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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  5,363 ratings  ·  461 reviews
When Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, first meets Phoebe Marlow, he finds her dull and insipid. She finds him insufferably arrogant. But when a series of unforeseen events leads them to be stranded together in a lonely country inn, they are both forced to reassess their hastily formed opinions, and begin a new-found liking and respect for each other. Sylvester calls to mind...more
Audio CD, Abridged
Published July 7th 2009 by Naxos AudioBooks (first published 1957)
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Sometimes I find Georgette Heyer's books so delightful; sometimes I find them tedious. Sylvester falls somewhere in the middle.

Take one somewhat arrogant, self-assured duke with very distinctive slanted eyebrows:
(I'm thinking Zachary Quinto as Spock, minus the ears. And the odd haircut.)

and one intelligent, awkward, impulsive, average-looking girl with unfashionably tanned skin, a wicked wit and a habit of putting recognizable members of the ton in her novels:
(her skin isn't tanned enough here b...more
Apr 28, 2014 Tweety rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who has enjoyed Pride and Prejudge, but wants a new angle on it

For some reason my brain isn't functioning well enough to give a synopsis, thankfully others have already done so, so I needn't.

Phoebe is one of my favorite heroines, she's just as charming as Arabella, (who's shy too), Sophy, with her incorrigible ways, and Heyer's laugh-out-loud whit. Sylvester could not have found his match better in Phoebe, who he endearingly called "Sparrow". I like the secondary characters, Tom especially because he is similar to Freddy in Cotillion only we get...more
Three and a half stars, rounded up. I had mixed feelings about Sylvester. I thought the plot dragged a bit in some spots and got a bit overwrought in others, but the two lead characters carried the book for me, and on balance I've begun to think this might be one of Heyer's most psychologically astute romances.

While I normally find it hard to warm up to Heyer's arrogant nobleman protagonists, I actually started to like Sylvester right from the moment on page three when he sees the 'small scampe...more
This was the third novel of Georgette Heyer’s that I found, again under the guise of an audio-book narrated by Richard Armitage. I have extolled all of Richard Armitage’s many virtues as a narrator in previous reviews, and I shall continue to do so until someone gets sick of it and tells me to shut the hell up… and maybe not even then. As usual his reading was perfectly paced, pleasant to listen to, and his vocal range deeply impressive. What I particularly enjoyed in this one was the fact that...more
Melissa Proffitt
UPDATE 3/13/14: I really do like Sylvester as a character and love that the book really is about him and his growth as a person. It fascinates me that he can be arrogant without realizing he is, because he's been taught arrogance means behaving with hauteur toward people lesser than him. His ultimate realization that he loves Phoebe and may have ruined the possibility of finding happiness with her, that desperation, gets me every time.

9/11/12: This remains my favorite Heyer romance--I've found t...more
Sylvester reminded me again why I consider Georgette Heyer's novels the high water mark in regency romance. If I wasn't lost in the story, I would be taking notes!
Heyer gives us Sylvester, a handsome, self-important duke and Phoebe, a wispy girl oppressed by a martinet step mother, who 'didn't take'. It's a vastly enjoyable pairing, though not especially unusual. It's the writing and the characterization that lift these two above the rest.
Unlike so many contemporary romance writers, Heyer does...more
::sigh:: I feel like I'm probably in the minority on this book. I started out loving it and wound up really hating it, so I gave it a three.

The problem, I guess was that it just felt too one-sided to me. Okay, Sylvester's snobby and indifferent to people he doesn't care about so it's good for him to get smacked in the face with his flaws. Either from the mouth of the originally (to me) likable heroine or from her pen as the anonymous author of a trashy novel that casts him as the villain.

Sakura Yue Michaelis
What I like about Georgette Heyer´s books is that there is a pattern in all her stories: the rich titled man who is so refined and correct and suddenly, he is in the middle of the main female character´s adventures and problems. Also, you can never miss a little boy who actually behaves like a little boy; the inevitable dog and the naive/loyal/funny brother of the main girl. So this book has all of this lovely ingredients: duke (check); girl in problems (check); instead of a brother, a loyal fri...more
Aly is so frigging bored
Before I started the book I was sure I wasn’t going to like it, don’t ask me why =)) Now that I finished it I am ready to eat my words… Georgette Heyer is an amazing writer and I’ll totally read more books from her. She has gorgeous prose and her characters can be found in today’s life as sure as they could 100 years ago or more.

At first we are introduced to Sylvester[I liked it from the start :D]. He’s a great guy, he loves his family, he’s aware of his responsibilities and doesn’t shy away fr...more
Today, August 16th is author Georgette Heyer’s birthday. In celebration of the uncontested Queen of Regency Romance, I thought it quite fitting to read one of her novels this week and review it. However, what I ultimately selected was not based on a plot, or characters, or a recommendation by other Heyer aficionados such as Vic (Ms Place) at Jane Austen’s World, but by pure fangirl fervor. Yes, gentle readers, I do freely admit to succumbing to the charms of a handsome face and sexy voice as qui...more
Clare Cannon
Though Sylvester is more odious than Mr Darcy and Phoebe more critical than Elizabeth Bennett; though I so often wanted to bang their heads together, to make them listen instead of bickering back and forth; though they strike each other into mirth at the most inappropriate moments; and though a great deal of effort will be necessary to keep them together, not to say prevent their strangling each other; in spite of all this—or perhaps because of it—Sylvester and Phoebe are one of my favourite pai...more
Jane Stewart
Some silliness but nicely done.

I try to avoid abridged books. But I was in the mood for a good narrator, and chose this book solely because it was done by Richard Armitage. I loved how seductive he was in the book Venetia. Unfortunately Sylvester did not have any sensual or seductive scenes, but I still enjoyed the narration.

As to the story, I was surprised, delighted, and smiled many times. It reminded me sadly of how not enough of todays’ authors can do what Heyer does. She draws and shows her...more
This is why I will never be able to discuss Heyer's works with people reading her these days; the elegance and clarity of vision just cannot be compared to other writers, and if it's done, all discussion is pointless.

The first novel in my OV/re- reading where no long-standing acquaintance between the couple exists. They had met in the past, so once again Heyer makes use of time to have room for more change and development, but even more so than Bath Tangle, which was the first focused-on-h/h one...more
4.5 Stars

This book is hilarious! After my initial experience reading Heyer was a flop (The Quiet Gentleman), I finally see why she has legions of fans. "Sylvester" is a sweet regency romance, with truly funny, witty dialogue.

I can see how there are comparisons to "Pride and Prejudice" with this book, but it's very different and fresh also. Sylvester is so hilariously arrogant. But he's still absolutely adorable because he's so clueless about it. And how can you blame him, he's a duke, so he's ne...more
Laura Hannaway
I'm afraid the charm of this one was lost on me. I enjoyed the hero quite a bit and though he could be arrogant, I felt this was generally tempered by an innate kindness, and was also quite in keeping with both his station and the time period. The heroine however left me cold. When even her best friends appear to feel she is an unreasonable shrew then I'm afraid I haven't any sympathy with the scrapes she finds herself in. She is also completely lacking in any self-awareness. When she does somet...more
Karlyne Landrum
I've come late to Sylvester, but I love it!
4.5 stars. I've been having a crappy couple of days, but this book pretty much instantly picked up my mood. It was just so wonderful!!!! It's been a couple years since the last time I read a Georgette Heyer novel, but this was probably my favorite of hers that I've read so far, and it also reminded me that I really need to read more of her works. I loved both Sylvester and Phoebe so much, and how Sylvester wanted to be super nice to Phoebe so she would like him and regret saying she would never...more
I owed this to my friend you lent me the book Sylvester to attempt a review, after all she read The Perks of Being a Wallflower as part of a bookswap. My friend lent me Sylvester in an attempt to tap into my 'romantic' side. I took on this book like a project, as I NEVER read books like this. However, I can see why, if you enjoyed regency and romance, one may like this book.
Did it make me feel more romantic? Probably not, but I did feel that the book discussed love in an unusual yet interesting...more
I've given this B+/A- at AAR, so let's call it 4.5 stars

Sylvester is another of my favourite books by Georgette Heyer and one that I don’t think has been available in an unabridged version before. Naxos released an abridged recording in 2009, which was very well performed by Richard Armitage. For this unabridged recording, they have utilised the vocal talent of British actor, Nicholas Rowe, and a superb job he has made of it. His speaking voice is a beautifully resonant baritone, his diction an...more
I still have not yet exhausted my desire to read the most popular of Georgette Heyer’s novels…this time reading Sylvester which has become my new favourite. Sylvester is the Duke of Salford and at the age of 28 has decided it is time to marry, but of course only to a suitable girl who meets all his particular requirements. His mother concerned for his happiness secretly prefers him to marry for love to keep in check his sense of consequence and deep reserve, and suggests he consider the granddau...more
Georgette Heyer (pronounced like Hair, I finally learned) has gifted me with so many happy hours in Regency England. Love her! And bravo to narrator Richard Armitage, who -- in *most* scenes -- made this abridged audio almost BETTER than the book. No mean feat. I'd give him an A- (see performance quibbles midway below).

I was able to listen to a section of my friend's unabridged audio version, performed by Nicholas Rowe. I jumped to the end, to compare the final chapters. Wow. The story is so m...more
Heyer does Pride and Prejudice. She is the outspoken country girl, he is the prideful but goodhearted duke. They rub each other completely the wrong way, but are then thrown together by hilarious circumstance.

Picture my silly grin right now. I have figured out what my deal is with Heyer: the more like The Grand Sophy it is, the happier I am. By which I mean if our leading couple spend most of the novel being witheringly sarcastic at each other, when they aren't cracking each other right up to th...more
I really loved the beginning and the middle of the story. The characters were all very good. And there were many hilarious moments, as well as a growing sense of doom: what was going to happen when the Duke realized he embodied an infamous villain in a novel? The nephew was a nice touch, rather endearing, though very 6 year-old in his behavior. A dog, called simply Chien, helped reinforcing confusion and facilitating the outcome of some events - he was not as key a character as the Baluchistan h...more
I enjoyed this nearly so much as I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice - but, of course, no author can quite match Austen's wit and style. But if you're looking for something along those lines, this is an excellent choice! The characters were engaging, and the plotline excellently adventurous. It starts out a bit slow, but if you give it about 50 pages the plot really gets moving. The writing was very well done; stylistically Regent without being overdone. Definitely better than all the "romances" that...more
Sylvester, in some ways, resembled Pride & Prejudice, in that the hero and heroine both have a level of pride but only recognize it and other faults in the other- denying (or rather, ignoring) their own.
I've probably claimed this before about another, but this Heyer couple has to be my favorite so far!! ^_^ Somehow this one seemed unique and set-apart from all her other stories, though it still had the same lively and witty style.
I know this is an extremely short review coming from me, but...more
I am a huge Heyer fan, and I think her books are best appreciated on audio, because there's so much wonderful, amusing dialog. There's also a lot of historical detail--she prided herself on her knowledge of the period--and that sometimes bogs me down when I read. (I want to get on with the Romance!) But on audio, if the reader is good (and Nicholas Rowe is), the historical, social, cultural details are seamlessly integrated into the storytelling. This title, one of her best, is particularly amus...more
Dec 02, 2008 Ria rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to anyone who likes the author
Recommended to Ria by: Jaimey Grant
I'm not good at writing reviews. But I'll give it a try.
I thought that Sylvester had some really good parts to it that when taken in with the whole book are the ones that would make read this book again. But I may get bored with it till the parts I like are reached. That was the only bad part for me with reading this book.
To be fair, some of the books that I really like start that way, but I will read them again, when I get my hands on them.
A lovely read for a rainy Sunday afternoon. There's nothing surprising here, only a standard romantic formula: protagonists who dislike each other on sight, are thrown together for a series of zany adventures, and fall in love despite themselves. It's always a pleasure to become lost in Heyer's wonderfully entertaining prose, with its excellent dialogue and vivid characterizations.

Sherwood Smith
In a lot of ways this is a favorite--the novel-writing heroine, a bit of a geek, Sylvester who looks wicked but isn't, and a host of great side characters. But it tips over the line (for me) with too much humiliation of the heroine and too much and bitter fighting, something I can get fed up with real fast in what is supposed to be a light romance.
Tiffany Reisz
Very cute but A Convenient Marriage is still my favorite Heyer book. This one pales a bit in comparison although it was fun to see a heroine who was an author of scandalous books. My kind of girl.
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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
More about Georgette Heyer...
The Grand Sophy Frederica Arabella These Old Shades (Alastair, #1) Devil's Cub (Alastair, #2)

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“Oh, yes, she's unusual!' he said bitterly. 'She blurts our whatever may come into her head;she tumbles from one outrageous escapade into another;she's happier gromming horses and hobnobbing with stable-hands than going to parties; she's impertinent; you daren't catch her eye for fear she should start to giggle; she hasn't any accomplishments; I never saw anyone with less diginity; she's abominable, and damnably hot at hand, frank to a fault, and-a darling!” 44 likes
“The charm of your society, My Sparrow, lies in not knowing what will you say next - though one rapidly learns to fear the worst!” 11 likes
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