The Talisman Ring is a historical romance novel by Georgette Heyer, first published in 1936. Set in the Georgian era, the action takes place in Sussex, where Heyer then lived.
Like several of Heyer's early novels including Regency Buck (1935) and The Corinthian (1940), The Talisman Ring blends the genres of romantic comedy and thriller. Jane Aiken Hodge describes it as a "neat comedy" and "very nearly a detective story in period costume". In counterpointing an older and a younger couple, the novel is a forerunner of many of Heyer's later works, such as Frederica (1965). The Talisman Ring is also the first of Heyer's novels to feature characters from the Bow Street Runners.
On his deathbed, Baron Lavenham arranges a marriage between his great-nephew, Sir Tristram Shield, and his young French granddaughter, Eustacie de Vauban. His grandson and heir, Ludovic, is on the run on the Continent, after allegedly murdering a man in a dispute over a valuable heirloom, the talisman ring. The romantic Eustacie, appalled by her betrothed's phlegmatic character, runs away and soon encounters a smuggler
, who turns out to be her cousin Ludovic. The two take refuge at a local inn, after Ludovic is injured escaping from Excisemen
. There they encounter an older lady, Miss Sarah Thane, who vows to help them. The subsequent plot revolves around proving Ludovic's innocence by finding the missing ring and unmasking the real murderer.
- Hodge JA. The Private World of Georgette Heyer (Bodley Head, 1984; reprinted Arrow Books, 2004)