Georgette Heyer was not known for paying much attention in her historical fiction to the problems faced by the lower classes, especially in her Regency novels, by now almost entirely focused on comedy. The lower classes, when they appeared at all, showed up as loyal, devoted servants—sometimes too devoted—thieves, or comedy figures. But after three straight Regency novels, in Arabella, she suddenly decided to introduce a touch—a mere touch—of poverty, as if to acknowledge that even in the idealistic Regency world of her creation, genuine, real poverty could appear. And as if to immediately soften this, she surrounded this poverty with witty dialogue, romantic banter, and what by all appearances is the expected romantic ending. Appearances only; a closer look shows that the ending has, shall we say, issues.