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The Grand Sophy

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When the redoubtable Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy is ordered to South America on business, he leaves his only daughter Sophy with his sister, Lady Ombersley, in Berkeley Square. But Sophy's cousins are in a sad state, and she's arrived just in time to save them all. But she hadn't reckoned with Charles Rivenhall, the Ombersleys' heir, who is very unappreciative of her efforts.

328 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1950

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About the author

Georgette Heyer

178 books4,598 followers
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. Rougier later became a barrister and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year.

Heyer was an intensely private person who remained a best selling author 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. She wrote one novel using the pseudonym Stella Martin.

Her Georgian and Regencies romances were inspired by Jane Austen. While some critics thought her novels were too detailed, others considered the level of detail to be Heyer's greatest asset.

Heyer remains a popular and much-loved author, known for essentially establishing the historical romance genre and its subgenre Regency romance.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,855 reviews
Profile Image for Vinaya.
185 reviews2,074 followers
February 23, 2011
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 of her times. In an era where women academicians and philosophers were all but unknown, Austen used the only avenue open to her to espouse her brand of social commentary - the novel.

Georgette Heyer, on the other hand, wrote to entertain. Full stop. Her books are not, and were never intended by her to be, anything more than a pleasant way to pass time. That being said, in the context of the Regency romance, she is the unparalleled expert. Her knowledge of the ton or Regency high society, is unmatched by any novelist save those who actually lived in those times. Frivolous and flighty though her work may be, the authenticity of her voice cannot be denied.

The Grand Sophy is my favourite Georgette Heyer book. I have a special place in my heart for each and every one of her novels, but in The Grand Sophy, she brings to bear all of the skills that are her forte. Sophy is charming and strong-willed, a force to be reckoned with. Unlike with most of our recent Regency romances, her heroines are never milk-and-water misses; I do not think I have met a single Heyer heroine who could not kick the ass of our current crop of romance heroines. Working within the boundaries of a rigid society, she manages to make her women intelligent, witty and charming. Sophy is a devious, meddlesome schemer, who manages to win our hearts, and the hero's, without ever submersing her personality.

What draws me back to Heyer time and again is the sheer sense of fun that she manages to impart to each and every one of her novels. The plots are never standard, nor are the heroines or the heros. Take, for example, Gilly from The Foundling. He's no alpha man; he's a timid, weak aristocrat who still somehow manages to be adventurous and find himself and his path in life. Or Freddie from Cotillion, a dandy with no great physical prowess or good looks, who manages to get the girl of his dreams simply by being kind and reliable. These heroes are so real, so much more believable and lovable than the rich, dissolute alpha males of our contemporary historicals who manage to win the heroine simply through the hardness of their abs and the hugeness of their "manhood".

Georgette Heyer's books will live on long after the Harlequin historicals fade from our memories, simply because she is superlative at what she does: making you believe in romance. Not lust, not soulmates but romance.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
May 17, 2021
4.5 stars. May 2021 update: Q: Why did I reread this for the third time when I have a massive backlog of books sitting on my shelf that I haven’t gotten to yet? A: It was fun and witty and (mostly) lighthearted. No regrets!

If you ever wanted to see a Regency-era heroine really take charge of her life, you'll probably love The Grand Sophy. Sophia Stanton-Lacy, better known as Sophy, is dropped on her aunt's family by her globetrotting father, who asks his sister, Lady Ombersley, to watch over his poor little Sophy.

Enter Sophy, 5' 9", independent-minded and brimming with confidence.

Sophy quickly figures out all of the dysfunctions in the Ombersley family, including a father with a gambling addiction, a passive mother, a daughter who throws over the perfectly nice, eligible lord she's supposed to marry in favor of a swoony, absent-minded poet, and a younger son who's managed to get himself into some deep trouble. And the older son, Charles, who has taken over control of the family and its finances to try to pull everything together, and in the process has lost his sense of humor, turned into a domestic tyrant of sorts, and managed to get himself engaged to a vindictive, overly proper woman, Eugenia Wraxton.

It's a good thing Sophy is a take-charge-and-fix-it kind of person.


Also luckily, Sophy is intelligent and has a great sense of humor. It's a sheer pleasure to watch her take on Charles.
He said stiffly: 'Since you have brought up Miss Wraxton’s name, 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 always pointed out to your sisters!'

'I consider Miss Wraxton’s countenance particularly well-bred!'

'Yes, indeed, but you have quite misunderstood the matter! I meant a particularly well-bred horse!'

'You meant, as I am perfectly aware, to belittle Miss Wraxton!'

'No, no! I am very fond of horses!' Sophy said earnestly.
Jane Austen's Emma should take a clue from Sophy. Emma tries to manage everyone's lives, especially their romances, and is usually wrong. Sophy - who, in fairness, is much more cosmopolitan than Emma - pretty much always succeeds at managing everyone's lives. Luckily for everyone involved, she's also pretty much always right, with one notable exception that ends up turning out right anyway, because the universe clearly loves Sophy.

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 unfortunately there's a really problematic minor subplot, right in the middle of the book, that involves a stereotypical greasy, evil Jewish moneylender (the name Goldhanger and his "Semitic nose" are your textual clues). It lasts for about 5 pages, max. I've looked at different ways of rationalizing this (those were different times? it's just one character and not necessarily the author's commentary on all Jews?) but I can't get comfortable with it. Nor do I think I should - this was published in 1950, post WWII, by which time people generally and Georgette Heyer specifically should have known better. This one scene will ruin the entire book for some people. If you can rationalize it or ignore it - or skip over it, knowing that Sophy prevails in their brief encounter - this is otherwise a completely delightful book. If you can't, that's totally understandable. I understand the racial descriptions have been removed from some editions of the book, like Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, which seems to me a happy answer to this problem.

Because really, Sophy's a great character and, that one scene excluded, this is one of Heyer's best novels. I would love to hang out with Sophy - we could braid each other's hair and she could fix all my problems.


Content notes: Definitely some dated stuff here: In addition to the brief anti-Semitic jabs, you have a somewhat volatile love-hate relationship where the guy jokes about how he’s going to choke the girl then kisses her. Don’t read it if that’ll offend you.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,402 reviews9,536 followers
August 26, 2016
Buddy Read w/ the wonderful, Candi & Phrynne.

Once again, my goodreads friends and in groups have gotten me to read a book that I thought I would never like - and guess what? I loved it!

Lady Ombersley's brother, Sir Horace decides to leave his daughter, Sophy with them while he is away. Sophy usually goes with him when he travels the world, but on this occasion he needs her to stay with her aunt and uncle and all of the cousins.

What a joy Sophy was to a most droll household. The eldest brother, Charles was so tiresome in the beginning. He didn't seem to want to let any of the women have any kind of fun or do anything for that matter. Charles is also engaged to the horrible, Miss Wraxton, I wanted to drop kick her off the roof. They both seemed made for each other, at least in the beginning =)

And then . . . SOPHY arrives. I thought she was going to give her aunt a heart attack. You see Sophy has been brought up very differently then most girls. She arrives with her beautiful horse Salamanca, Tina her little Italian Greyhound and Jacko the monkey she brought for the children that she rescued. I think she had a bird too. I just loved her. =)

Sophy is a force to be reckoned with, she sets out to turn everything right for as many people as she can. She works on her cousin, Cecy, who is being stupid in her choice of men. She helps her cousin Hubert who is in a bit of a gambling situation himself. There are several things she does and she doesn't take no lip from Charles. She puts him in his place so many times I loved it so much. Sophy is such fun.

She asked her aunt where bank was so she could go get her finances in order. Well this just about made the woman in the family fall over, not to mention Charles. No one ever heard of a woman going into a bank. And then Charles is taking Sophy to the back because that's how she rolls =) They got into a little arguement when Sophy was asking Charles where she could buy her own phaeton and horses and he was livid, saying women don't drive their own phaetons. Blah blah and blah. Well she showed him. After her business in the bank, where she had Charles wait in the phaeton, they stopped off on an errand for Charles. She waits in the phaeton with the groom. I knew exactly what she was going to do when she takes off one glove and lets it fly over to the ground. She talks the groom into going over to get it and this is what happens next:

'Tell your master that it is too chilly to keep the horses standing!' Sophy called after him. 'I will tool the curricle round the streets for a few minutes, and come back to take him up when he is ready!'

The groom, who was stooping to pick up the glove, nearly fell over, so swiftly did the spin round. He had an excellent view of Miss Stanton-Lacy (Sophy) driving at a smart pace up the street. He made a gallant but belated attempt to catch the curricle, but it swept round a corner just as the wind blew his hat off, and sent it blowing down the street.

Needless to say that Charles was furious when she got back. I laughed and laughed.

Since Charles wouldn't tell here where to buy a good phaeton and horses she asked another gentleman she met when she was out at the park with some of the family riding horses. Of course they had a fit because Sophy was racing Salamanca around and women just don't do that in the park. lol

Sophy ended up getting some horses a man was selling that supposedly everyone wanted, but she got there first. And she ended up getting her own phaeton that was considered a sporting one and not one for a lady. This is how I picture it since it's supposed to be 5 feet high, which is my height. It's like those monster trucks, the monster phaeton. lol


Once again I loved how many family members Sophy helps in this book and I loved the many times she put Charles and Miss Wraxton in their places about things.

He said through shut teeth: 'I think I told you once before, cousin, that we did very well here before you came to upset all of our comfort!'

'Yes, you did, and what you meant, Charles, was that until I came no one dared to flout you. You should be grateful to me - or at any rate, Miss Wraxton should, for I am sure you would have made an odious husband before I came to stay with your Mama.'


She even goes to see an moneylender to help out the other cousin I mentioned. And oh my goodness! She is not afraid of him or cares less for what he says. When he dares to try to threaten her she just pulls and gun and demands what she came for, says she will give him the money owed, or she can go to the cops or just shoot him. Either way . . . and she gets what she comes for =)

Sophy had me laughing or smiling through most of the book. She is someone I would love to know in my real life. I loved her and I loved this book. Another little gem found in the wonderful world of books and book friends. ♥ And yes, Sophy finds love herself at the very end! ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ .
784 reviews565 followers
October 14, 2022
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 having Captain Von Trapp's autocracy & his father Lord Ombersley his distance. & there is a gaggle of adorable young children & teens.

Lord Ombersley would be a good candidate for Most Irresponsible Father in a Georgette Heyer Novel. His fecklessness means that Charles has taken over the family reins & has become old before his time. To ease his load, he becomes engaged to the serious & deadly dull Eugenia, not recognising the mean spirit hidden behind the correct Society manners.

Clearly Sophy can't let this sad state of affairs continue & mayhem follows, till everyone gets their happy ending!

A wonderful caste of characters that I have fallen in love with. A minor quibble is that one of the younger children Theodore disappears from the book - or else is merged with another son Hubert. But Heyer had a lot of strands going in this book so that is understandable.

Less forgiveable is the anti-Semitism, baffling since Heyer herself is believed to have some Jewish blood. I still prefer to read uncensored & just accept my literary idol did have feet of clay.

With this edition - a typo in Chapter 8. The cover is a little insipid - no way could that girl be the sparkling Sophy! Let's say they are Cecy & Charlbury! This one (that I grew up with) is far better! The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

& Outrage! there are rumours of a Grand Sophy film in the works. Before you break out the champagne - read this link! https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... I'm hoping this is a wind up, but not mentioning Heyer's name & calling the book a "bodice ripper" aren't good signs!

Edit 4/8/15; I've heard from Jen Koestler & another member of the Georgette Heyer fans group has heard from scriptwriter Olivia Hetreed. The bodice ripping Jane Bond idea was discarded years ago. Hetreed writes that she is a lifelong fan of GH & will hopefully produce something true to the spirit of this book.

Edit: Quite a coincidence - last read almost three years ago. Still no sign of the promised movie. Sigh.

My previous review still stands - I'll just add that I have a far better opinion of Charles this time. With that father, no wonder he has become bad tempered & autocratic!

My third read since being on Goodreads (although I have read at least sixty times before that.) What can I say - I'm obsessed.

After a particularly disappointing read from another author what is really great with the better GH novels is how you are launched into the story straight away. Even minor characters are clearly delineated & you don't have trouble following the story!

An easy 5★
Profile Image for Candi.
608 reviews4,586 followers
August 31, 2016
"She was by far too tall; nose and mouth were both too large, and a pair of expressive gray eyes could scarcely be held to atone entirely for these defects. Only you could not forget Sophy, even though you could not recall the shape of her face, or the colour of her eyes."

I for one will not forget the unstoppable and vivacious Sophy Stanton-Lacy anytime soon! A truly entertaining Regency Romance with one of the most delightful and dynamic heroines you could ever hope to encounter from this time period, The Grand Sophy is the perfect book when you need a break from your denser and darker reads. It is fast-paced, clever and often humorous.

When Sophy’s father, Sir Horace, is summoned to Brazil on business, he entrusts her care – as well as the search for an appropriate marriage match - to his sister’s family. When Sophy arrives at the Ombersley doorstep complete with dog, parrot and monkey, she instantly creates a sensation. While the Ombersleys learn that Sophy is indeed unconventional, Sophy discovers that aunt, uncle and cousins are perhaps a bit dysfunctional. From cousin Cecilia who pines for a flighty poet much to the dismay of her family, to Lady Ombersley whose vinegars and fainting couch are always close at hand, to the often absent and oblivious Lord Ombersley, to cousin Horace with his concealed gambling debts and to cousin Charles himself, the true and exacting master of the household, Sophy will have her hands full. Sophy and Charles immediately butt heads and Sophy proves herself an impressive match for this unyielding gentleman. When Sophy tries to sort out and influence the various relationships and love matches, the household is further shaken up. The insipid and meddling Eugenia Wraxton, betrothed to Charles, is an excellent counterbalance to Sophy’s high-spiritedness. Eugenia says of Sophy, "It is a pity that men will laugh when her liveliness betrays her into saying what cannot be thought becoming. It brings her too much into notice, and that, I fancy, is the root of the evil." In regards to Eugenia and Charles, Sophy "felt it a pity that so promising a young man should be cast away on one who would make it her business to encourage all the more disagreeable features of his character."

Throw in some reckless riding, a showy and decidedly unfeminine – at least by the standards of the day – carriage, an elegant pistol, a variety of other colorful characters, a scheme to set everyone straight in the world of romance, and you will find that Georgette Heyer most assuredly concocted a very pleasurable and wholesome adventure! This is my third Heyer read and I have plenty more downloaded to my kindle for those days when I want something light, witty, and engaging. I highly recommend trying one of her books if any of those qualities appeal to you.
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,632 reviews4,997 followers
February 13, 2023

The Godfather Georgette Heyer has all her little ducks in a row. She's got the period detail, check. She's got the Old World styles, check. She's got all the characters who don't know what's about to happen to them and who'll get what's coming to them, check. She's got the manipulations and the double blinds and the cards all stacked up, check. She's got the romance under wraps but about to come up on deck, check. And she's got the gun and someone who knows how to use it, check. The Big G knows what time it is and the reader's about to know too.


Kingpin Sophy brooks no disagreement. Oh she'll let you rant and rave all you want. Let the little pawns moan and groan, but in the end they'll fall right in line. Sophy knows what's best for you, just follow her lead, minion. You'll see.


Dapper Don Sophy has all the skills and she pays all the bills. She's got the street smarts she learned on the Continent. She's got all the connects to the old school players. She's got the fashion sense to turn all heads. She's got the gun that will silence your attempt at some funny business. Minor league players don't stand a chance. Best stay in line.


Boss Bitch Sophy has her eye on that mouthy guy. She likes his sass. She'll show him how she handles a horse, 'cause that's her way of flirting. And she'll show him how she handles a gun, that's how she lets off some steam. She plays a little rough but she knows he'll learn to deal with it. She don't pick no weak bitches to be her number two. He'll learn it's best sometimes to just shut up and look pretty. Sophy always gets her way, there's no stopping this juggernaut, step aside or get rolled over. Don't mess with this one.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,910 followers
February 10, 2017
A Regency Romance? What? What?

Ah, but this was nothing very stuffy, indeed! Sophy was the model extrovert, a clever and busy and downright machiavellian girl. Do you like characters with so much agency that they pop right off the page? Sophy is your girl.

Of course, that also means that she's pretty much a terror for all the stuffed shirts around her, and between getting in the way and deciding to "help" her relations find marriage, while all the while being the unwitting subject of the same dastardly plot.

How will this comedy turn out??? Truly, the pacing is good, the plot is pretty Shakespearian, and the stuffed shirts get stuffed.

It was pretty fun! Mind you, I do love a bit of romance fluff every now and again and this was light and churlish and sometimes even devious, but it is also pure popcorn fiction.

I'm glad to have read it, but it's not generally the kind of thing I read, or at least, the setting isn't. The storied plots are pretty universal, though, and there were plenty of chuckles in store for me. Here's to broadening my horizon!
Profile Image for Lizzy.
305 reviews166 followers
April 22, 2022
The Grand Sophy, my first Georgette Heyer, is a very entertaining book about a complete hoyden who turns people's lives upside down. The vivacious, unconventional and head-strong Sophy is a delightful heroine. She comes to stay at her aunt when her diplomatic father has to sail away to Brazil, of all places. She soons detects many problems that the family is struggling with, and decides to intervene. For their own good, of course.

The Grand Sophy is the perfect read when you need a lull from denser, darker ones. It is fast-paced, clever and funny.

Perfect brain-candy. Enjoy!
Profile Image for Melindam.
612 reviews265 followers
August 24, 2022
I have not read too many Georgette Heyer books, but so far this is my favourite, despite that attrocious, racist minor subplot which I just decided to completely ignore because the rest of the book is just soo good.

The characterisation and story are fantastic and while on first reading it I was disturbed by the seeming lack of chemistry between the main couple, upon re-reading this book for the third time (and enjoying the hell out of it) I absolutely appreciate their unconventional relationship. And besides: Sophie is an awesome badass! :)
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,386 reviews11.8k followers
March 5, 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 romance, infused with funny flirtatious banter, is quite compelling. If I have to compare Heyer and Austen, however, Austen wins without a doubt. Her observations of the society are much deeper, her characters are much better developed, her wit is superior.

While "The Grand Sophy" is a very entertaining story, it drags in places, sometimes gets repetitive when the same events are described and explained to several people, and the ending is a little hectic, with too much going on simultaneously to enjoy the final love confessions.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book, would recommend it to those looking for Jane Austen substitutes (instead of those horrid zombie parodies and sequels) and will probably read Heyer in future.

P.S. I saw some reviews accusing this book of being anti-Semitic. That's a huge stretch IMO.
Profile Image for Woman Reading .
425 reviews266 followers
May 7, 2022
3.5 ☆ rounded up

PBS' "Sanditon" has just concluded its second season, and I'm now receptive to reading Georgette Heyer, who has been compared with Jane Austen. While both incorporated the society of Regency England into their works, Austen had critically skewered social conventions while Heyer's novel descended into farce, seemingly only for entertainment. I also had the preconception that Heyer had written historical romances but I didn't find that to be a fully accurate categorization of The Grand Sophy.

This novel was entirely character driven with the charismatic, irrepressible, and fearless Sophia "Grand Sophy" Stanton-Lacy at the epicenter. Sir Horace was widowed when Sophy was around five. Contrary to convention, Sir Horace kept his daughter with him in all of his diplomatic assignments during the Napoleonic Wars. Before duty sent him to Brazil, he lauded his only child as he persuaded his sister Elizabeth - Lady Ombersley - to host Sophia, now twenty, during his South American tour -
"She has her head well on her shoulders, my Sophy... I never worry about her. ... She's been about the world enough to be well up to snuff... just as happy in a Spanish village as in Vienna or Brussels."

But then Sir Horace's quirkiness surfaced during this conversation with Elizabeth -
"It's a queer thing that any son of your and Ombersley's should have grown into such a dull stick. I suppose you didn't play Ombersley false, did you?"

And finally he dropped a verbal bomb that suggested that the apple did not fall far from the tree -
"I never knew Sophy when she wasn't always busy with some ploy or another."

Sophy arrived with aplomb at her aunt's London residence and came bearing exotic animals as pets for her younger cousins. Sophy reminded me of Nancy Drew (including fast driving and gun-toting) but a livelier version whose investigative abilities were all directed at sorting out problematic relationships in her aunt's family. And there was plenty of opportunity as her uncle - Lord Ombersley - had gambled away the family fortune while his eldest son Charles tried to curb his father for the sake of the six siblings who resided with the parents.
“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.”
[Charles] 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.

Sophy... [was] undismayed by a situation which would have daunted a less ruthless female than herself. Those who knew her best would have taken instant alarm, knowing that, her determination once taken, no consideration of propriety would deter her from embarking on schemes which might well prove to be as outrageous as they were original.

The Goodreads synopsis revealed too much of the plot, and I'm glad that I had barely read it before starting this novel. There was plenty of amusing banter to laugh at but the events were steadily descending deeper into farce, which isn't my favorite. Even though this was published in 1950, Regency England's prejudices toward Jews and Europeans were on full display. And the repellent depiction of the villainous Jew jarred me out of the story's comedic flow.

There was a romance but it was not the main focus of the novel. Indeed, by the end of the book, I didn't even know why Sophy had chosen the beau that she had .
"If I survive this adventure there can be no question of that. Your fate is writ clear: you will be murdered. I cannot conceive how it comes about that you were not murdered long since!"
"How odd! Charles himself once said that to me, or something like it!"
"There is nothing odd in it: any sensible man must say it!”

Overall, The Grand Sophy was an enjoyable, if not always believable, romp through 1816 England with a fabulous heroine.
Profile Image for Anne.
502 reviews483 followers
September 23, 2014
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 with his tyrannical and spiteful ways, and his immense "dislike" of Sophy! But I couldn't really blame him because I felt so sorry for him that he was engaged to Miss Wraxton, who was undoubtedly the most "proper", "dutiful" and "well-bred" woman in London, and it really was no wonder that such a dead bore of a Bluestocking would turn him bitter! Imagine having to spend the rest of your days with a woman who made it her duty to report to you even the most insignificant gestures of your relatives? And who actually enjoyed talking about the plants that grow in Jamaica? Yeah, very tedious! Why Charles proposed to her in the first place is still a mystery I'm trying to solve. The reason I wasn't turned off by him was that Heyer would show us glimpses of his warm, loyal and loving side from time to time, and we were given to understand that he was just a man who had a lot of difficulties to bear, and who needed the right woman beside him to help him through them.

Sophy, is independent, bold, courageous and delightful, and she loses no time in taking the town by rage and resolving in untangling everyone's problems. And she does it brilliantly! Her exploits were indeed wonderful and so hilarious! She was so kind and always acted with the best intentions in mind. I think she might be my favourite Heyer heroine so far! She was very modern minded and if she lived today, she would be just the kind of woman who would make an excellent counsellor! Or possibly she would prefer to be a zookeeper, as she seemed to have quite a passion for animals! She arrived in Berkeley Square with a monkey, a dog and a parrot, and it is later discovered that she keeps ducklings in her house!

This is what makes Heyer's novels so much fun! She always adds super random elements that give such a comedic turn to everything that one cannothelp but to burst out laughing! Lord Bromford (who was a male version of Miss Wraxton) and his cold and mustard-bath were simply hilarious! There were also two extremely funny shooting scenes, a poet who was so lost in his bubble he didn't even have a clue he was getting married, a man with the mumps and a lovely girl named Cecilia who was so sweet she deserved the best!

The Grand Sophy is definitely one not to miss!


Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,159 reviews2,007 followers
August 23, 2016
Having recently reread another of Heyer's books, I found I just had to dig this one out as well, slightly dusty, from the depths of one of my book cases. Sophy has always been one of my favourite heroines and again she did not disappoint:)
From the moment the Grand Sophy makes her magnificent entrance you know you are in for a fun ride! Heyer wrote many excellent and charming characters in her time but this young lady is one of the best. Her enthusiasm for life and her determination that everyone around her should be happy too makes her a joy to be around.
Heyer's other great skill was in writing entertaining dialogue and much of it in this book is laugh aloud funny. I found myself quoting bits of it aloud to anyone who would listen.
So I am a Georgette Heyer fan and for me she can do no wrong. However I am sure that anyone who enjoys a light, historical, innocent romance would like this book too.
Profile Image for Siria.
1,749 reviews1,265 followers
June 5, 2007
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 character, and great fun to read about.

I think it's also superior to ToS in that, like Jane Austen, Heyer has realised by this time that her strength lies in writing novels in which, well, not very much happens at all. Whereas ToS is crammed full of kidnaps and mistaken identities and cross-dressing, long-lost noblewomen, The Grand Sophy's plot is composed of nothing more exciting than a case of the mumps, and the resolution of a number of (admittedly somewhat tangled) marriage plots. Its function is really to allow Heyer to write about the marvellous array of wits, rakes, eccentrics, snobs, dandies and heroines that populate the pages of her novels, and to let her show off the subtle, witty dialogue at which she excels. Definitely some of the best historical fiction out there, whether romantic or not.
Profile Image for Alex.
1,418 reviews4,323 followers
February 19, 2020
Regency romances are extremely specific things, set precisely between 1811 and 1820, as Prince George 4 was ruling as regent for his father, the arguably mad King George 3. This was Jane Austen's home turf, and it was also sortof Peak Fancy Ball, so you can see where the attraction comes from, and by the way do you realize how late these balls went? People were constantly being handed into phaetons at dawn. There was booze at them, too. Makes you wonder how much 19th-century novelists were leaving out of their stories, doesn't it? Every single party I've ever been to, by 2 am things were already getting weird.

You Might Be In A Regency Romance If…
- You're in a very specific horse-drawn carriage
- Someone is feeling faint in a garden
- You know exactly what everyone's annual income is
- No one has a job
- Kissing means to you what fucking means to your grandparents, and fucking doesn't exist

Georgette Heyer with dog

The queen of Regency Romancers is Georgette Heyer, who invented not only the genre but historical romance in general, through the 50 or so novels she published between 1930 and 1974. She was known for her punctilious historical accuracy; not only does she know exactly what kind of phaeton a lady shouldn't be driving, but she can confidently teach you such phrases as:

- He is making a cake of himself! (fool)
- Don’t look so hagged! (disturbed)
- Friday-faced creature (miserable)
- I hope he doesn't plant me a facer! (punch me in the face)
- I feel smirched! (dirty)
- That girl is a hoyden. (improper)

High perch phaeton with hoyden

Unfortunately Heyer is historically anti-Semitic as well. Just when you're cruising along, having a wonderful time with this fizzy story, which is the sort where you can't really keep all the characters straight nor do you feel a need to, Heyer goes Full Dickens. The scene featuring Goldhanger, a "thin, swarthy individual, with long greasy curls, a semitic nose, and an ingratiating leer," is long and powerful; it's important to the plot (because it establishes that Sophy's a good shot); and it would have been bigoted even for its time: Dickens caught a lot of shit for his awful anti-Semitism in Oliver Twist (1839).

Bigotry makes books worse, for me, because I don't like it and I get angry when I read it. When I look back on a bigoted book, I remember that it made a cake of itself. I sometimes remember other things, too! The predictable but terrific denouement of this book, for example, requires the Grand Sophy - a descendant of Emma's line of overconfident manipulators - to use that gun again, and also to release ducklings everywhere, as a certain someone "took Sophy’s throat between his hands, pushing up her chin. ‘Will you marry me, vile and abominable girl that you are?’" That's weird but funny, and there are a lot of other funny lines in here, too. It was extremely pleasant to read - except when it wasn't.
Profile Image for Sherwood Smith.
Author 156 books37.5k followers
February 3, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 28 books128k followers
December 25, 2011
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 Katherine Hepburn in "Bringing up Baby", one of my favorite movies, and, although her antics would NEVER have been accepted in the real period, I loved the banter and her saucy attitude, it felt authentic rather than forced like some "spirited" historical romance ladies do. A lot of the insults about the other stuck-up chick made me laugh out loud. Very sly sense of humor. Overall I enjoyed this book. BUT two things made me take away a star each...

-Horrible stereotypical Jewish moneylender character in the latter half of the book, I mean seriously horrific awfulness. It's up there with Mickey Rooney playing an Asian dude in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (No one seems to remember that part of the movie with as much horror I as I do). Maybe worse. I guess makes you appreciate living when we do. I skimmed over the scene mostly, but seriously bad taste in mouth.

-OMG GROSS THIS ROMANCE IS ABOUT FIRST COUSINS!!! I mean seriously, the ending repulsed me, I kept seeing babies with a cyclops eye, like that guy from Goonies, when they embraced. I know people used to do that back then, but GRODY BUSINESS. I couldn't get over it, so that's why I reduced my rating.

Profile Image for Amy.
2,555 reviews394 followers
December 13, 2021
2021 Review
In 2019 I commented on Sophy's young age; in this read, I realized how relatively young Charles is too. It gives me more hope for their relationship. Also reading this one a tad less literally calmed many of my concerns about his temper.

2019 Review
I try and re-read all my favorite Georgette Heyer books every year and as a result, my reviews really show how I have "grown" with them. Books that I liked immensely initially fall a little in my regard. Books that I dismissed become favorites as I age. (I've been reading Heyer for nearly a decade now!)
But The Grand Sophy has always been at the top.
And the problem with that is that I do not often take the time to reflect on this book. It is just The Best. A book to measure all other books by. My go-to favorite.
But last night as I stayed up past 2 am to finish, I was struck by a realization: Sophy is so young!
Only 20!
Of course, when I first picked up this book I was 17. Sophy was older, more mature, more confident, more everything. She instantly became the unattainable person I wanted to be. I am not cut in Sophy's mold (much more Frederica!) but that has never stopped me from thinking of Sophy as...well, a goal to strive for.
Except now I read about her and think, 'Good golly, no wonder she got away with all that! She's so young!"
I never saw her actions as impetuous. But now I do!
And far from alienating me, it makes me love this story even more. She still is an amazing character. She still inspires me. But she no longer feels like a character on a pedestal. I can see her without the hero worship. And she is a darling!

2018 Review
I lied. I'm not done with my Heyer kick. I love her books too much!
Georgette Heyer is my one of favorite authors and this is my favorite book by her, so by rights this is one of my favorite books ever. It has an enduring quality I love. No matter how many times I read it, I pick up on new nuances. I know I say this with all her books but - I love these characters. I love Sophy. I want so much more of her. What was her childhood like? What will her future be like?
The thing is...this time through the vague concern I had about the love interest became a fully developed thought.

Of course, I'm taking an almost ridiculous amount of interest in these characters lives and expending worry on something that isn't even real but...that's a sign of a good book, right?
And this is a very good book.

2011 Review

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer was simply a delight to read. In fact, I haven't really done anything else all day. While my experience with Heyer has been "limited" to Arabella , The Grand Sophy was so much better and such a delightful read, I half suspect none of her other books compare. Dear me, what shall I read now? xD

Plot When Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy abruptly asks his sister, Lady Ombersleys, to host his only child, a daughter,(perhaps finding the girl a husband, while she was at it) while he is away in Brazil, she readily agrees, expecting her motherless niece to be a quiet and shy companion for her own dear daughter. What she does not expect is the The Grand Sophy! Impetuous, shocking, and perfectly un -shy, Sophy quickly discovers that there is much amiss in the Ombersleys household! What! With Charles about to marry a girl as horribly boring as himself, and Cecilia determined to go against her parents wishes and marry a poet, Sophy has her work cut out for her!

Thoughts! I thoroughly enjoyed this book!! For most of the beginning I was simply struck by how amusing it was (Anna is of the opinion it is exactly my sense of humor) but eventually I came to love the characters and plot as well.
Sophy Stanton-Lacy is a tall, well-endowed girl quite unlike your typical heroine, regency or otherwise. She is blunt, forceful, and unusually creative in her attempts of making people happy. Her very forcefulness sets her apart, as does her delightful ability with a gun and horsemanship. I loved how she remained...somehow feminine, despite her unusual behavior and, frankly, appearance. She was much better than Arabella, displaying none of that character's silly behavior, but just as likeable.
And, like Arabella, the cast of characters are so funny and well done, I wish I could give them each a proper bio. The men really do rival Austen gentlemen, and I think Mr Darcy shall have to watch his place very carefully in my regard. I love how Heyer manages to give insight into the thoughts and emotions of characters without actually needing to delve into them, it is much easier to like someone when you don't have to listen to their every thought. It also makes the reading processes so much more enjoyable, subconscious interaction!
Lord Bromford was a very humorous character who reminded me a great deal of Mr. Collins. In fact, he might even be the more ridiculous of the two. Hubert, the younger son, was also charming (Though a note, I spent most of the book picturing him as a 12-year-old, when in fact he is 20!) Heyer once again pulls off a bunch of unusual, quirky characters to very little distraction. Even characters that, in a less generous or well written book, would be easy to hate, she manages to create so well that you can’t help liking them anyway.
I was delighted with the characters, plot, and writing! It is a superlative novel and I would heartily recommend it to females of all sorts. (I can’t really imagine guys taking as much pleasure in it.) Amidst the Twilight craze and the culturally endorsed Barbie-doll look, Sophy proves to be an unusual and refreshing change. She is large, forceful, and yet feminine. I’d recommend it to all age groups, It is not your usual book and not your usual heroine. Its regency, sure, but you don’t have to be an Austen fan to enjoy it. You’ll be left wanting to do something saucy and impudent, shock the world twice over, and maybe fall head-over-heels for any ole’ ridiculous reason. It is just that sort of novel. And it s good.
So shoo!! Go out and get yourself a copy!!!! Read it!! Be daring! Pass out copies to your close girlfriends and recommend it to your book clubs! Laugh!
But most of all, enjoy yourself! It is a rare day you find a novel that strikes such a sensible note amidst the wonders of the female mind…
Profile Image for Kelly.
878 reviews3,976 followers
January 1, 2015
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 romance seems very secondary to the plot and character development. At least, the main romance that matters. The rest are just entertainment. The whole thing works so very well. It's bright and energetic and hilarious. The plot is fantastic, the endless capers are quite funny, and the character development seems very real and natural. It reads incredibly fast. So fast I want it to start all over again.

And now I want to read it again!

Love love love this book to no end.

PS: However, there is a bothersome Jewish stereotype in this book. It did give me pause after I finished the above review, but it is such a small part of the book, and the rest of the book is so unlike it, I decided not to change the above enthusiasms.

Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,063 reviews478 followers
March 29, 2021
This was absolutely fabulous. Sophy is such a Badass!!!! I wanted to grow up and BE Sophy!

Profile Image for Roman Clodia.
2,392 reviews2,377 followers
August 27, 2021
Hilarious! Sophy is one of Heyer's sparky, outrageous heroines with a cheeky sense of humour, and runs rings around everyone, not least her handsome cousin, Charles. And those final scenes are just pure enjoyable farce!
Profile Image for Theresa.
510 reviews1,562 followers
February 28, 2021
Reread February 2021 (4 stars):
Really enjoyed this again the second time around, but somehow found myself somewhat less enchanted with Sophy and the whole story than when I read it first. I think this book has too much going on and there are too many situations that make us lose sight of the main plot and couple. Still a wonderful little book that I highly recommend but I don't think I'd still call it my favourite Georgetter Heyer.

Read July 2019 (5 stars):
Man, why has it taken me so long to read a Georgette Heyer book and who will be able to stop me from buying all of her books now? I guess we'll never know.

I absolutely adored this book from start to finish and devoured it in a matter of hours with no regard for sleep or food or pretty much anything else.

It follows a young woman called Sophy, whose widowed father is sent to Brazil on diplomatic duties and so she is taken in by her aunt's family to stay with them in hopes they can find a husband for her. They all expect a shy, half-orphaned young girl in need of mothering and direction, and are entirely shocked to find their niece and cousin anything but. Sophy is self-possessed, cultured, frank, loving and above all takes no shit from anyone, least of all her imperious cousin Charles, who has taken charge of the household after his father has fallen into gambling debts.

What ensues is a series of hilarious escapades and machinations by Sophy to rescue her family members from their various predicaments and steer their lives in much happier (and also more exciting) directions, while never failing to enrage Charles and upset some societal norms and expectations in the process.

The book is above all laugh-out-loud funny, with the characters and dialogue positively jumping off the page and never failing to endear you to them (almost all of them, at the very least. I'm looking at you Eugenia).

The main romance is very subdued and only really a thing of the last few pages (which is probably a good thing, considering that they are in fact first cousins), but the build up is everything you could ask of what probably boils down to the very first hate to love romance ever written (don't google this little fact, I can't vouch for its veracity).

I love the writing, the characters, the setting and the obvious amount of research that went into it, the humour and above all, Sophy's wit and intellect. She was an absolute pleasure to read about and I genuinely wish there were sequels or spin offs or practically anything that would allow a revival of her character in some form.

A definite new favourite with extremely high re-reading potential, I absolutely recommend everyone to pick this up as soon as possible!
Profile Image for Chrissie.
2,694 reviews1,479 followers
October 13, 2018
I was told this would be light and fun. By the end, this was exactly as I too saw it to be--my first Georgette Heyer!

The author wrote this in 1950. It belongs to what is known as the Traditional Regency Romance genre, the genre for which the author is famous. Such books are, of course romances, but they are without explicit sex. Even discussion of sex is verboten! They are set in the early 1800s but written by authors of later generations. They are characteristically filled with fast-paced dialogue. Historical details are accurately drawn, including details describing clothes, rooms and their furnishings, modes of transport, mannerisms and social etiquette. What characters say and how they behave must capture all aspects of early 1800s English society faultlessly. In books of the Regency Historical Romance, a second subgenre of Regency Romance novels, characters behave according to modern standards although the time setting and the other characteristics remain the same. This constitutes a substantial difference. As mentioned, Georgette Heyer belongs to the first subgenre.

When I state that Regency novels are characterized by fast-paced dialogue and that the dialogues mimic the talk of earlier days, pay attention. This does not facilitate comprehension to modern day readers, and perhaps some of the intended humor is not properly grasped. Many of the idioms spoken are not used today. At times I only understood what was said through words’ context. I’ll give you two examples. Do you understand these idioms?
*You are not missish.
*Make a cake of yourself.

Furthermore, the prose is wordy--VERY wordy. One is swallowed up in pretentious, shallow and, in my view, irritating small talk. What I am saying is that the prose, rather than being delightful and fun, is a chore. There is humor in the prose; I knew where I was meant to laugh, but I was not laughing. The detailed talk about one’s means of transport drove me bonkers. One does not speak merely of carriages; one refers to a post chaise, hack chaise, curricle, high perch phaeton, barouche-landau, post chaise and four and more. This is of course all very accurate, but if one scarcely knows how they differ, such discussion becomes simply tedious.

While the prose failed to please me and only off and on amused me, the plot, what happens as the story winds up, did amuse me. It is what happens that makes one smile. Sophy’s antics are amusing. What she does will make you smile. The story, through its plotline, becomes light, is silly and scarcely believable, but fun in all its innocence.

This is a story about Sophy Stanton-Lacy, she is twenty years old and the eponymous heroine of the book. Her father, Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy is a diplomat. His wife is dead and has been for years. It is he who has raised Sophy, in his own and very masculine manner. She has traveled the world with him. He is off to Brazil, but now she is to stay with her aunt, uncle and cousins. At the start, one thing that threw me was that Sophy’s uncle and aunt have a surname different from their kids. Her uncle and aunt are called Lord and Lady Ombersley. Sophy’s cousins are not Ombersleys but Rivenhalls! There is Charles Rivenhall who is twenty-six. He is the oldest, and strange as it may seem, the ruling figure of the family. The others in descending age are Hubert who is at Oxford, debutante Cecelia, Selina, Theodore, and finally Gertrude and Anabel. There are lots of characters, but they are not hard to keep straight. There is a “up in the clouds” poet, an arch, ever so proper and fiancée, a governess, a Spanish Marquesa and let’s not forget Sophy’s three pets--a monkey, a greyhound and a horse! They all play a particular role in the story, but Sophy is the star, as the title indicates. She is the Grand Sophy.

Sophy has spark. She is brash. She is resourceful, frank and outspoken. Watch and see what this woman does. She involves herself in the lives of each and every one of the Rivenhalls. While the social chatter of the novel’s beginning annoyed me, by the end I was caught up in the hilarity of its whirlwind conclusion.

Do remember that this is a romance! Who will end up with whom is the primary question. More than one alliance must be arranged.

The audiobook is narrated by Sarah Woodward. I did not like it at the start. A bunch of people are talking. I didn’t understand who was who, and all were chattering at a mile a minute. Yet I grew to like the narration a lot and have given it four stars. Woodward uses different intonations for different characters. You come to understand who is speaking just by the intonation. The intonation of Sir Horace, the father of Sophy, is marvelous. The intonations capture well the characters’ personae.

The story verges o the slapstick. Let’s call it a parody. While I am glad to have read it, I really don’t think I will be reading more by the author. One Heyer is fun, but one is also enough.
5 reviews1 follower
January 29, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Hannah.
794 reviews
July 22, 2015
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 of Sophy was the only bright thing about this book IMO. She was independent, bright, mischevious and resourceful without being annoyingly Mary-Sue-ish. I liked her attitude and can-do spirit alot. With a better hero, I would have rated this much higher. But Charles was a dud. A dullard. An uptight prig who never thawed out, developed, or showed a passionate nature. And by passionate I'm not referring to romantic passion, but just a passion for life or a strong determined nature. For me, it just wasn't there. After worrying about the idea of two cousins getting romantically involved, that worry never came to pass.
Profile Image for Pepa.
929 reviews231 followers
October 30, 2017
No es una novela romántica.. pese a que el amor está presente.
Me lo he pasado muy bien leyendo esta novela, a pesar de que al principio me ha costado entrar un poco. Es una novela escrita en el sXIX y eso se nota. Pero la mordacidad y la ironía... esas frases de doble sentido que se gasta Sophia me han arrancado más de una carcajada.
Bueno reflejo de social, sobre todo, en relación a los matrimonios....
Una lectura muy recomendable si sois amantes de Jane Austen
Profile Image for Robyn.
827 reviews132 followers
September 4, 2016
A very delightful Regency, anchored by a strong, clever heroine. Love how it all wrapped up.
Profile Image for Kavita.
755 reviews362 followers
August 24, 2022
Regency romance novels often feature heroines who are capable and often have to take their destiny into their own hands. But Sophia Stanton-Lacy beats them all. Growing up in Spain and Portugal during wartime, Sophy's education largely dispensed with the useless and unnecessary restrictions placed on women. When she reaches an age to get married, her father leaves her with her aunt in England.

Sophy's new home is a hotbed of discontent and she catches on to it quickly. There is the usual financial constraints, a hot cousin who thinks he is in love with someone else, younger brother in trouble, younger sister in love with the wrong man, and a dissolute father and a clearly useless mother. In this scenario, Sophy takes charge and makes everything all right again.

Heyer has created her most delightful character in Sophia, who is just the right mixture of elegance and spunky. She fits in right into English society as she did in the Spanish one, and refuses to be cowed down by conventions that don't suit her. There is little passion between her and her romantic interest, but that is more than made up by a steady friendship and intense trust. Not a typical romantic novel fodder, but you can see the two living happily together.

The plots are quite stereotypical and what makes the novel different is the way Sophy handles the problems thrown up by the sub-plots. The dialogues are witty and fun, and overall, The Grand Sophy is a fun way to pass the time.
Profile Image for Jan.
868 reviews163 followers
August 9, 2019
3 to 3.5. Heyer as always writes beautifully, but this was never my fav book by her. On this reread I started to find Sophy's antics and manipulations a little tedious and OTT.

I did like Charles, though, and it was also great to see Eugenia get her comeuppance. She and Bromford truly deserve each other, and one can imagine them being extremely happy together. So in spite of the ridiculous way she went about it, Sophy did Charles a true good turn by saving him from marriage from Eugenia. They would have made each other truly unhappy.

The book proved to be a little dated in its racial stereotyping, both of the Spanish marquesa, and especially of the Jewish moneylender. I felt uncomfortable reading this section, even though Sophy handled the situation masterfully.
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