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The Grand Sophy | [Georgette Heyer]

The Grand Sophy

Resourceful, adventurous and utterly indefatigable, Sophy is hardly the mild-mannered girl that the Rivenhalls expect when they agree to take her in. Kind-hearted Aunt Lizzy is shocked; stern Cousin Charles and his humorless fiancée Eugenia are disapproving.With her inimitable mixture of exuberance and grace Sophy soon sets about endearing herself to her family, but finds herself increasingly drawn to her cousin. Can she really be falling in love with him, and he with her? And what of his betrothal to Eugenia?
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Publisher's Summary

Resourceful, adventurous and utterly indefatigable, Sophy is hardly the mild-mannered girl that the Rivenhalls expect when they agree to take her in. Kind-hearted Aunt Lizzy is shocked; stern Cousin Charles and his humorless fiancée Eugenia are disapproving.

With her inimitable mixture of exuberance and grace Sophy soon sets about endearing herself to her family, but finds herself increasingly drawn to her cousin. Can she really be falling in love with him, and he with her? And what of his betrothal to Eugenia?

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©1950 Georgette Heyer (P)2013 Naxos AudioBooks

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  •  
    Carol Massachusetts 10-17-13
    Carol Massachusetts 10-17-13 Member Since 2010

    Classical history buff, but find most of history fascinating. Love books, ballet, and basketball.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Full Sophy"

    If Georgette Heyer's many fans were to vote for their favorite Heyer heroine/novel, I predict "The Grand Sophy" would win. Naxos did a nice job on the abridgment that has been on Audible for two years (and which I quickly ponied up a credit for), but it was … abridged.

    Now we get the entire book, and it is good. I enjoyed Clare Wille's narration of the abridgment -- she also reads the unabridged versions of "Cotillion" and "A Civil Contract," both well worth listening to -- but Sarah Woodward's rendition is equally good, and now all my favorite scenes are here, not on the cutting room floor.

    Sophia Stanton-Lacy is the daughter of a British diplomat who has spent her teenage years traveling the Continent with her widower father as the Napoleonic wars wound down. Now Sir Horace is off to Brazil and leaves the 21-year-old Sophy in London with his sister and her numerous offspring. The household's eldest son is strait-laced Charles, who has recently (1) inherited a large fortune from a distant relative and (2) become engaged to the Honourable and egregiously proper Eugenia Wraxton.

    Sophy is sparkling, spontaneous, self-sufficient, and as Charles disapprovingly observes, “on easy terms with every rattle who ever wore a red coat." Not hard to see where the romance will go, especially keeping in mind that first-cousin alliances were common among the “quality” right up through the early twentieth century.

    Besides the protagonists -- and Sophy and Charles are among Heyer's most delightful and memorable -- several other characters also have romances underway or underfoot, and the machinations are tangled, funny, and occasionally bittersweet. Sophy's interactions with her large brood of cousins add marvelous depth to this classic novel. All will be well that ends well, so set aside the dreary dystopians and the vapid vampires and enjoy a romp through the Regency.

    54 of 56 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlie Russel Sunshine Coast, BC, CA 01-09-14
    Charlie Russel Sunshine Coast, BC, CA 01-09-14
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    "Georgette Heyer at her very best"

    All the familiar elements of a good Heyer Regency are here - the star-crossed lovers, the stern but good-natured Charles, the humourless Eugenia, the ineffectual Lady Ombersly, and, of course, the Grand Sophy, a resourceful young women brought up by her father, Sir Horace, in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars. The final climax of the story is perfect Heyer. Funny, convoluted, and perfectly in keeping with the characters.

    The reader is Sarah Woodward and she does an excellent job. Highly recommended.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon 12-10-13
    Sharon 12-10-13
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    "Delightful!"

    I loved this book. The narration was excellent, and the development of the attraction between the two protagonists worked perfectly for me. It ranks as one of my top three favorite Heyer books.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry_ATL 04-07-14
    Harry_ATL 04-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Witty and fun"

    Sarah Woodward delivers an excellent performance, especially in Sophy. I can picture a young Katharine Hepburn in the role, bold and brave, undaunted by being female in a male dominated society. Witty and fun, certainly squeeky clean.

    There is a also a PDF attached with a nice discussion of Heyer and her work.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin Brookings, SD, United States 04-06-14
    Kristin Brookings, SD, United States 04-06-14 Member Since 2012
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    "absolutely one of the best ever"

    Love love love this book, the dialog is fabulous. How can you not love 'the grand Sophy'. I don't remember a book when I've laughed out loud so much. Sophy is everything I would want to have been, if I had been born in that era. She takes the town by storm. Her schemes are so funny I could just see her mind working. The narration was great also. I am hooked on these older books by Heyer and will be looking for more.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia WASHINGTON ISLAND, WI, United States 12-04-13
    Patricia WASHINGTON ISLAND, WI, United States 12-04-13 Member Since 2009

    Patricia

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    "Fabulous Fun, Witty and Highly Entertaining"
    Would you listen to The Grand Sophy again? Why?

    Indeed I would and have done so. I enjoyed it so much the first time that I looked forward to meeting these characters again.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sophia is such a tremendous character. She leaps from the pages with her intelligence, humor, compassion and generous heart.


    Which character – as performed by Sarah Woodward – was your favorite?

    Woodward was simply marvelous. I have listened to a great many narrated books and her performance is very high on the list. I believe she captured Sophia's and Charles' personalities to perfection.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Oh, this is a very funny book. The dialogue is great bringing on smiles and laughter.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 02-21-14
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 02-21-14

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Grand and Great and Entirely Heyer"

    You can't argue with "The Grand Sophy". Here is one of Georgette Heyer's most memorable heroines, full of courage, charisma and feeling.

    The "minor" characters are so essential in these books, which (it must be admitted) have pretty thin plots. No fear, Sophy and those around her make for rich entertainment. Not a lot of hot romance, but mayhem and comedy aplenty. I love the way Sarah Woodward voices these eccentric characters, male and female. She is an excellent narrator - so very important in the enjoyment of Heyer's books.

    This book was written in 1950, at the height of the author's powers. How I wish that she had refrained from the cringe-worthy stereotypes which make a (thankfully short) episode in "Sophy" uncomfortable to listen to. I know she is writing about Regency England, where such perceptions were commonplace, but, by 1950, she should have known better than to have dwelt on them.

    Aside from that, "The Grand Sophy" remains one of the best of Georgette Heyer, and therefore very entertaiing indeed! In the mood for light, well written diversion, and with a great narrator like Woodward, the listener can't go wrong with Sophy!

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Fahnestock-thomas Oxford, OH 12-13-13
    Mary Fahnestock-thomas Oxford, OH 12-13-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, odd reading"
    Would you listen to The Grand Sophy again? Why?

    Yes, because I enjoy the story, characters, and dialogue.


    Did Sarah Woodward do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I thought she did better toward the end, but in general I found her timing rather strange and the characters almost indistinguishable.


    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Houston, TEXAS United States 09-19-14
    Kindle Customer Houston, TEXAS United States 09-19-14 Member Since 2010

    joceanne

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    "Great Story, poor narration"
    Would you try another book from Georgette Heyer and/or Sarah Woodward?

    The Grand Sophy is my favorite Georgette Heyer book, however this narration doesn't do it justice. During the narration I was constantly distracted by Sarah Woodward swallowing, clearing her throat etc. Also, the volume of the narration fluctuated as well. I will not get another narration by Ms Woodward.


    What didn’t you like about Sarah Woodward’s performance?

    During the narration I was constantly distracted by Sarah Woodward swallowing, clearing her throat etc


    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Winifred Eugene, OR 12-24-13
    Winifred Eugene, OR 12-24-13

    Winifred

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    "Unabridged, finally!"

    One of my favorites from one of my all time favorite authors. Thank you Audible for getting it unabridged.

    Some of Georgette Heyer's books are better than others, but they are all good and worth reading over and over. Finding them on Audible and revisiting them yet again with someone else' voice has been so fun! If you haven't read her books before, do yourself a favor.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 34 results PREVIOUS124NEXT
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  • Emma
    Elanora Heights, Australia
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Disappointing"
    Any additional comments?

    I have been waiting such a long time for this to be made into an Audible book but the narrator does a very poor job - does not understand the humour, or conjure the characters. They should have gone to Phyllida Nash who is a beautiful reader.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Maggie
    5/17/14
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    "An old favourite bought to life"
    Any additional comments?

    Back in the dark ages when I was 12 or 13, I discovered and devoured Georgette Heyer's Regency novels. My half century old paperbacks are more than well worn and now I'm working through my favourites in audiobooks, rapidly finding some narrators are better than others.
    Sarah Woodward is one of the good ones. Miss Wraxton, Augustus Fawnhope and Lord Bromford are the comedy foils to Sophie, and it might be tempting to ham them up. Sarah doesn't. She absolutely nails them, and I'd certainly buy any others she reads.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • I have a stalker called Alison Priest from Solihull
    Devon, UK
    12/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't stop listening"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, very entertaining


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sophy of course!


    What about Sarah Woodward’s performance did you like?

    Great character voices so you knew who was speaking


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    All of it


    Any additional comments?

    One of my fav GH's

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sam
    Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
    11/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderfully spirited and fun"

    This is a classic GH, with a sparky and spirited heroine. The reader is excellent but her tummy rumbling / gurgling is clearly audible throughout and it's slightly off putting!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jan
    Crawley, United Kingdom
    10/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent version of a favourite read"
    Would you listen to The Grand Sophy again? Why?

    I have already: it has often been a "comfort blanket" read when I don't want to have to concentrate too much. That doesn't mean the story is too shallow but it is easy going. I like the idea of having someone read ME a story and Sarah Woodward's interpretation of the characters is very good.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It has to be Sophy because she is so much the person I would like to be- she has quick wit and intelligence , is brave and has a kind heart.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The arrival at the manor of Eugenia, Cecilia and Lord Bromford in the pouring rain when Cecy left Bromford on the doorstep.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes but I try to read it at one sitting too!


    Any additional comments?

    Listening to a narrators interpretation of voices you already have in your head can be off-putting for example I hated Cornelius Garret's "Duke of Avon " in These Old Shades, however I also find that listening to a book can highlight things I missed when reading it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marjo
    Pilpala, Finland
    9/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I had hoped for more"

    Personally I didn't like the narrator at all. I love the story and I was expecting to enjoy the audiobook but didn't bother to listen to the end - the narrator's way of reading the various characters annoyed me so much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstiemac
    9/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator not as bad as I expected"
    What did you like most about The Grand Sophy?

    Love the humour & great cast of characters. I'd have Sophy to stay in any century.


    What other book might you compare The Grand Sophy to, and why?

    The Talisman Ring without a mystery. Sarah Thane is as game a bird as Sophy.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Any which included cousin Charles & Sophy - especially the end of the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I will always prefer Phillida Nash's narration - her impeccable timing, smile filled voice and ability to render the male characters obviously male makes her recordings my favourites whichever story she narrates.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • SarahC
    london
    8/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it!"
    If you could sum up The Grand Sophy in three words, what would they be?

    What great fun!


    Have you listened to any of Sarah Woodward’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    First Sarah Woodward book I've listened too... with some trepidation after reading a bad review. However, I think she did very well, and if not my favourite narrator, I certainly loved her array of character voices.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud on quite a few occasions.


    Any additional comments?

    This was always a fav book of my sisters and mothers.... and having listened to it now, perhaps I have to admit that I may have skipped too quickly over bits when I read it myself.
    A really good listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Avril
    Cinderford, United Kingdom
    11/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just what I'd hoped for"
    Where does The Grand Sophy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the top ten


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sophie, of course


    What does Sarah Woodward bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I was very pleasantly surprised at Sarah Woodward's interpretation of this very old favourite of mine. Excellently read and interpreted.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me laugh, as it always has done when I have read it in the past


    Any additional comments?

    This book has been a long time coming to an unabridged audio version, and could have been disastrous, In fact it was splendid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • grainne
    dublin, Ireland
    11/20/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "really entertaining,well written escapism"
    Would you listen to The Grand Sophy again? Why?

    yes brilliantly performed and loved Sophy and The Claxton family


    What other book might you compare The Grand Sophy to, and why?

    Its very like a lot of the best and funniest chick lit such as Sophie Kinsella's book mixed with the wit and social commentary of Jane Austen


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Sarah Woodward?

    yes yes yes


    Any additional comments?

    I cant believe I never read Heyer before and am delighted that there are so many more waiting for me. The performance of the different characters by the reader was amazing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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