The Hotel Cléone

Or, the Original Final Chapter of "The Transformation of Philip Jettan", by Georgette Heyer

In 1923, a young Georgette Heyer chose to publish her third novel under a psuedonym, "Stella Martin". Although her first two novels (The Black Moth, 1921 and The Great Roxhythe, 1923) were published by Hutchinson, she chose Mills and Boon to publish "The Transformation of Philip Jettan". This may be because the novel was written quickly - in just three weeks - and is much lighter in tone than her slightly strange historical novel "Roxhythe". Heyer may not at that time have wished her name to be associated with such a short, hastily constructed and 'frothy' book. The other novel which she wrote that year, "Instead of the Thorn", is a contemporary novel dealing with men, sex and marriage in a way that Heyer's historical romances do not.

Along with her other contemporary novels, Heyer suppressed "Instead of the Thorn" some years later. "Philip Jettan" however remains in print as "Powder and Patch". In 1930, Heinemann published "Philip Jettan" under the name "Powder and Patch", and bearing the author's real name on the cover. However, the final chapter XX was removed from the Heinemann edition, and has never to my knowledge been reprinted.

Jane Aiken Hodge, Heyer's friend and biographer, wrote of the alteration: 'In the first version, he wins her and takes her to Paris, to become exquisites together. In the second, they will retire to Sussex and become a country gentleman and his wife, very much like the Rougiers.' In 1923, Heyer was single and relatively inexperienced. In 1930 she was Mrs Ronald Rougier, having married in 1925. The revision of her protagonists' future life may have reflected her own change in views over that time.

As a reader of Heyer's Regency novels, I feel that the original ending is more in keeping with the character and structure of the novel, and is also much more fun. I am delighted to reproduce it here.

I believe that copyright rests with the Booker Group, who bought the rights from Heyer in 1968. This is the same company associated with both food wholesale and the Booker Prize. The text below is reproduced for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study: it seems to me that any discussion of the text and Heyer's reasons for the alteration must be informed by reading the actual text.

The Text

What follows is the text as I read it in the reference copy at the British Library. If there are any errors, I apologise and will be glad to correct them.

Chapter XX

Mademoiselle de Chaucheron Rings Down the Curtain

SIR MAURICE JETTAN stood in the withdrawing-room of the Hotel Cléone and studied himself in the glass. He smiled a little, and straightened his shoulders.

There came a swish of skirts in the passage without, and the door opened. In walked Cleone, a fair vision in a gown of pure white satin and lace.

Sir Maurice turned. He raised his quizzing-glass the better to inspect his daughter-in-law.

"Upon my soul, Cleone!" he ejaculated.

Cleone swept him a curtsey, laughing.

"Is it not ridiculous? Philip insisted. Wait till you see him!" She ran to the mirror. "Do you like the way my hair is dressed, father?"

"I am struck dumb by the whole effect!" answered Sir Maurice. "Yes, I like that white rose in your hair."

"Oh, you must tell Philip that! He spend hours and hours trying to place it to his entire satisfaction! It has been terrible, je t'assure. Yes, I am beginning to acquire an accent, am I not? Philip nearly tore his beautiful wig in his anxiety!" She re-arranged the roses at her breast. "At one time I expected him to summon François to his assistance. But he refrained, and here am I!"

Sir Maurice sat down.

"Has he been dressing you, my dear?"

"Has he-----! For the past three hours, sir! He has driven my maid distracted." She started to count on her fingers. "He spent half an hour superintending my hair-dressing, and another half an hour placing this rose, and the pearls. Then half an hour went to my patches - this is when he nearly tore his wig! - he could not decide where to put them. The arrangement of my gown occupied quite an hour in all. And then he was much put out over my jewels." She held up her fingers. "I vow they are red and sore, sir! I have had rings pushed on them, and dragged off them, until I was nigh screaming with impatience! But now I am dressed - and I have been told on pain of Philip's direst wrath to n'y toucher pas!" She sad down on the couch beside Sir Maurice, and slipped her hand in his. "Is he not absurd? And oh, I am prodigious nervous!"

"Why, my dear? What should make you so?"

"You see, it is my first appearance in Paris - it is to be my first ball - and I am so afraid I shall not understand what is said to me, or - or something mortifying!"

"Not understand? Nonsense, Clo! Why, you have talked hardly any English since you have been married."

"Y-es, but I am not at all fluent. Philip says everyone will be most amiable, but - oh, dear!"

At that moment François darted into the room, a harassed frown on his face.

"Ah, pardon, madame! Pardon, m'sieu! Je cherche la tabatiere de m'sieu' Philippe!"

"Laquelle?" asked Cleone. Sir Maurice was amused by her serious air. "The one with the pearls?"

"Mais oui, madame. It is this fool of a Jacques who has lost it, sans doute! Ah, la voilà!" He seized the errant box and skipped out again. Cleone breathed a sigh of relief.

"How terrible if it had been really lost!" she said.

Sir Maurice laughed.

"Would it have been so great a catastrophe?"

"But of course! It matches his dress, you understand."

"I see." Sir Maurice smothered another laugh. "My dear, do you know that it is three years since last I was in this city of cities?"

"Is it? Don't you think it is a wonderful place? Philip took me for a walk yesterday, and I was enchanted! And this house - I know I shall never bear to leave it! Philip says that the Hotel Cléone will be the most fashionable one in Paris! I was so surprised when he brought me here! I had no idea that there was a house waiting for me. He and François got all ready the week before our marriage! I've never been so happy in my life! And to-night I am to see Philip in what he calls his milieu. He tells me he was never at home in London."

"Philip in his milieu. Paris." Sir Maurice smiled down at her. "When I think of what Philip was not quite a year ago. . . ."

"It seems impossible, doesn't it? But oh, I am glad now that I sent him away" He is quite, quite perfect!"

"H'm!" said Sir Maurice.

Cleone laughed at him.

"You pretend! I know how proud you are!"

"Minx! I confess I am curious to see Philip in his Parisian Society. No one knows that he is here?"

"Not a soul. He insisted on guarding the secret until he could make a really dramatic appearance at the Duchesse de Sauverin's ball to-night. He is mad, you know, quite mad! Oh, here he is!"

Philip came into the room with a rustle of stiff silks. Sir

Maurice started at him.

"Good God, Philip, what audacity!"

From head to foot his son was clad in white. The only splash of colour was the red heels of his shows; his only jewels were pearls and diamonds; on the lapel of his coat he wore a single white rose.

"Isn't it ridiculous?" said Cleone. "But doesn't he look beautiful?"

"Stand up, child, and let me see you side by side. . . . Yes. What audacity! Had I known, I would have attired myself in black - the old man at the ball."

"Twould have made an excellent foil," agreed Philip. "But no matter. Cleone, you have rearranged your roses!"

Cleone backed, warding him off.

"I cry your pardon, sir! Oh no, let me be!"

Philip came to her, and with deft fingers pulled the flowers into position.

"One of them must kiss your skin, so! To show that it is no whiter than the skin. Voilà, c'est bien!"

"Who is like to be at the ball to-night, Philip?" asked his father.

"Tout le monde. One always goes to Madame de Sauverin's balls. It is de rigueur."

"We shall be late!" warned Cleone. "Oh, we are late now!"

"That is also de rigueur," said Philip.

"Sir Maurice, M'sieu', et Madame Jettan!!" announced the lackey.

There was a sudden hush. All eyes turned to the late-comers. In the doorway stood a tall gentleman, at his side two dazzling visions in white.

Madame de Sauverin stared for a moment in wonderment. Then she hurried forward, hands outstretched.


"Philippe! Le petit Philippe!" A score of voices took up the cry. Nearly everyone there surged forward.

Philip kissed Madame's hand.

"Chere madame! I may present my wife? My father you know."

Cleone curtseyed low.

"Your - wife!" Madame took Cleone's hands. "Voyons, voyons, notre petit Philippe s'est éspousé! Et Maurice!"

Philip and Cleone were at the centre of a welcoming throng. Cleone's hand was kissed a dozen times, delighted questions were shot at Philip.

Saint-Dantin grasped his hand.

"Mon cher petit! You have returned at last? Et madame!" He bowed to the blushing Cleone. "There is no need to ask who is madame." He smiled at her. "It is evident that her name is - Cléone!"

De Vangrisse pressed forward.

"The mysterious Cléone! Madame, votre serviteur! We have all longed to see the lady who so consistently held Philip's while heart!"

"Philippe, how long have you been in Paris?" demanded De Chatelin. "You are going to remain? Ah bon!"

"Philippe, have you an ode for the occasion?" asked another laughing voice.

Clothilde de Chaucheron pushed through the ring.

"Le petit Philippe au cœur perdu!" she cried.

Philip disengaged himself from the clutches of Saint-Dantin and took his wife's hand.

"Mademoiselle de Chaucheron, chérie," he said, and bowed.

Clothilde gazed at Cleone for a moment. Then she swept a deep curtsey.

"Je me trompe," she said, smiling. "Le petit Philippe au cœur trouvé"


Heyer, Georgette. "Powder and Patch", Heinemann 1930.

Hodge, Jane Aiken. The Private World of Georgette Heyer, Arrow Books 1984.

Kloester, Jennifer. Georgette Heyer, the Biography of a Bestseller, Arrow Books 2013.

Martin, Stella. The Transformation of Philip Jettan, A Comedy of Manners, Mills & Boon, Limited, 49 Rupert Street, London, W. 1. Published 1923. Printed in Great Britain by the University Press, Aberdeen. British Library reference NN 8777, stamped 2 May 23.