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The Unknown Ajax

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  4,610 ratings  ·  327 reviews
"Wonderful entertainment from first page to last."
? Chicago Sunday Tribune
A past dispute . . .
When the irascible Lord Darracott's eldest son dies unexpectedly, the noble family must accept their estranged Yorkshire cousin as heir apparent. They are convinced he will prove to be a sadly vulgar person, but nothing could have prepared the beleaguered family for the arrival
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ebook, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published 1959)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽
I've got to go 5 stars with this one. The Darracotts are bickering, dysfunctional family, governed by a tyrannical, irascible grandfather, Lord Darracott. They are forced to welcome the new heir to the family, Major Hugh (Hugo) Darracott from Yorkshire. They all expect him to be a low-class, uneducated and unsophisticated person, especially when he turns out to be a giant of a man with an innocent-looking face and a deceptively placid disposition, and Hugo decides to oblige them by exaggerating ...more
Hannah
Rating Clarification: 2.5 Stars

I'm reet glad this Heyer is finished. Happen I didn't care for Hugo, the family Darracott or this story at all. Greatly wished this was one of Heyer's whodunnits, so that Lord Darracott could be murdered and Inspector Hemingway could arrive and solve the case, but alas this was just one sloooooooow and boring regency with little excitement, humor, romance or basically anything I've come to expect from Heyer.

While it gets high ratings from most of my GR friends (and
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Tweety
4 1/2

Another fun Heyer!

This is a dysfunctional family who gets put to rights by a "weaver's brat" aka Hugo. Major Hugo. None of the family particularly likes each other and no one is pleased to have the Major the heir to Lord Darracott's dwindling fortune. Especially as Hugo is a Yorkshire yokel who doesn't know the right of things. They are sure they can teach him how to be a gentleman. Big and dull witted looking, Hugo slowly takes them all by storm, even Anthea who was determined not to lik
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Lady Wesley
Oct 26, 2014 Lady Wesley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lady Wesley by: Miranda Davis
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 a
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Megan's
I really love this book. I am already reading it again.
Caz
This is my second review in AudioGals' Month of Audio Favourites, and I've given it an A+ for narration and B+ for content.

I haven’t read The Unknown Ajax in years, but it was one of the first of Ms. Heyer’s novels I purchased in audio and I remember being utterly delighted by it, thinking that the story came to life in a way I hadn’t experienced when reading the book. Daniel Philpott’s performance is nothing short of perfect and, re-listening to it in order to write this review, I couldn’t help
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Andrea
Hugo is an army Major who is a grandson of Lord Darracott. Darracott's family have never met (or even heard) of Hugo, owing to Hugo's father being cast off for marrying a commoner. But when a couple of unfortunate deaths leaves Hugo heir to the title, he is summoned to meet the family.

Yorkshire born, Hugo is an imperturbable and sharp-minded man, who hides much of his competence behind a tendency to play the yokel, and his own affable nature. The story lets us watch his family almost as a whole
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☆ Carol ☆
If possible I enjoyed this rollicking tale even more on this umpteenth reread!

Like in many of her later books, GH is experimenting more with the genre. The unlikeable Vincent is very similar to some of GH's earlier heroes (the Duke of Avon comes to mind) & our hero, Hugo is on the surface a buffoon, but we the readers are subtlely made aware that he is more than that, as we watch him seeing how much he can get his haughty relatives to swallow! Richmond is also a more complex character than y
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Valshar ⚜ Jonathan

The Unexceptionable

The heroine! Anthea is charming, funny, and is absolutely adorable when mad at the hero. Which means, she’s basically perfect to my way of thinking. :-D

The hero! Among my favorite Heyer heroes so far. Hugo (aka the Major) is not only a proper gentleman, but has a simply divine (or perhaps devilish) sense of humor.

Interesting side characters. I’m always happy to have a story where I’m just as interested in the side characters as I am the couple.

Happy ending! What it’s all abou
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Olga Godim
Although this book is a bit slow, it’s mostly funny: a light enjoyable read. Before I talk about the plot, I’d like to sketch the family tree of the Darracotts, the family at the center of the novel. The old Lord Darracott is an octogenarian patriarch and a veritable tyrant of the family. His oldest son and heir drowned recently, together with his own son. The second son, Hugh, has been dead for years, but before he died, Hugh committed a misalliance: he married a Yorkshire weaver’s daughter and ...more
Miranda Davis
Not one of her best known Regency romances, but it's grown on me over the years. What's not to love about Georgette Heyer presenting a tall, strapping, mischeivous hero who inherits a noble title and estate and condescending relatives annoyed by his presence in their lives? The family's supercilious attitude toward Major Darracott's background (noble father and common Yorkshire 'weaver's' daughter) brings out the huge hero's impish humor which expresses itself in a broad Yorkshire accent, seemin ...more
Margaret
This is perhaps more of a family story than a romance, though of course it does contain a romantic plotline. The eldest son of the autocratic, elderly Lord Darracott has died, and Lord Darracott must summon the new heir -- the unknown son of Darracott's rebellious second son, who married against his father's wishes and died years ago. Hugo Darracott's entry into his new family is a challenge for everyone, but particularly his cousin Anthea, who Lord Darracott is determined will marry Hugo.

The f
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Barbara
Just finished a re-read of this and I have to say it isn't one of my favorites or one of her best.

The blurb gives a good idea of the basic story, so I won't try a re-cap.

On the plus side--Hugo is a delight and has a wicked sense of humor. Anthea is fine, too, as his love interest. The rest of the characters are a mix of typical Heyer stock characters; except for Vincent, who is nicely done and approaches being a fully fleshed-out person.

However, the book felt padded. A lot of the same ground was
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apple
And thus begins my quasi-impressionable wandering into the dark and sinister underbelly of regency romance. If you would oblige my most reverential presumption...IMHO “the Unknown Ajax” is more of a regency comedy especially in those hilarious scenes involving butlers’ catfight. There’s some cute tactically-placed banterings between the Major and Anthea but damn and balderdash! I want more!

Vincent Darracott would make a perfect arrogant yet occasionally endearing leading man in a spin-off..I tot
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Aayesha Khatri
This book was, hands down, one of the most funniest books I've ever read in my life. I was giggling, sniggering, chuckling and snorting throughout the beginning of the story. (Why not the end? I'll come to that later.) Hugo was one heck of a character *snaps knee, laughing butt off* I don't think I've ever come across a hero like that, ever. Trust Heyer to come up with the best. She is truly such an awe-inspiring author, I love her.

The problem is, it kind of fell flat for me in the last third. M
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Brenda Clough
Gosh, what a grand book. In the usual way of Heyer Regencies the author has a firm thumb on the scales of the plot, so that all will work out. The final tangle of injured brothers and smugglers combating revenuers is unlikely but enchanting. This is perfect comfort reading. When real life just gets too ugly it is Heyer all the way.
kris
The Darracott family, holed up in the family estate in Sussex/Kent, tolerate the tantrums of old Lord Darracott by keeping their heads down. Until the misplaced heir--Hugo, the son of a weaver's daughter!--is summoned so that Lord Darracott can bring him up to snuff. The innocent gentlle Yorkshire giant throws everything and everyone for a loop, including his sassy, pretty cousin Anthea...

(Yes, they're cousins.)

1. The fact that Hugo is more than what he seems is first discovered by Anthea. She s
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Sally
I could hardly add any better review of this book than the many Goodreads readers who rate it at 4 or 5 stars. However, for my friends who are interested in what I am reading, I'll say I rank this one among the top favorites in the Heyer books I've consumed so far. I suppose I'll have to go back once I've read all of her books, to make a ranked list. I have enjoyed all so far, but some a great deal more than others.

The appeal of this one is the main character, Hugo, and how, as one reviewer says
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Estara
Dec 11, 2011 Estara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Estara by: one of my favourite Heyers
Yes, this works for me in English just as well as in German - having read the original now I have to say incredible KUDOS to the original translator into German for getting Hugo's Yorkshire cant an equivalent dialect treatment without which the story wouldn't work - for that matter Heyer uses so many outdated metaphors and images that I do wonder how they explained those to the translator and what he/she had to do to research the German equivalent of regency speak, heh.

Sartorias says in her revi
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Madeline
Mar 21, 2010 Madeline rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who need a break
Recommended to Madeline by: Aya
1. Um, I TOTALLY LOVED THIS BOOK. It's funny in a very self-aware way, with a beautifully convincing and completely charming love story. Seriously, the Anthea/Hugo love story is amazing. I was completely invested in it, cheering them on and cooing over them. The last time that happened (which I guess wasn't too long ago, whatever) was in the movie Veer-Zaara. That's right: this romance is on par with a Sufi-inspired plea for reuniting India and Pakistan. (Although, I can't deny that The Unknown ...more
Edward Hoornaert
IMO, this is one of Heyer's better books--if not the very best of the lot. Hugo is a marvellous character, so self-assured that when he becomes the heir to a barony, he plays along (and with!) his new-found family's low opinion of him as yokel from Yorkshire. His understated sense of humor appeals to me a lot.

The secondary characters really help to bring this book to life. Many of them start out to be stock Heyer characters--the fop, the arrogant and uncaring Corinthian, the aloof daughter of an
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Jamie
It's hard to believe that a book with so many exclamation points in the dialog can be such a pleasure to read.

This one has less focus on the romance than the other Heyer novels I've read so far. And while usually the hero is haughty and disagreeable (like Mr. Darcy in the first half of Pride & Prejudice) in this story he's affable from the beginning, with a sharper sense of humor than the heroine. It's a nice variation.

There's more of the servants' perspective in this book than in the others
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Wendy
A five star story and a 10 star audio experience. The extraordinary narration by Daniel Phipott brings this clever, funny, witty tale to life.

Major Hugo Darracott is summoned to Darracott House by his controlling, autocratic, manipulative grandfather. The old man has always known of his grandson's existence, although the rest of this dysfunctional family do not. His son married against his wishes to a poor common Yorkshire weaver's daughter.....or maybe, unbeknown to him, not so poor or so commo
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CJ
One of my favorites by Georgette Heyer. Her ability to weave lively characters, humor, romance, exquisitely done period history, and layers of mystery all shine in this excellent tale of an heir who made it back from the Peninsular War, to the dismay and disgruntlement of some of his relatives. Hugo's must deal with the older cousin who holds him in contempt, the younger cousin who finds him a likely hero to worship, a third cousin who has been assigned the role of turning Hugo into a town dandy ...more
Jane Stewart
Most of the story was fine as a diversion. The best part was the ending climax which had me chuckling.

REVIEWER’S OPINION:
I probably wouldn’t read this in paperback, but I liked it as an audiobook to provide entertainment while I was doing other things. It was hard to follow all the various characters for a good part of the book. I had to take notes and eventually figured out who they were and their relationships. There is a website at heyerlist org which has a Who’s Who section listing all chara
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Alexis Neal
Things have come to a pretty pass at Darracott Place. Following the unexpected death of Lord Darracott's eldest son and grandson in 1817, the family is horrified to learn that the title and the (admittedly ill-funded and rather run-down) estate will pass to a previously unknown cousin, Hugo--a Darracott, in a manner of speaking, but also a former soldier, and the son of a Yorkshire weaver's daughter. Still, Lord Darracott hasn't given up completely. He's counting on his spinster granddaughter An ...more
Maria
An unusual Hero and an rather quiet heroine as far as Georgette Heyer goes.
Major Hugo Darracott suddenly finds him heir to a title he isnt interested in. But as he has no way of getting out of the title he decides to regard his summons, travel to Darracott House and check out his relatives.
When he arrives he finds most of the peoples narrow-minded and the estate in severe decline. One person peeks his interest, though. Miss Anthea Darracott. She is spirited and intelligent but when her Grandpapa
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Kathy Davie
A Regency romance through which you can’t help but laugh when Lord Darracott meets his heir for the first time. When his second son off and marries the daughter of a weaver, Darracott wrote that son out of his will. Unfortunately, he can’t write his grandson out of the inheritance and since his firstborn and that son’s heir drowned, the weaver’s brat is in line when milord kicks the bucket. Well, he can’t have some backwoods country bumpkin step into his shoes, so young Hugo Darracott is “invite ...more
Jacey
The second book on the WH Smith buy-one-get-second-at-half-price offer.

Lord Darracott’s son and heir has recently been drowned leaving the belligerent, bullying old man with no choice but to accept the son of his second son as his new heir. Unfortunately the second son married far beneath him and was cut off by his father some thirty years ago, so Darracott has never met his grandson – supposedly a weaver’s brat from Yorkshire and neither has the rest of the family who have been kept in ignoranc
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Kay Bolton
Review taken from my blog post in August 2011 (#151), after I borrowed the book from the library.

I'm not certain exactly how many times I have read this book before, but certainly 3 or 4 at a conservative estimate ... still a 4 star read though.

Miles Darracott is summoned to the home of his paternal grandfather, Lord Darracott, as due to an tragic accident he is now the heir. He's never met his family as the marriage of his parents was not acknowledged .... in fact Lord Darracott refers to his g
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  • Georgette Heyer's Regency World
  • Mr. Malcolm's List
  • Indiscretion
  • Harstairs House
  • The Five-Minute Marriage
  • The Private World of Georgette Heyer
  • Aunt Sophie's Diamonds
  • Knave's Wager
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  • Fallen Angel
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  • The Fortune Hunter (Lord Rival, #2)
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18067
Georgette Heyer was an amazingly prolific writer who created the Regency England genre of romance novels.

Georgette Heyer was an intensely private person. A best-seller all her life without the aid of publicity, she made no appearances, never gave an interview, and only answered fan letters herself if they made an interesting historical point. Heyer wrote very well-researched historical fiction, fu
...more
More about Georgette Heyer...
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“Does it ever occur to you, Mama, that my grandfather is a lunatic?” 13 likes
“One or two of the villagers have seen it, too, though not as clearly as he did. Old Buttermere said it was a white *thing*, that glided over the ground, and vanished into the shrubbery.'
'And a very good place for it to vanish, too,' said Hugo, wholly unimpressed. 'Give me a sheet, and a night without too much moonlight, and I'll engage to do the same!”
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