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The Unknown Ajax | [Georgette Heyer]

The Unknown Ajax

Miles from anywhere, Darracott Place is presided over by irascible Lord Darracott. The recent drowning of his eldest son has done nothing to improve his temper. For now he must send for the unknown offspring of the uncle whom the family are never permitted to mention. Yet none of that beleaguered family are prepared for the arrival of the weaver’s brat and heir apparent.
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Publisher's Summary

Miles from anywhere, Darracott Place is presided over by irascible Lord Darracott. The recent drowning of his eldest son has done nothing to improve his temper. For now he must send for the unknown offspring of the uncle whom the family are never permitted to mention. Yet none of that beleaguered family are prepared for the arrival of the weaver’s brat and heir apparent.

©1959 Georgette Heyer (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (652 )
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4.5 (466 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Bonita Los Osos, CA, United States 10-30-14
    Bonita Los Osos, CA, United States 10-30-14 Member Since 2009

    Reading Obsessed

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Made me smile...."

    Very enjoyable listen! The broad Yorkshire accents could have make understanding some of the character difficult, but the narrator did an excellent job with them.
    Fun story--classic Heyer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 03-14-14
    Robin 03-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Missing Downton Abbey? Meet this family!"

    It is 100 years earlier than Downton but has a lot of similar themes, the inheritance of an estate, feuding family members, upstairs & downstairs characters, and of course a romance. Heyer reinvented the Regency genre in the 20th century and they are generally predictable, but she does have a distinctive hero in this one, not the usual man about town. There is a subplot that is a sort of mystery and takes up too much time.

    The narration is excellent. There are many similar characters, brothers & cousins, and Philpott makes them all distinctive. Also there is a plot point around the way the main character speaks and he renders that very well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mim HUGHENDEN, Australia 01-17-14
    Mim HUGHENDEN, Australia 01-17-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my favourites"

    I kept seeing one of the Hemsworth brothers as the Ajax. (Liam or Chris would be lovely) A wonderfully charming tale with the least amount of problems for the characters. Narrator does a good job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lady Wesley 12-21-13
    Lady Wesley 12-21-13
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    "Brilliant narration by Daniel Philpott"
    Any additional comments?

    This is one of my favorite Georgette Heyer titles, and listening to the narration by Daniel Philpott makes it just perfect.

    Hugo Darracott unexpectedly becomes the heir to his grandfather, Lord Darracott. They have never met, because Hugo's father married a "weaver's daughter" and was cut off by his snobbish, irascible sire. When Hugo arrives at the estate his grandfather shares with his widowed daughter-in-law and her two almost-grown children, he realizes that they are expecting to meet with an uneducated, uncouth common working man, so he decides to give them exactly what they expect.

    In reality, Hugo is a (recently sold-out) major in the army, educated at Harrow, and vastly wealthier than anyone else in the family, so he has fun impersonating a hick (or whatever the British term would be for a hick). A major plot point involves the broad Yorkshire accent that Hugo affects as part of his spoof. I found it difficult to follow when reading the book, but the audiobook was so much better.

    There are lots of characters, feuding valets, and skullduggery afoot, and Daniel Philpott finds the perfect voice for everyone. It's light on romance -- really more of a comedy of manners. This is one of Heyer's best comedies, though, so I highly recommend it to Heyer fans.

    As I listened, I kept thinking what a wonderful play this story would make, something that never occurred to me when reading the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JULIA Tracyton, WA, United States 12-15-13
    JULIA Tracyton, WA, United States 12-15-13 Member Since 2013
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    "She was a master storyteller."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Unknown Ajax to be better than the print version?

    Still not sure. I do like to 'hear' the story, though I still have to refer to the print version sometimes to look up unfamiliar phrasing or decipher British pronunciations. Also, it is still bothersome that there are no track divisions in the audio version, so that I can skip back 3 or so minutes to re-listen to some wording I didn't understand, or when I'm interrupted by my husband or a phone call.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Unknown Ajax?

    Perhaps the Major and Claude's visit to Rye; hilarious.


    Which character – as performed by Daniel Philpott – was your favorite?

    Ajax (Hugo) definitely; the Major had such FUN bamboozling the family in dumbing himself down to conform to the family's expectations of his status and academic learning, and Mr. Philpott did such an excellent reading of his dialogue.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Unknown Ajax and why?

    Again, Ajax, because his performance in hoaxing the family was so entertaining.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoy Georgette Heyer's novels so much because they make me laugh and chuckle and giggle; there's usually a bit of danger to characters' reputations - and sometimes actual danger - and serious parts, but there's always comedic relief, which she did so VERY well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Noble, OK, United States 06-08-13
    Jessica Noble, OK, United States 06-08-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Fabulous!"

    This is my first book by Georgette Heyer. I can see myself becoming a devoted fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NHealy 02-17-13
    NHealy 02-17-13 Member Since 2008

    ShakespeareFan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightful Listen!"
    Would you listen to The Unknown Ajax again? Why?

    I've listened to The Unknown Ajax several times already. It's an exceptionally entertaining - and leisurely - story with laugh-out-loud moments. There are fabulous performances by Daniel Philpott (I use the plural very consciously!). Each character is clearly defined and right on the money.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene? Of course, it's the climactic scene, where Hugo saves Richmond and the Darracotts. It's got all the necessary ingredients--drama, suspense, and a lot of humor--and is capped by the timely and jaw-dropping arrival of "mere female" Lady Aurelia, who unexpectedly but deftly brings Hugo's clever scenario to its finale.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Unknown Ajax and why?

    With Georgette Heyer, you can always expect a "perfect" man, and this is no exception--Hugo Darracott fits the bill beautifully.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roadrunner in NM 01-29-13
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    "Amazing reader of a great story!"
    Would you listen to The Unknown Ajax again? Why?

    Absolutely. The reader is perfect, the story is exciting and hilarious.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Unknown Ajax?

    The 'tableau' at the end was hilarious and exciting.


    What about Daniel Philpott’s performance did you like?

    His characters were easy to recognize, his dialects were spot on.


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

    Several of the moments where you see how incredibly patient the main character is were very moving.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended and I hope to listen to more books by both author and reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simmons Brookton, Australia 12-01-12
    Simmons Brookton, Australia 12-01-12
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    "Ajax is of course the winner"

    Slightly predicatable, but a good light read. Not Georgette Heyer at her best. Daniel Philpott gives a good performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniela 12-01-12
    Daniela 12-01-12
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    "Story only comes alive near the end!"
    Would you try another book from Georgette Heyer and/or Daniel Philpott?

    I have enjoyed Georgette Heyer's books for many years, so will definitely continue with the audio versions. Daniel philpott brings the characters to life, and there is no difficulty discerning the various characters.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The final acts of the story were the best parts of the book, and showed why Georgette Heyer is so thoroughly enjoyed.
    However, I found that this story really dragged along slowly from the beginning and up to the mid section, which is not the way Heyer normally writes.


    Which character – as performed by Daniel Philpott – was your favorite?

    His handling of Hugo's voice was well done - especially when he deliberately lapsed from well spoken to adopting the Yorkshire brogue.


    Do you think The Unknown Ajax needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. This book was complete in itself.


    Any additional comments?

    I wouldn't recommend a new listener to Georgette Heyer to begin an acquaintance with this author with the Unknown Ajax.

    I would suggest that either "Sprig Muslin", or "Cotillion" would be the best books to begin an acquaintance with Georgette Heyer's delightful storytelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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