Miss Abigail Wendover's efforts to detach her spirited niece Fanny from a plausible fortune-hunter are complicated by the arrival in Bath of Miles Caverleigh. The black sheep of his family, a cynical, outrageous care-for-naught with a scandalous past - that would be a connection more shocking even than Fanny's unwise liaison with his nephew!
But Abbey, adept at managing her sweet, silly sister Selina, her lively niece, and the host of her admirers among Bath's circumscribed society, has less success in managing her own unruly heart...
©1966 Georgette Heyer; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
A most entertaining and enjoyable book, beautifully narrated by a most distinguished actress who brought each different character to life so well. It was easy to imagine the various scenes, laugh at the idiosyncrasies of the Regency fops and the rigid rules of society. Typical Heyer humour perfectly expressed.
All Heyer books are good but Black Sheep falls in a certain group I think are excellent (along with Grand Sophy, Bath Tangle, Frederica and others). Black Sheep is a little different in that the love comes earlier - the difficulty is how it will work out. The ending is a little surprising and very enjoyable.
Historical & SciFi Book Lover, especially Georgette Heyer, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis (& New Who). Also books for the kids.
This was an EXCELLENT audio version, the narrator caught the nuances so well, and read the humour in the exchanges (so you can hear the smile or the supressed chuckle). One of my favourite Heyer books, but this is by far my favourite narration of any of her books that I had heard.
Have no qualms! Barbara Leigh-Hunt, that marvelous actress, is a superlative interpreter of this story. She captures every nuance of the sparkling dialogue and makes the 9+ hours fly by! She is a natural for this genre and I hope she has more recordings. I shall certainly keep out a sharp eye for her narrations.
A typical; "fun read' by Georgette Heyer. For an easy, "no worries" reading experience she is hard to go past... She churned out Regency romances which she personally deprecated and which thousands of people all over the world looked forward to seeing available each year.. This one grows on you.... The heroine is more mature but there is a lot of enjoyable repartee between her and the older hero. I really enjoyed listening to this book in the Audible version more than I enjoyed the written word. The narrator is excellent. Highly recommended to all die hard GH fans.
I loved the characters and witty dialogue created by Georgette Heyer. Barbara Leigh-Hunt can deliver the lines and put you in the scene. As a narrator, she gives emotion to the words on the page and creates the scenes in your mind. As a reader, she is not performing a dramatization of the role of Abby but, rather, is telling the story. If you close your eyes and allow yourself to be immersed, you can "see" the characters and "hear" their voices while Leigh-Hunt reads. Wonderful!
I loved Georgette Heyer more than 45 years ago and I've enjoyed reading them again after all these years. She introduced me to Regency England and I began reading more about English History afterwards. I was struck by the similarity between Black Sheep and Venetia. Both involve young men who made youthful indiscretions and the men the became in later life. The heroines who love them are similar in that they are strong women who can love despite their families' disapproval.
I thought she had a special way of speaking life into the characters thanks to her experience on stage and in films. Her voice has a wonderful range, not just in emotion but in pitch and timbre.
I can't imagine a better title than Black Sheep. With all the attached connotations, it's perfect!
If you like to lose yourself in stories and wonderful storytelling, I recommend Georgette Heyer's Black Sheep being read by Barbara Leigh-Hunt.
Absolutely - this is one of my favourite stories.
Leigh-Hunt's clear diction, differentiation between character voices and slight accent added greatly to my enjoyment of this audiobook
Yes, and I very nearly did!
Masterful. Fun. Compelling
Miles Calverley is a stand-out. He's the epitome of the black sheep, and incredibly sympathetic. Every scene he's in is a highlight, which is saying something, given the lovely story he features in.
Her dramatisation. She doesn't really do voices to any great degree, but she nails the intonation, mood, and timing, and suits the period so well, as anyone who has seen her as Lady Catherine De Berg in the BBC miniseries adaptation of Pride and Prejudice will agree with. She delineates voices enough to make dialogue easy to follow, and she brings the book to life beautifully. When I read the book a while after listening to this I found myself hearing the words as Barbara reads them, and was pleased.
Moved? Hmm, spoilers. I'll leave this alone.
A great book, read by a great actress, fitting to the subject matter and vibe. Worth getting.
I'm very disappointed in the reading of this, one of my favorite Georgette Heyer novels. The Heroine is under 30 with a lovely, "musical" voice.
The narrator's voice sounds old, rather like Eve Arden, and just doesn't fit with the whole atmosphere.
I don't think I'll purchase any more books with this narrator.
Writer, Regency lover, historic novel aficionado.
Absolutely. It was wonderful hearing Barbara Leigh-Hunt narrate. Anyone who's seen AMC's Pride and Prejudice will recognize her as Lady Catherine de Bourgh. I found that I even understood the book more listening to Leigh-Hunt narrate.
I don't want to give it away, but at the end, when Mr. Calverly returns to Bath. You suspect you know what he's been up to at this point, and it's wonderful getting that validation.
I have not.
Immensely satisfying. I laughed for sure.
I wish Leigh-Hunt would read more of Heyer's works. It's great fun and a pleasure to listen to.
I loved this book - one of her best. It really lifted my mood as it's witty, observant and very entertaining!
Some previous reviewers have said that they though that the narrator stumbled a bit, and that her voice was too mature to make the younger characters believable. I didn't find this the case at all and will look out other books she's done as I thought she interpreted the this one beautifully.
"Lovely book, shame about the reader"
We've listened to every one of Georgette Heyer's audio books and loved them all. We loved all the narrators, each which her/his own flavour (Eve Matheson being the chosen favourite) but this is first time we felt the novel has lost a lot because of the choice of ther narrator(Barbara Leigh Hunt). Her naturally mature, very polished and highly trained voice, misses out on Heyer's subtle social humour, reducing some characters to unconvincing caricatures. There's also a very marked tongue-tripping which makes for a slightly uncomfortable listening.
Even so, I would recommend this as one of Heyer's more engaging novels.
"Heyer at her best"
Excellent narration of this novel. Barbara Leigh-Hunt easily injects and intones the humour, irony and wit that Ms Heyer intended in this novel. This is a particularly engaging story and quite 'grown up' with the heroine being more mature than some of the other novels. A nice escape from current day language and all its innuendo to a more eloquent and gentile époque. Heartily recommended.
It is true, as other reviewers have said, that Barbara Leigh-Hunt does trip occasionally in her reading. That did not mar the overall effect for me because what she does bring is the delightful gurgle of laughter that is characteristic of Abigail. Her reading brings out the charm of the character, which is what so entrances Miles. She has some nicely comic touches, excelling as Selina. She also manages something which not all female narrators can do and that is a very convincing male voice. This is still one of my favourite Heyer listens, even though Eve Matheson's narrations are also excellent.
I love Georgette Heyer's books and Black Sheep is one of my favorites but I was disappointed with Barbara Leigh Hunt's reading. When speaking as "narrator" she was fine but "in conversation" between characters the voices were too similar and often too old.
Miles because he is an interesting character who has led a colourful life.
I like his sense of humour and the dialogue between him and Abigail sparkles.
With a different narrator
Georgette Heyer's work should stand alone. If she wanted a follow up book I am sure she would have written one.
I have several Georgette Heyer audio books and the very best narrator is Richard Armitage who stands head and shoulders above all others.
Continuing my nostalgia filled odyssey through Heyer in audiobooks, I've reached the much loved Black Sheep. Classic Heyer with a not in her first flush of youth character, Abigail, who is also a dead ringer, both in character, situation and plot, for Annis in Lady of Quality, both paired with a rough diamond for the male character. Same background about the tyranny of family affection but witty and very enjoyable. I've not heard Barbara Leigh Hunt narrate before, and did wonder if I'd like it. As an actress she has had such a varied career but for all the parts I've seen her play it's Lady Catherine de Burgh in Pride and Prejudice that sticks in the mind most and made her seem so daunting. I needn't have worried - whilst Miles voice was not as deep as I've always heard him in my head when reading the book, it works. And when her Mrs Clapham lapses at the end of her charade and delivers the "you'd marry a midden for muck" line it's a joy. Definitely recommend this.
It's years since I read this book and I'd forgotten what a delight it is. I loved it.
This is a lovely humerous book by Georgette Heyer. The main characters have such a chemistry between them which really comes alive. I think Barbara Leigh-Hunt is a fantastic actress, however sometimes I found it hard to differentiate between the characters voices as her voice is a mature one and I felt she wasnt able to capture the youth of the younger characters. She sounded fine reading as the older ladies but as the younger Abigail Wendover I felt she didnt do the character justice, she made her sound quite old! However, I still enjoyed listening to this as I have all Georgette Heyer audio books.
"Wonderful, Witty and Tremendous Fun"
A wonderful Regency novel, and beautifully read. If you are not already a fan of Georgette Heyer novels (similar genre to Jane Austen but MUCH more fun), this is an excellent one to start with. The characters are truly engaging, and really come alive. And the interaction between Abigail and Miles is delightful.
A great addition to any audio-library.
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