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The Masqueraders | [Georgette Heyer]

The Masqueraders

After participating in the Jacobite Rising of 1745, Robin and Prudence, brother and sister, become engaged in a swashbuckling, romantic adventure. Our hero and heroine must cross-dress and switch genders if they are to escape prosecution a humorous move that allows Heyer to explore the manners and language affectations of the period as the two romp through the elite saloons and clubs of London.
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Publisher's Summary

After participating in the Jacobite Rising of 1745, Robin and Prudence, brother and sister, become engaged in a swashbuckling, romantic adventure. Our hero and heroine must cross-dress and switch genders if they are to escape prosecution a humorous move that allows Heyer to explore the manners and language affectations of the period as the two romp through the elite saloons and clubs of London. But what the two don't foresee is that they might fall in love along the way: Prudence with the elegant and dashing Sir Anthony Fanshawe, and Robin with the charming Letitia Grayson. Can the two unmask themselves without losing their lives?

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©1928 Georgette Heyer (P)2014 Naxos AudioBooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (237 )
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3.8 (218 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    barbara United States 10-01-14
    barbara United States 10-01-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Difficult to follow as an audio book"

    If you were expecting to find the clever repartee of Heyer's usual dialogue you will be disappointed. This is more of a farce than a whimsical romantic comedy. I am delighted by most of Heyer's stories but this is a forgettable and confusing tale.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 05-14-14
    Patricia 05-14-14

    Patricia

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    "Intrigue, romance, loyalty and wit!"
    Any additional comments?

    Thank you Naxos for another unabridged Georgette Heyer audio book. I was thrilled when I found this and "Venetia." Glad tidings for her legions of fans. Thank you Audible for making these available for your listeners.

    This is a highly entertaining story with all the usual hallmarks that make Heyer's books so exceptionally wonderful. There is no one to match her clever plotting, vivid characters, witty dialogue, and humorous scenes

    The narrator was perfect for the book. Her voice is clear and pure and captured Peter's (Prudence's) lovely personality, courage and loyal heart while handling the male characters with equal skill.

    An exciting story set before the Regency, I highly recommend this delightful book.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phyllis 07-13-14
    Phyllis 07-13-14 Member Since 2004
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    "Early Heyer not up to Later Works"

    I don't especially like Georgette Heyer's early works compared to her more mature books, and I hesitated to buy this one when it became available. My low expectations were met. I might have liked it better, but I took an instant dislike to the narrator's reading, and it took me several attempts to get beyond the first couple of pages. My favorite character in the book is the twin's father, and unfortunately the narrator turned him into the buffoon. The narrator overall was annoying -- a little too sticky sweet, and actually hard to differentiate among the characters.

    In fairness, I rank Heyer's mystery/adventure romance books like this one, Talisman Ring, The Toll Gate and others below her character-driven romances like Cotillion, Friday's Child, and The Unknown Ajax. But if you like a heavy dash of implausible adventure mixed with romance but with less depth of character and humor, this may be the book for you.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerri 05-09-14
    Jerri 05-09-14
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    "Romantic, funny romp"

    The Masqueraders is set earlier in time than the Regency novels for which Heyer is best known. This fun romp of a book follows a brother and sister who had been involved in the unsuccessful "rising" of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and then and their father are now hiding with their lives at risk. Instead of fleeing to France, they change their appearance and hide in plain sight in the midst of fashionable London society. Sword fights, kidnapping, and plots of all sorts abound. This book is a lot of fun, closer in some ways to the Scarlet Pimpernel than to Jane Austen.

    I had never listened to Ruth Sillers read a book before, but she does a great job of telling this story, making it easy to distinguish characters and capturing the feeling of the tale.

    I highly recommend this!

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol 05-20-14
    Carol 05-20-14
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    "Georgette at her most delightful."
    Any additional comments?

    A masterful mix of plots, schemes and romance, including disguised siblings, abductions, lost heirs, and highwaymen, all orchestrated by the egocentric father of our disguised brother and sister. This unique Georgette Heyer offering, takes place not in her usual Regency Period, but an earlier time just after the Jacobite Uprising, and as a result is a less familiar background to most of us. I have read this novel many times over the years, and snapped it up in audio as soon as it appeared. I found it a delightful listening experience, and look forward to visiting with these old friends often in the future. Narrator Ruth Sillers is new to me, and I thought she did and excellent job of bringing each of these characters to life.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mhc 09-02-14
    mhc 09-02-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Story is a wonderful one. Very wrong narrator."
    What disappointed you about The Masqueraders?

    The narrator, you just want to strangle her. Grating, awful men's voice. The voice of the "old gentleman" is so bad. . . ouch.


    What other book might you compare The Masqueraders to and why?

    April Lady by same author. Good story (although not as good as The Masqueraders) but again a disappointing narrator. To check contrast, try listening to a bit of both versions of "The Convenient Marriage" the better narrator is Richard Armitage and although I dislike abridged versions of books, it was an easy decision to choose the more suitable narrator. I can grit my teeth only for so long.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Narrators/performers Richard Armitage, Cornelius Garrett, Michael Drew and Tony Britton would all have done the book more justice.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    A good book spoiled.


    Any additional comments?

    Please get someone else to narrate and I'll buy the book again.

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 11-13-14
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 11-13-14

    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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    "Swashbuckle City!"

    Most of Georgette Heyer's best known romances are set in the fairly sedate English Regency period at the beginning of the 19th century, but "The Masqueraders" takes place a couple of generations before that. The Hanoverian King George I has recently defeated the Stuart line of Bonny Prince Charles, so the politics are more unsettled and dangerous at this point in time. The French Revolution is 50 years in the future, so English aristocrats still emulate their continental counterparts in lavish dress, speech, and exaggerated manners. Duels are common and pretty much tolerated in a fairly permissive society.

    Add to this exotic setting a couple of young adventurers, Prudence and Robin, who assume gender-bending disguises to obscure their politically- and socially-suspect past. Confused prospective lovers, a couple of duels and carriage chases, and an oh-so-eccentric father add complications and hijinks galore.

    The story and characters are alternately charming and frustrating, as is the somewhat antiquated language assumed by the author. I believe that Ruth Sillers does a wonderful job of presenting this hodgepodge of French-accented and mannered English without often resorting to an overly arch tone.

    I still prefer the Regencies, but "The Masqueraders" does offer some memorable characters, stirring action sequences, and a change in style and tone.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-14-14
    Cam Las Vegas, NV, United States 06-14-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Wonderful"

    I find that sometimes there are parts to each book by GH that I find unnecessary to have been mentioned since they add nothing to the story. In addition, this book does not explain how the father knew certain details at the end when being questioned for verifying his identity. The story also lacks in passion, which is a GH signature. None of these issues just mentioned, however, will make me reduce my rating from a 5 star. This is wonderfully written book and very well developed characters. The story is so very funny in parts especially when considering the brother dressed as a woman and flirting outrageously with the men when he is in love with a woman. There were some absolutely hilarious moments. I highly recommend this book.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M 05-16-14
    M 05-16-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Classic Story. Wrong Narrator."

    The story is a classic, and one of my favorite GH novels - I have read them all many times. It is set in the mid eighteenth century rather than the typical regency period of the early nineteenth, which is a nice change. As always, it is full of romance and wit and comedy, with sumptuous descriptions of the characters, the locations and the clothing.

    However, I think the narrator, although very good, was the wrong choice for this audiobook. Her voice is wonderfully clear, but very young and feminine sounding. In my opinion, she was unable to make any of the male characters sound even remotely authentic. Particularly the male lead, who is described as a "mountain" - her teenage girl sounding voice just did not fit the visual image. In addition, I did not care at all for her characterization of Lord Barham - she made him sound like a ringleader performing in a circus. Yes, he is described as being bombastic and conceited, but her narration was just way too over the top for me. Also, she made the villains of the story all have very nasal voices, which made me think of Snidely Whiplash of the cartoons. Just too unrealistic, particularly since the character Letitia was initially supposed to have been in love with one of them. Not likely with THAT voice!

    But despite my disappointment regarding the narrator, I still recommend it - absolutely ANYTHING written by Georgette Heyer is worth listening to!

    23 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 11-16-14
    Lisa 11-16-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Couldn't get through it"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Possibly a did decent narrator.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Georgette Heyer again?

    I loved The Grand Sophy so I picked this up on a sale. The narrator for Sophy's story had a velvety smooth voice like Julie Andrews. The narrator for this story sound like a cross between Glenda, the good witch in The Wizard of Oz and one of the chip,
    Monks. Combine that with the overuse of the endearment "child", I just couldn't get through it.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Ruth Sillers’s performances?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Skip this one and get the Grand Sophy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 14 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Sheila
    London, United Kingdom
    5/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story let down by the narrator"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, I did enjoy it but it could have been so much better.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Old Gentleman who is witty, funny and completely over the top.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Ruth Sillers?

    Phyllida Nash


    Was The Masqueraders worth the listening time?

    All of the Heyer canon are brilliant even with a bad narrator and abridged, although that is a real sin.


    Any additional comments?

    No, just to reiterate that narrators make a real difference to a book and even if you have read it before it can still be spoiled.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Maggie
    7/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very different from the 'Regency' books"
    Any additional comments?

    Anyone who has only read/heard Georgette Heyer's books set in the early 18thC, the years around Waterloo, will find everything about this one different. That goes for clothes to behaviour to even the language and forms of speech. I think this shows how skilled she was - 1746, the aftermath of Culloden, sits almost as close to Pepys, the Great Fire of London etc as it does to post-Waterloo and Ms Heyer brings us to a very different world. The plot involves an Adventurer and his son and daughter who have lived on their wits across Europe since the younger two's childhood. The brother and sister adopt cross-gender disguises to avoid arrest after the failure of the '45, but find themselves in the heart of London society (a society long before any thought of Almacks). Their father then stuns them by arriving in London very publicly, taking what to them is a very dangerous gamble. There is humour, but not as much as other books, there are sword fights, villains and highwaymen, and there are some well drawn characters in Prue (the sister), Sir Anthony, the seemingly indolent onlooker, and personally I love John, the manservant, who deserves a medal. My favourite scene, which is the reason I've read the book more than once over the years, is the denouement of my Lord's claim (no spoilers). I have to agree with the other reviewers though - the reading is never more than adequate but you do get used to it, after a slow start, as the book progresses.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Linda
    London, United Kingdom
    6/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I nearly gave up because of the narration - DON'T"

    I read some Georgette Heyer as a teenager but have rediscovered her 40 years later in audible books and am thoroughly enjoying. As a lighthearted respite amidst dark who dun its these stories are absolutely charming. I hate to sound rude about anyone who is obviously very adept at their job but I found the narrator was so wrong for this story that I nearly gave up after 10 minutes. Indeed I struggled for almost half of the story, I couldn't make out who was who - and when I could the voice seemed completely wrong for the character. Having said that this is an absolutely marvellous story (and a little bit different from the rather set Heyer pieces). Be warned about the narration but grit your teeth and buy anyway. At the end of the day you'll be glad you did!



    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    United Kingdom
    8/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh Dear!"
    What would have made The Masqueraders better?

    A better narrator. I once had a cassette copy of this book by, I think, Rosemary Leach. It was much better than this version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the interaction between Prue and her "Mammoth"


    What didn’t you like about Ruth Sillers’s performance?

    Everything. It seemed so weak, ineffectual and actually boring. Spoiled the book for me really. This is, of course, my personal view and other listeners may prefer this type of reading.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Masqueraders?

    None really as it all seemed to run along until it finally was woven together by "the Old Gentleman" Great story.


    Any additional comments?

    Try for the version by Rosemary Leach.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    Stanford-in-the-Vale, United Kingdom
    1/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent, comic romance from 18th C"

    The 'Old Gent' is captivating! The reader reflects the style of the period with her exaggerated delivery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J. Greenwood
    UK
    11/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderfully different."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Masqueraders to be better than the print version?

    When you read a book you have an idea of how the people sound. An audio book sometimes shows that the narrator has different ideas. This story was not how I heard the people in my head when reading the book so I did not like it so much.


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

    This is totally different to any I have read.


    Which character – as performed by Ruth Sillers – was your favourite?

    I enjoyed her reading of Sir Hugh. He was always a favourite of mine and she reads him well.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I think the title would suffice.


    Any additional comments?

    One of my favourite Georgette Heyer stories. Great fun and lots of characters in the plot. I was amused by the dual personalities in the tale and wasn't sure who would end up being the hero. Wonderful when the baron came on the scene with all his airs and graces and he led the story to its conclusion with great vivacity. A great tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marjo
    Pilpala, Finland
    10/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another enjoyable Heyer in Audible"

    In contrast to other reviews I "didn't mind" the narrator. Yes, definitely, Phyllida Nash is the best and I am eagerly waiting for any new Heyer/Nash audiobooks but the pace and narration of this book wasn't too bad either. I like the story a lot and - although Prue as a man could have sounded more masculine - I think the different characters of the book could be easily recognized. And thank you, thank you Audible for publishing these Heyer audiobooks unabridged!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J. H.
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ok so obviously its a great story because it's Hey"
    Where does The Masqueraders rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have to be clear that I love Heyer's writing, to me they are the best form of escapism so this is one of many Heyer's that I listen to. I love this story it is fun, light and the character of the father is rich. It is in my top ten Heyer books


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Masqueraders?

    When Sir Anthony unmasks Pru as a girl is my favourite bit, and when he charges down the coach is my second, yep true romantic me


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I have an old audio of this story and I much prefer the voice on the old one, this new one just doesn't cut it as well, the voice needs more depth and inflection, also to be convincingly man then women is a skill


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

    No it is a book that I listen to in order to relax and chill and put aside the issues of the day


    Any additional comments?

    Wouldn't it be great if Heyer detective novels were made available on audio too

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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