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The Grand Sophy

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  14,662 ratings  ·  1,746 reviews
Alternate cover for ISBN 0330200704.
Paperback, 316 pages
Published 1972 by Pan Books (first published 1950)
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Jenny I wondered that too! But I suppose Sancia's presence made it all OK, even though it wouldn't be what Eugenia's Mama would have wished. Actually - how…moreI wondered that too! But I suppose Sancia's presence made it all OK, even though it wouldn't be what Eugenia's Mama would have wished. Actually - how did she get home, anyway? Cecilia had taken the carriage they arrived in and Charles went home with Sophy in his ... she would have had to get a lift from Sancia, who would have to go right out of her way to take her back to London.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Susan I wondered this too. And do you think the broken engagement caused Dolby and Charles to have a special license small wedding?

Community Reviews

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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
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
Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽
4.5 stars for the best managing heroine ever. I really didn't mean to swallow this book whole in one day, but once I got going I couldn't stop. And when Heyer pulls all the main characters together at the end for one of those absurd farcical scenes she does so well, it was comedy heaven.

This would be a 5-star book, easy, but here is the deal: there's a really problematic minor subplot, right in the middle of the book, that involves a stereotypical greasy, evil Jewish moneylender. It lasts for ab
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
☆ Carol ☆
One of Georgette's best loved Regencies it is impossible to read it any other way than as the story is told - breakneck! & the smile never left my face!

While Sophy stays true to the period, in a lot of ways she is a far more modern heroine - it simply doesn't occur to her she can't be independent or that she doesn't know what is best for her cousins the Rivenhalls when she is sent to stay with them.

The whole family reminds me of the Von Trapps in a Sound of Music, with Charles Rivenhall havi
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
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
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 be the last.

The character
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: historical, 2010
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
Sherwood Smith
Except for a gratuitously vicious bit of anti-Semitism in the middle of this book that could just as well have been left out, it's one of Heyer's best, balanced between strong characters and a smacking good pace. There are some genuinely funny bits, and the whole is so cinematic that it surprises me this hasn't been optioned by the BBC. Though if they do, I hope they skip that disgusting middle chapter, or take the FAIL out of it.
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
⊱ Irena ⊰

I had a bad start with Georgette Heyer. The first two books I'd read didn't impress me and I didn't think much of those characters. Then I stumbled upon Frederica and really wished that it wasn't just good luck. Well, I can say now that it wasn't an accident because The Grand Sophy is just as entertaining, lovely, humorous and occasionally over the top as Frederica, maybe even more.

From the start, when her father asks his sister to take care of her while he is in Brazil, you know you are in f
One of Heyer's absolute best, though sadly marred by a racially stereotypical portrayal of a Jewish moneylender.

Sophy herself is endlessly entertaining (though I'm not sure I'd want to come into her orbit in case she decided to organise my life for me), and her relationship with Charles one of the few that comes close to a semblance of equality. I particularly appreciated how people's flaws can be magnified or lessened depending on the company they keep - Charles is simply the worst version of h
Adorable antics. Lovely sarcasm. A pleasure to read. It kept getting better and better! Now it's become one of my favorites.

Sophy is proper and polite, yet still scheming and rebellious. I really settled into Heyer's tone much faster in this one than in Frederica. I took great joy in the characters and plot. I kept reading late into the night simply because I wanted to know what would happen next -- the best kinds of books are those in which I never know what's coming!

After reading this, I offic
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
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.
“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.

When Sophy arrives in Berkley Square to stay with her aunt’s family, she is not at all what anyone expected — and may prove to be more than any of her relatives, especially her cousin Charles, can handle.

With her pet monkey a
Ruth Turner

I’m doing a re-read of all Georgette Heyer’s Regency Romances, which I read to death in my younger years.

I’m afraid I’m going to be a disappointment to you, Kris, but this isn’t one of my favourites.

The first two chapters were a little slow, but with the appearance of Sophy in chapter three, complete with a monkey, a parrot and an Italian greyhound, the pace picked up.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really like any of the characters and, unlike many of Heyer’s books, there were only a couple of paragrap
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
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
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
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3/5; 3 stars; B-

This was my first book by this author and I enjoyed the bulk of the it. It was really very humorous and I had quite a few laughs. Unfortunately, the story was too long and Sophy became ridiculous in the end with the complexity and audacity of her Machinations. That really put me off. (view spoiler)
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Sophy is a Marvel!

TYPE OF NOVEL: Historical Fiction, Regency Romance

SETTING: 1816 London, England


I’ve seen this particular Heyer novel listed as the top favorite of many Georgette Heyer fans (more so than any other book I think!)


Because her father is called away to Brazil, Sophy Stanton-Lacy is sent to stay with relations in London. When Sophy arrives she can easily discern that the Rivenhalls are in one too many fixes and it is up to her to set it all to
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
Lady Ombersley is overcome by her brother's plea to welcome his "little Sophy" into her home while he is away on a diplomatic mission to Brazil. Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy is quite a force and Lady Ombersley does feel sorry for her poor motherless niece. When "little Sophy" arrives, she does so in full force. Sophy is neither little nor to be pitied for being motherless. She is an immediate hit with the children for bringing them an exotic pet and for her lively and open manner. Charles, the heir, ...more
Jane (PS)
Loved it yet again! It might topple some of my other favourites Heyer books from their prime positions - although I think The Unknown Ajax is pretty safe as my absolute GH favourite!

Sophy and Charles, the two main characters, have such strong personalities with wonderfully endearing qualities, you can't help but really love them. Admittedly Charles takes a fair bit longer, but he really shines towards the end, and he is delightfully amusing throughout (with his frequent loss of temper and exaspe
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
Mar 20, 2015 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 nose 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
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  • The Private World of Georgette Heyer
Georgette Heyer was a prolific historical romance and detective fiction novelist. Her writing career began in 1921, when she turned a story for her younger brother into the novel The Black Moth.

In 1925 she married George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year.

More about Georgette Heyer...

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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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