The accomplished Corinthian Sir Richard Wyndham is wealthy, sophisticated, handsome, and supremely bored. Tired of his aristocratic family constantly pressuring him to get married, he determines to run away after meeting the delightful, unconventional heroine Penelope Creed. Penelope - literally - falls into his life late one night as she hangs from the window of her aunt's house - she too attempting to escape the pressures of forced marriage. The two allies become embroiled in a series hilarious madcap adventures as they cross-dress, run into escaped criminals, have a case of mistaken identity, and save people from their own dramatics. Little do they predict their feelings for each other blossoming into romance.
©1940 Georgette Heyer (P)2014 Naxos AudioBooks
Genre fiction, trashy to literary--mystery, action, sci fi, fantasy, and, yes, even romance. Also history. Listener reviews help a lot!
Naxos releases another Heyer classic. This one is a short, fast, fun read. Our hero and heroine, both being pressured by family to enter marriages they find abhorrent, "meet cute": Penelope has shorn her hair, donned men's clothes, and is climbing out the window at 3 a.m. when she is rescued by a "bosky" Sir Richard, who is walking home after drowning his sorrows at White's Club.
Stirred by the idea of disappearing--and thus not having to propose to "the iceberg" his mother is pushing on him--Sir Richard (in his elegantly inebrieted state) agrees to pose as the gender-disguised "Penn's" tutor so that he can escort her to her childhood sweetheart's family estate.
By the time our hero sobers up, he and "Penn" are travelling on a public stagecoach, where they meet with an interesting assortment of the common folk (no fancy dress balls or evenings at Almack's in this story), and an especially interesting assortment of highway robbers. Mystery and danger ensue, but we know what will happen in the end--which is part of the joy of these books, at least for some of us.
Georgina Sutton's narration is top-notch; all the Naxos narrators are competent, but she's exceptionally good.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
I read all Georgette Heyer's books a long time ago, but I couldn't remember this one. Now I know why.
Pen Creed is one of Heyer's very young heroines. She's plucky, determined, willful and naive. And this seems to be her appeal to a polished, educated, experienced-but-bored man of the world. Lucky for her, he is also an honorable and principled guy, for we are quickly aware that, without him, she would be in a pack of trouble!
So much so that her innocence borders on stupidity and her willfulness approaches heartlessness. Now, this is not so common in the ladies of Georgette Heyer. Generally, the reader/listener can forgive the youthful wayward actions and enjoy the depth and heart of even the youngest characters. In "The Corinthian", you come to suspect that either Sir Richard will become completely bored with Pen pretty quickly or he's not all that bright himself.
Either way, this does not add up to prime Heyer. Even her usual attention to the eccentric "minor" characters is subdued here, as though even her heart was not in writing this particular story. She must have needed the money, or faced an impractical deadline. Even a dedicated Georgette fan can skip this one. Try "Sylvester" or "Venetia" or "Sprig Muslin" instead.
This is a fun listen that kept me very entertained. I loved the antics of Penn, she acted on impulse which of course is usually not a good idea. Ricky's reactions were usually tolerant and helpful. The storyline in this book may have been used before by many authors. What makes Heyer's books is the dialog. She has a real talent for writing great conversation and infusing it with nuances that help develop the characters. One of the funniest characters in this book was Mr. Brandon. I could just picture him all dressed up like a dandy in the country village. Just way to many fun things to mention in a review without spoiling it for others. Narration was top notch. Highly recommend if you like this genre. And definitely worth a credit.
The voicing of the main female characters needed to be portrayed as heroines rather than simpletons or way too young for their roles.
Couldn't endure the narrator.
characters' voices were too exaggerated to be believed.
diasappointent. I'm a fan of GH.
The relationship between the main characters is romantic and charming.
I would compare it to a Jane Austen book. Not quite as well written, but still worth listening to.
Lord Richard is my favorite character. He's a bit complex and still keeps his Corinthian veneer and uses it to his advantage.
I couldn't say without providing spoilers. There are a number of twists to the plot that kept me listening. It's a romance with a mystery.
I've read a lot of complaints about books with sexually overt content. This book has none. I wouldn't mind it but if you are looking for good clean romance/adventure with no bad language or sexual situations (the worst swear in the book is 'The Devil!') this is a good book for you. Georgette Heyer is an accomplished writer; I wish she had not introduced so many different characters thoughout the book. A character appears late in the book for no reason except for the lead to have someone to talk to out loud. Otherwise they have NO purpose in the book. If you are looking for pure escape rather than fine literature, though, this is excellent and I really enjoy just relaxing and knitting while listening to Heyer's books.
Ha! What fun. A joyous book, a wild adventure, wonderful characters, great dialogue — oh, my goodness. The narration was simply outstanding. Thank you Naxos. Thank you Audible. Georgette Heyer at her best!
The narrator moves the story along very well. I read the book a while back and the audio experience is much better.
I liked mostly Sir Richard. He was just as I pictured him when I read the book.
No, this is my first experience. She did a great job with most of the characters; however, I was disappointed with Cedric's voice. I liked him in the book, but he sounded like a bore in the audio.
My favorite part would be a "spoiler" so I will refrain from answering this question.
Lots of fun. I laughed outloud a few times and smiled quite often. I'm a Heyer fun and this one ranks in my top five. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys clean adventure and romance.
Yes, I love the language,
Yes very much
I just love the style of her writing, the lanugage used, there is not much the stories themselves I don't think, you would think noblity did nothing than call on eachother and gossip, well may be that is what they did, who knows
I have listened to quite a few Heyer books. I think I have given all but this one 5 stars. It just didn't have the same charm as the others. The main character was always bored, so he tended to bore me. As another reviewer wrote, this is a similar formula to other books like Sprig Muslin and The Foundling. I found those books delightful, this one not in the same class. It wasn't horrible, just not as charming and fun as the others.
A trilogy. Say it in three. Done.
I've read the book several times. It's an old favorite by a beloved author. The narrator, Georgina Sutton, has a lovely British accent, and portrays the heroine, Pen, beautifully. She portrays the hero, Richard, fairly well, too.
However, the listening experience was slightly unpleasant to my ears for some of the secondary male characters. Raspy, scratchy, twangy, and in Cedric's case, also goofy. Sutton mispronounced a few words, like inebriated and babble (unless the British pronunciation differs from American English).
I'd go 3.5 stars for the narration, I guess.
As for the story, about 4.5 stars. So much fun! Never formulaic, Georgette Heyer wrote a wide variety of romance novels. This one feels suspenseful yet lighthearted and adventurous. A run-away, a masquerade, a robbery, murder, and a rescue. A fish-faced man, thieves' cant, and cross-dressing.
As with everything Heyer writes, the romance is clean and the relationships develop naturally. Richard is forced to treat Pen like a sister almost, because of their situation.
The murder-robbery plot is sound enough, but nothing special.
As with all Heyer's works, the secondary characters are nicely textured.
Final scene is funny, especially when one considers the societal norms of the time. "Richard, Richard! They can see us from the coach!"
Lighthearted escapade. A romantic road trip. I could almost smell the onions in the crowded coach.
"Adore the book but detest the narration"
I'd recommend the book but not the audio recording.
The whole story is a delight from start to finish.
I found Georgina Sutton's narration unpleasantly over-dramatised. I find the voices for George, Sir Richard, Sir Richard's mother, Cedric and Jimmy Yarde difficult to listen to and much preferred the style of other narrators (Phyllida Nash in particular). I have an audio library stuffed with Georgette Heyer recordings and this is the only one I have found really disappointing. Of course, this is only personal taste: I see that some of the other reviewers have really enjoyed it.
Lots of Georgette Heyer films would make great films! I think Penn would probably be played by a young Meg Ryan (can't think of a contemporary young actress with the same warm qualities) and Sir Richard perhaps by Jim Sturgess.
"Finally! My favourite Heyer"
I just love this one, word for word, all of it. Hard to pick just parts. I like heroine who is young, innocent and sweet and as Heyer might say „full of pluck“ and hero who compliments her personality with his sense of humour. I loved to yet again get some peddler's French (thiefs' cant for Heyer readers) included.
There is a bit of other Heyer books in this one. Outside Heyer, I did come across several books partly inspired by the story, although none were of course comparable in quality of prose. This is HEYER after all!
Smile all the way through.
The summary of this book is rather imperfect, I hope that somebody will fix that. It is incorrect in parts. Reminds me of my school days when we copied book summary for our prescribed reading from previous year students, changing just some words, thinking the teacher cannot tell we did not even look at the cover.
"Delightful story, beautifully narrated"
Georgette Heyer never fails to write a most readable tale and this is no exception, but for the audio enthusiast the narration is just as important and this narrator is excellent. Each character is easily recognisable and, as with all good narrators you forget that their individual dialogue is spoken by only one person. Her ability to portray the gender, age, personality and background of each character is remarkable. I would love to hear more audio titles that she has narrated.
"Laugh out loud fun!"
The relationship between Penn and Richard is perfect. You can just SEE him regarding her with either amused indulgence or exhausted exasperation! It's a hoot!
It HAS to be Penn... as the listener you never think 'she wouldn't have said that'.... she is delightful.
No this is my first Georgina Sutton book.... I will look out for her in the future.
Yes.... it helped me through a long traffic jam on the M3 yesterday.....
Very enjoyable fun-filled romantic adventure . I read this story years ago but could not remember the title so was very pleased to find it again.
classic clean romance
I adore Georgette Heyer and this has been a rewarding listening experience
"Awful male voices"
One of my favorite Heyer novels, but the narrator cannot "do" male voices. Sir Richards voice is fine, and had she just read the book, without attempting to differentiate between the voices it would have worked better. It started with his brother-in-law's voice being "just" bearable, but the high pitched, squeaky voices of BOTH Brandon brothers made certain section impossible to listen too. The final scene with the Major and Cedric (one of the best in the book) lost ALL of its charm and most of its humour! A great shame. Sorry -but not one for me.
UPDATE: My original commentary still hold true.....but I like the book and this is an easy listen. I have now re-heard it several times and as I am used to the awful male voices, I have still thoroughly enjoyed it. So maybe its worth trying.
UPDATE JUN 16: I kept looking at the two star rating I had given this and realised it was unfair. The amount of times I listen to parts of it for easy listening and enjoyment, it ought to have a 4\5 stars. So I have increased it to 3 stars. Its a really lighthearted story.
this is a a very entertaining read. well written and the performance is spot on.
A great Heyer story, unlikely, funny and totally captivating. One of my all time favourites since I first read it as a teenager n the '60's.
"worst audiobook ever"
A better story & a new narrator
Unbelievably childish. I am so grateful that this wasn't my first GH audiobook as I would have been put off for life by the dreadful woman who read the book
Absolutely not if her performance with this book is anything to go by. Did she only act in over-the-top local AmDram performances as her past experience?
most of them
why would anyone wish their book to be read in such a ridiculous fashion. I continued to listen to the end of the book, just in case, to give her the benefit of the doubt, the narrator might have redeemed herself, but she didn't. I resent the time that I have spent listening to such a ridiculous recording & a childish story. Thank goodness that at least GH redeemed herself with These Old Shades, Sylvester, Venetia & Regency Buck etc. Dreadful experience
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