The Grand Sophy stands up well on second reading, still earning a solid 4 stars. I was able to obtain an audio version of the book, which was enjoyabl...moreThe Grand Sophy stands up well on second reading, still earning a solid 4 stars. I was able to obtain an audio version of the book, which was enjoyable, although the reader was good but not great.
It's unfortunate that the derogatory depiction of the Jewish moneylender mars what would otherwise be an almost perfect book. I realize the book was written in a different time, but it's unpleasant to be confronted with those prejudicial stereotypes. Thankfully, that's a small part of the book. The rest of the story is Heyer at her comedic best.(less)
Notes: Has several background characters in common with The Black Moth (Gunning sisters, Walpole, etc.). Duke of Avon very like...moreOriginally read 11/2008.
Notes: Has several background characters in common with The Black Moth (Gunning sisters, Walpole, etc.). Duke of Avon very like Duke of Andover, including family relationships. Davenport is like Frank Fortesque in Black Moth. There was a mention of an affair in Avon's recent past similar to plot of Black Moth. Anthony and Jenny seem like the couple from The Black Moth (Jack and Di). Jenny is the lady Avon kidnapped.
I listened to this audiobook (I'd read it in print over three years ago) mainly because of a chance comment I made to my daughter. After reading The Black Moth, I told my daughter that, although the villain, Duke of Andover, was an evil person, still, there was something about him that made me wish Heyer had written a "happy ending" for him as well. My daughter Hannah then told me about the similarities between the Duke of Andover and the Duke of Avon in These Old Shades. I was amazed at how remarkably similar the background story were once I was listening to These Old Shades and was delighted to get to see "The Devil" Andover/Avon get his redemption and happy ending.
I'd also forgotten how incredibly funny this book is, and how much I love Leonie. Every character in this book is richly drawn. Definitely one of Heyer's best.(less)
Originally read October 8, 2008. Listened on audio January 10, 2012.
One of the few books by Georgette Heyer that I preferred in print. I generally like...moreOriginally read October 8, 2008. Listened on audio January 10, 2012.
One of the few books by Georgette Heyer that I preferred in print. I generally like Flo Gibson, the narrator of Regency Buck, but didn't so much for this book. Listening to the book also highlighted the fact that Heyer spends a great deal of time showing off her research in this book, with detailed accounts of buildings, furnishings, colors, clothing, curricle driving, etc. I've listened to a dozen books by Georgette Heyer, and this is the first time I've felt her to be more interested in the time period and setting than in the story itself. ;-)
I still enjoyed the book immensely, however, and no doubt many people will enjoy the careful descriptions more than I. Her writing is always superior, and even the plentiful details of sumptuous rooms and stylish clothes didn't diminish my listening pleasure by much.(less)
Every time I think I've found my favorite narrator, I find another one just a good. Eve Matheson does a wonderful job on this audio version of Georget...moreEvery time I think I've found my favorite narrator, I find another one just a good. Eve Matheson does a wonderful job on this audio version of Georgette Heyer's Lady of Quality. She does a superlative job with the voices. I love listening to Heyer's books on audio in part because of the way the language flows: the accents and the vocabulary are such a nice change..odd, funny, sometimes challenging and often beautiful. I love to lose myself in the time and place, as well. Maybe Heyer didn't get all the details perfect, or all the speech patterns correct. But this is fiction, and the strange phrases, and archaic sentence structures, as well as the old-fashioned ideas and manners, takes me to another place. The romance in Lady of Quality is typical Heyer in some ways, but it also differs by taking up a little time over the declarations of love than some of her novels. I liked that.(less)
Georgette Heyer is the author I go to, in book form or audio, when I need something well-written, with beautiful prose and a vocabulary that stimulate...moreGeorgette Heyer is the author I go to, in book form or audio, when I need something well-written, with beautiful prose and a vocabulary that stimulates the brain. I also enjoy her humor. In The Reluctant Widow, we see a slightly different side of Heyer's humor, at times sarcastic and definitely understated. The Reluctant Widow could be better classified a mystery than a romance, but the characters are still delightful, and the ending is satisfyingly sweet.As always, Cornelius Garret does an exemplary job with the narration, especially the voice of the always imperturbable Lord Carlyon.(less)