The Grand Sophy
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The Grand Sophy

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  10,940 ratings  ·  1,352 reviews
(Large Print Edition).

Vibrant, irrepressible Sophy Stanton-Lacy was no stranger to managing delicate situations. After all, she'd been keeping opportunistic females away from her widowed father for years. But staying with her relatives could be her biggest challenge yet.

Lovely cousin Cecelia was smitten with an utterly unsuitable suitor; cousin Herbert was in dire financia...more
Hardcover, Large Print
Published July 1st 1992 by Thorndike Press (first published 1950)
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The one thing that always puzzles me is people's tendency to compare Georgette Heyer to Jane Austen. As well compare Crime and Punishment to a John Grisham novel! I am not denying the literary merits of either genre; far from it, in fact. However, that doesn't change the fact that one is trying to compare chalk and cheese.

Jane Austen's purpose in writing her novels was not merely to tell a story. In fact, the story was merely a vehicle to examine critically the mores and customs of the society...more
Ilona Andrews
I thought the book was delightful - witty, bright, deeply hilarious - and then we ran into a very stereotypical description of a "Jewish Moneylender." I do realize that Heyer was reflecting attitudes of the time, but did the moneylender have to be quite so odious?

On one hand, he is a nasty character and nasty characters often don't have a good personal hygiene. On other hand, the description hits point by point a racial stereotype used for many years to fuel persecution of the Jewish race. It is...more
I think this has surpassed These Old Shades as my favourite of the Heyers that I've read. The hero isn't as much fun as Avon is, but the heroine, Sophy, far surpasses Leonie. Sophy is, admittedly, forward, bold, and out-spoken enough that she could have become as irritating to me as Leonie is; but I think Heyer handled Sophy with far more skill than she did Leonie - no great surprise, perhaps, since there's a gap of about three decades between the two books - and she's instead a very joyful char...more
My goodness, I will have to review something very dark and depressing to make up for loving this book, won't I?

This is the romance novel that isn't a romance novel. The heroine who isn't a heroine. It's fixed in time and place, but with a heroine who seems modern. Sophy is fantastic. She's so very skillfully drawn. Every action and word from her is much more carefully considered than in many others of her heroines, and not forced for the sake of the romance. At least, it felt that way to me. The...more
What can I say? This is, in my opinion, one of Heyer’s least formulaic Regencies, and I think that’s one of the things I like most about. Sophy is an unconventional young woman. She’s smart, brave, scheming, and unapologetic about it. She can ride and shoot like a man, and doesn’t shrink at the chance to make her point. In short, she’s wonderful. The story focuses on Sophy’s efforts to set things right in her Aunt’s household -- her cousin Hubert is in trouble, her cousin Cecy is in love with th...more
Okay, I confess to a weakness for Georgette Heyer books. While I refuse to read regular romance novels, Ms. Heyer's books, which I discovered as a teenager, are well written and FUNNY. The Grand Sophy is full of pompous people and Sophy--who has a sense of the ridiculous. There are some laugh out loud scenes. I must admit that I keep a copy stashed for the times that life just gets me down.
I wonder if I'll ever read a Georgette Heyer and not fall madly for it?
This one is definitely in my top favourites! It was funny, witty, engaging and just awesome!!! It was more about Sophy's ingenuous plans in rescuing everyone's problems than an actual romance, but it was so engaging and hilarious that I didn't really mind. All the characters were so special and unique and just such FUN! :D
The hero was very different from other Regency romances! In fact he acted mostly like an anti-hero, what...more
Buddy Read with Jeannette

I really hate giving this 2 stars, because going down the list of my GR friends who have read it, I see that almost all of them (with the exception of Carol) gave it 4 or 5 stars. I know we all have different tastes for books, but when I veer off so decidedly from everybody else in a book that is an almost universal fan favorite among Georgette Heyer readers, I does make me question my own reading tastes. Oh well, it's not the first time this has happened, and it won't b...more
Mar 05, 2010 Tatiana rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Jane Austen and regency romances
Recommended to Tatiana by: Hannahr
Shelves: 2010, historical
I think "The Grand Sophy" is an excellent recommendation to fans of Jane Austen and regency romance, especially those who are quite sick of contemporary versions of the genre filled with throbbing members and heaving bosoms.

This book is very clean, light and reminiscent of Austen's masterpieces in its humor and focus on domestic issues - marriage, unwanted engagements, cheating husbands, gambling debts and such. The language is sophisticated, the characters are well drawn and likable, and the r...more
OKAY Get ready for an onslaught of book reviews because I just got back from vacation and literally read like 20 books, maybe more.

FIRST, this book was on my Kindle for a while because I guess this author is considered the mother of historical romance novels. It was written in 1950, and actually, due to the historical nature of the subject matter, doesn't feel THAT dated (caveat, see one of the things I hated about the book, lol), and is very witty and engaging. The main character reminded me of...more
The Grand Sophy is a devilishly fine girl!

First published in 1950, The Grand Sophy contains one of Georgette Heyer’s most endearingly outrageous heroines. In this newly released reissue by Sourcebooks, you are in for a rollicking good time through Regency era London with Miss Sophia Stanton-Lacy. As one of her many male admirers proclaims, "By all that is wonderful, it’s the Grand Sophy!" Too true.

A diplomat’s daughter, Sophy has traveled the Continent with her widowed father Sir Horace Stanto...more
When a few Jane Austen aficionados (Janeites) started recommending Heyer to me, noting that she wrote several Regency romance novels, I thought they'd lost their minds. Romance, in my mind, equaled the Harlequin imprint + Danielle Steel. Ewwww, was my first response. But considering the same people had also recommended Wives and Daughters, which has come to be one of my favorite books, I decided to venture out into strange territory.

I'm glad that I did. While The Grand Sophy is certainly a roma...more
Hah! This isn't my favourite Georgette Heyer novel, but I think it might have made me laugh the most so far. God, what a cast of characters, and how ridiculous they all are -- Sophy is fantastic, with her matchmaking and her provoking ways and her complete disregard for propriety. I loved the relationship between her and Charles -- the last few chapters made me positively hoot with laughter.

I'm sure that people who would never like this genre won't be convinced by this, but I think I'm being bro...more
Beanbag Love
This is a really fun book about a complete hoyden who turns people's lives upside down. For their own good, of course.

I give it four and a half stars instead of five only because there are a couple of little things that made me uncomfortable. Heyer's very good at historical accuracy, but I guess I'm comfortable in my little politically correct modern world. However, I'm also persistent when the rest of the book is so good, so I was able to set those things aside for the most part and enjoy the s...more
Abigail Hartman
How are you supposed to review a book this fantastic? It's hilarious and witty and I adore the characters - Sophy for being Sophy; Rivenhall because he's rough and blunt and boxes (I know some people don't like him because of his temper, but I'm contrary and do); Charlbury for catching mumps and being chivalrous. I would, however, like to beat Miss Wraxton over the head with a cricket bat - or marry her off to Fawnhope, which would be a still worse fate.
Elizabeth Rose
“Aravis also had many quarrels (and, I'm afraid even fights) with Cor, but they always made it up again: so that years later, when they were grown up they were so used to quarreling and making it up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently.”

And that, in short, sums up The Grand Sophy. Of course, it doesn't include the hilarious banter, ridiculous schemes, and quantities of matchmaking that would satisfy Emma Woodhouse, all of which contributed to my five-star rating...more
When Sophy Stanton-Lacy arrives at her aunt’s doorstep little did they know what was in store for them. Sophy’s father is off on business and has asked his sister to mind after Sophy (quite possibly even find her a suitable match). Her aunt, although a bit reluctant at first, agrees to take Sophy in and introduce her to the ton. But upon her arrival Sophy finds that her cousins’ lives are in a bit of disarray. For one, her cousin Cecilia is smitten with what the family considers an unsuitable su...more
I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone of my acquaintance who read this book and raved about it. The Grand Sophy is pure delight. Sophy Stanton-Lacy, with a plan for every problem and a witty answer for every situation, turns her cousins' lives upside-down for the better and is infinitely entertaining every moment of doing it. She enters upon the wildest schemes and somehow makes it entirely believable that a well-bred young lady could do such things and, what's more, get away with them. And Char...more
I sat down to write this review, fingers poised over the keys … and suddenly realized that this would be my first time to write a review of a story that’s older than I am (!) and, moreover, one which is so well known and such a great favourite with romance readers that it frequently tops any “what’s your favourite Regency Romance?” list.

It’s been more than twenty years since I last read The Grand Sophy and, while there are a fair few of Georgette Heyer’s books available in audio format, this tit...more
Aug 19, 2014 Tweety rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who likes sharp wit and a clever heroine
Sophy has such sharp wit!

What is to be done about a family who's at sixes and sevens? The Grand Sophy knows just what to do. Cecilia, she knows doesn't belong with Augustus, a man who thinks he's a poet. But she should marry the man with mumps. Sophy has it all planned out, that is, till Charles stuck his noes in things…

His cousin is abominable! Charles cannot wait to marry her off to the first suitor he comes across. Unfortunately, every suitor he finds her with is somehow lacking. But, his bet...more
First-rate Heyer. Here's a family: mother kind of helpless the way a lot of Heyer mothers are; father a weak-willed gambler; oldest son Charles arrogant as you get when everybody else in your family is an idiot (and he's engaged to the most awful busybody right out of Austen); oldest daughter Cecilia rejecting an arranged marriage to quite a nice man in order to fall in love with an extremely handsome and absent-minded poet. And in comes their cousin, Sophia, who's been raised by a traveling mil...more
Le ton est plein d'humour et Sophy, l'héroïne, est pétillante, volontaire et un peu malicieuse.

Je n'avais pas prévu de lire de Régence cette année, mais celle-ci est fort différente de toutes celles que j'ai pu lire, sans doute parce que l'édition originale date de 1950. De même, la romance est vraiment secondaire, c'est pourquoi au sens moderne ce livre tient plus pour moi du roman historique que de la romance historique, mais qu'importe puisque j'ai passé un agréable moment de lecture.
Valshar ⚜ Jonathan
Another Heyer favorite! (I should seriously come up with a new opening line. With Heyer I’m using that all the time!) :-)

The Unexceptionable

Sophy is absolutely amazing! Grand describes her rather accurately. Everything she does from her first appearance, to every plan she meddles in, is grand.

Fun secondary characters! The hilarious Augustus Fawnhope is among my top favorites. A “poet” that is so completely clueless he misses every social cue or insult ever thrown at him. Of course there are the...more
Olga Godim
A re-read, inspired by Nikki's delightful review Thanks, Nikki.
This is an enchanting novel, one of Heyer’s best, although it’s not as funny as some of her other novels. It invites multiple gentle smiles and some snickers, not uproarious laughter.
Sophy, a twenty-year-old daughter of a wealthy diplomat, has been raised by her father abroad. Now, he is sailing for Brazil and he asks his sister, Lady Ombersley, to give ‘his little Sophy’ a home in London, whi...more
I adore this book. Georgette Heyer provides pretty much everything one could possibly want from a regency romance, and The Grand Sophy is one of her best. This is in large part due to the heroine, Sophy. I think Sophy's wit and lively charm is best illustrated with a quote:

'I shall be much obliged to you, cousin, if you will refrain from telling my sisters that she has a face like a horse!’
‘But, Charles, no blame attaches to Miss Wraxton! She cannot help it, and that, I assure you, I have alwa...more
My first novel by Heyer, and I wasn't disappointed. It is highly entertaining in the Victorian - Austenian way.
Head-strong, unconventional Sophy is left by his father at her Aunt's House so that she introduces her to society and to start thinking of finding her a suitable husband. But Sophy has other plans which change all the lives of her dear cousins. Love or gambling problems are nothing to her, she moves soothingly around and gives comfort to those in need without thinking of herself.
But won...more
This 1950s Harlequin is quite a fun read. Picture a Lizzie Bennett/Emma Woodhouse protagonist with a pistol.

Unfortunately, the ending is a bit of a mess, and dang it, Sophy loses all of her independence and brains in the last two pages. I hardly recognized her.


"Entranced be these lover-like words, Miss Stanton-Lacy returned his embrace with fervour, and meekly allowed herself to be led off to the stables."

Okay, for the that paragraph alone, which is the last paragraph of the book--sorry for...more
C.P. Lesley
A delightful story, however often I read it—not least because of the irrepressible Sophy and her equally determined adversary, Eugenia Wraxton, as straitlaced as Sophy is imaginative and resolute in her pursuit of the happiness of her friends and family.

Sophy arrives in London to find her uncle's family in a sorry mess. Her cousin Charles is engaged to marry Eugenia, to the dismay of his relatives. Her cousin Cecilia, promised to a wealthy earl, yearns for a poet. Her cousin Hubert has wasted hi...more
Absolutely essential Heyer. If you want to read the Regency romance/screwball comedy, this is it. Everyone has tried to copy it, nobody has topped it. Sophy is sophisticated, strong-willed, and a lady who knows how to get what she wants. Which is what made her stand out when the book was first published.
Mollie *scoutrmom*
Aug 13, 2010 Mollie *scoutrmom* rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical romance
It has been over a decade since last I read this particular treat. I'm glad I picked it up and enjoyed it again.

The plot reminds me of a juggler... one never knows where the next twist is going to appear, or how the author is going to make the heroine come out the winner. Sophy is a marvel in Regency romances, an independent spirit with the means to please herself. She does not meet the love of her life until he is engaged to be married to another; her young cousin is infatuated with a penniless...more
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Traditional Rege...: Who else didn't like (The Grand) Sophy? 1 11 May 10, 2014 12:49AM  
September 2011 buddy read 18 85 Mar 22, 2013 05:32PM  
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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
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“You are shameless!” he said angrily.
“Nonsense! You only say so because I drove your horses,” she answered. “Never mind! I will engage not to do so again.”
“I’ll take care of that!” he retorted. “Let me tell you, my dear Cousin, that I should be better pleased if you would refrain from meddling in the affairs of my family!”
“Now, that,” said Sophy, “I am very glad to know, because if ever I should desire to please you I shall know just how to set about it. I daresay I shan’t, but one likes to be prepared for any event, however unlikely.”
He turned his head to look at her, his eyes narrowed, and their expression was by no means pleasant. “Are you thinking of being so unwise as to cross swords with me?” he demanded. “I shan’t pretend to misunderstand you, Cousin, and I will leave you in no doubt of my own meaning! If you imagine that I will ever permit that puppy to marry my sister, you have yet something to learn of me!”
“Pooh!” said Sophy. “Mind your horses, Charles, and don’t talk fustian to me.”
“Well, sir, do you mean to remain there, commending my father’s taste in wine, or do you mean to accompany me to Ashtead?”
“Set off for Ashtead at this hour, when I have been traveling for two days?” said Sir Horace. “Now, do, my boy, have a little common sense! Why should I?”
“I imagine that your parental feeling, sir, must provide you with the answer! If it does not, so be it! I am leaving immediately!”
“What do you mean to do when you reach Lacy Manor?” asked Sir Horace, regarding him in some amusement.
“Wring Sophy’s neck!” said Mr. Rivenhall savagely.
“Well, you don’t need my help for that, my dear boy!” said Sir Horace, settling himself more comfortably in his chair.”
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