer Fan Website) and the other snippets of dialogue are from here. My other surprising discovery was the many many colours that go under the name of “puce” (my reference here is Puce from Wikipedia @ http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puce#Tones_of_puce_colour_comparison_chart).
The full conversation that includes my favourite line:
He was annoyed, and showed it. "I believe you've not heard one word!" he said.
"I was thinking," said Mary thoughtfully, "that puce does not become you, Joshua."
"Puce?" stammered Mr Simpkins. "Become me? What -- Why --?"
"It is maybe your complexion that's too high for it," mused Miss Challoner.
Mr Simpkins said with dignity: "I was speaking of Sophia, Mary."
"I'm sure she would agree with me," replied the lady maddeningly.
"She's too easy, cousin. She don't know the path she treads," Joshua said, trying to bring the conversation back to its original topic. "She's very different from you, you know."
A slow smile curled Miss Challoner's lips. "I do, of course, but it's hardly kind in you to tell me so," she said.
"In my eyes," declared Joshua, "you are the prettier."
Miss Challoner seemed to consider this. "Yes?" she said interestedly. "But then, you chose puce." She shook her head, and it was apparent she set no store by the compliment.
From Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer.