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The Grand Sophy
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Group Reads > The Grand Sophy August 2018 Chapters 1 - 9

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Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
It is time for The Grand Sophy!

The discussion is divided into three discussion threads: the first thread for chapters 1 - 9, the second thread for chapters 10 - 18, and the spoilers thread for final conclusions and open spoilers about the book. Please remember to use spoiler tags if you post spoilers in the non-spoiler threads!

All right - is anyone reading this for the first time?
How many times have you read it?
What format/edition are you using this time, and what does the cover look like?


message 2: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 530 comments I jumped the gun a bit on (re)reading this one; I was on a trip the third weekend in July which involved air travel both ways, and what with various delays I spent lots of time sitting in airports and airplanes. I burned through several books on my Kindle, and The Grand Sophy was one of them. You might say the electronic copy is my third; I started out with a Jove paperback, I now have a Heinemann (I think) hardcover on my shelves, and I picked up the Kindle version when it was on sale, for just such emergencies.


message 3: by Critterbee❇ (last edited Jul 30, 2018 05:59PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
This book, and Sophy herself, are both very dear to me, and I have read it
many, many times. I have paperback The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer and ebook versions The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
& Die drei Ehen der Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer , and this time I am going to try to read it in German for the first
time. My favorite cover is The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer , but I do not own that version.


message 4: by Andrea AKA Catsos Person (last edited Jul 30, 2018 06:01PM) (new) - added it

Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments I have the sourcebooks edition The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer , and later at one of the birthday sales, I bought the kindle edition.

tGS is in my top 3 favorites of GHs romances.


message 5: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 530 comments Yes, the green cover is the paperback I used to have. When I upgraded to a hardcover, I did send on the paperback to a good home ... though I don't exactly remember which friend received that particular "gateway Heyer". ;)


message 6: by Susan in NC (last edited Jul 30, 2018 06:27PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3540 comments I could’ve sworn I had the Sourcebooks paperback, but I can’t locate it, so for this, my third read, I will listen to the Naxos Audiobook through my Scribd subscription The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
Margaret wrote: "..."gateway Heyer". ;)"

Love it! This def a gateway Heyer!


message 8: by Critterbee❇ (last edited Jul 30, 2018 06:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
Susan in NC wrote: "I could’ve sworn I had the Sourcebooks paperback, but I can’t locate it, so for this, my third read, I will listen to the Naxos Audiobook through my Scribd subscription."

Sounds good, Susan, let us know who is narrating it, please, and how you like her/his voice. I have not listened to a Heyer yet, but when I start, it will probably be Sophy. Just another way to enjoy her books! :)


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3540 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "Susan in NC wrote: "I could’ve sworn I had the Sourcebooks paperback, but I can’t locate it, so for this, my third read, I will listen to the Naxos Audiobook through my Scribd subscription."

Sound..."


I enjoy listening while knitting- the narrator makes or breaks it! Sarah Woodward is the narrator on this one. I like her voice very much so far.


Barb in Maryland | 681 comments Oh, this will be my ump-teenth re-read. I first read it in this edition in 1968 (according to my ancient book logs):
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
(Oh, look, Sophy's favorite color of Pomona green!)
I have owned several dilapidated second-hand Heinemann hbs (No dust jackets!!) over the years.
I now have, and will be reading, the Arrow trade pb edition.
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer


Jackie | 1275 comments I have read The Grand Sophy many, many times. At times I have considered it my favorite and it's always in my top five.

I have a hardcover that hasn't had a dust jacket in as long as I can remember, so no picture.


message 12: by Susan in NC (last edited Jul 30, 2018 07:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3540 comments Found my paperback (with darling hubby’s help)! So unlike Sophy, of course, to be hiding on the bottom shelf behind other Heyers; I can’t quite dig around down there without assistance, or I’ll land on my bum....anyway, I still want to listen to the audiobook while I read along with my Sourcebooks paperback The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer , the narrator is fun and it may be the closest I ever get to a Grand Sophy movie!


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4329 comments Mod
I love this book & will be joining everyone in a couple of days! :)


Moloch | 201 comments I read it some years ago and it's my worst Heyer so far, despite being popular and a fans' favorite. I hated the heroine with a passion. He was alright, but I hated how (view spoiler) was mistreated. Add to it the Antisemitic vibes: I know, sign of the times, but still.
Obviously I won't be re-reading it, but I'll come back in September because I'm interested in "The Quiet Gentleman".


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
And we start with the introductory and obligatory 'family dynamics' chapter, in which the characters of Horace, Lady Ombersley, Charles and Cecelia are effectively and vividly drawn.

From remembering Dassett's name to bluntly addressing his sister, we learn that Horace is a fairly self-centered, somewhat loyal man.

Lady Ombersley is indecisive and timorous with a generous, romantic heart.

Charles is stern, brusquely proper and at times domineering.

Cecilia is gentle, fairly biddable, and strongly affected by her emotions.

All of this setting the scene for Sophy's magnificent arrival - the best entrance (in my opinion) of any Heyer heroine.


message 16: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1369 comments I'm with Moloch (though for different reasons) in not loving this book, so I'm going to prioritize other reads this month. Though I adore the final scene!


Jay-me (Janet)  | 111 comments This is one of my collection of mostly paperbacks, and is the exception in being the only hardback ex library copy that I own. (Talisman Ring, which is my least favourite, is also a hardback but is with two other non Heyer books making a very heavy book which is the second reason that I don't enjoy reading it)
Sophy is one of my favourites and has been read many times. This time I am considering listening with my audible trial.


message 18: by Karishma (new) - added it

Karishma (karishmanewar) | 0 comments This is one of favourite Heyer's.

I'm looking forward to joining in on my first group read with this group!

I have the kindle edition.


message 19: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments My first and one of my favorite Heyers! Looking forward to the discussion.
One of the many things I love about Heyer's books is the very on-point family dynamics. You see Horace's relationship with his sister - it rings SO true to life. And this sibling relationship is mirrored rather neatly with Charles and Cecilia....Charles saying Cecy should stay angry as it suits her - my brother would say just such a thing!


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1120 comments This is in my top 5 Heyer’s. I first read it in my teens back in the 1960s and I have read it innumerable times since. I just love it and manage to find something new to enjoy every single time. Sophy is magnificent: she is intelligent, capable, confident, witty and compassionate. There isn’t an ounce of nastiness in her but she is a keen observer of human nature and is not to be bullied or patronised. I think it is one of Heyer’s masterpieces. She creates a wonderful cast of characters and manoeuvres them like chess pieces. Brilliant. I am always amazed when someone says they don’t like this book but then I don’t understand the adoration of Freddy - so I guess that balances things out! It would be boring if we all liked the same thing!


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
Haha! I love Sophy AND Freddy! Surely there are others who feel the same - cue the Venn Diagram!


message 22: by Louise Sparrow (last edited Jul 31, 2018 04:47PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 458 comments I'll be listening to the audiobook :)

It's become one of my favourites over the years and I've read it many times but it wasn't one of my first favourites.

Oh and I love both Sophy and Freddy... and Cousin Kate


message 23: by Jackie (last edited Jul 31, 2018 05:34PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jackie | 1275 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "Haha! I love Sophy AND Freddy! Surely there are others who feel the same - cue the Venn Diagram!"

I love Sophy and Freddy, too.

I agree with Critterbee, the opening is wonderful. It's amazing what a small part Sir Horace plays in the book as a whole but how important that part is and how much we understand Sophy via his introduction of his (view spoiler) daughter. the family dynamics are set up brilliantly.
are there any other Heyers where it is so much about the entire family?


QNPoohBear | 1352 comments Jackie wrote: "are there any other Heyers where it is so much about the entire family? "

Yes! Frederica is all about Frederica and her family.


message 25: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1369 comments The Unknown Ajax is as well, though most of the family is grown up. Sylvester also has some scenes, though maybe not so extended, of Phoebe's family.


message 26: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments This is one fast moving book - these early chapters quickly establish most of the main characters. Love Heyer's craft - Some time ago, I wondered why Sir Horace was sent to Brazil, since it was not an English colony. Realized that the Portugese court had been moved to Rio during the peninsular war - so perhaps a visit to the court? An almost throwaway statement but given her research, am sure it's correct!
Another thing that struck me: the first names. Some interesting ones - Cyprian, Quinton. Any others?


message 27: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 530 comments Quinton is a last name; his first name is Titus!


message 28: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Margaret wrote: "Quinton is a last name; his first name is Titus!"

oops - so it is! Well Titus fits the bill too!


message 29: by Nick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 438 comments Maith wrote: "I wondered why Sir Horace was sent to Brazil, since it was not..."
It's been a long time since I read up on the Napoleonic wars, but I think that when the French invaded Portugal the Portuguese royal family fled to to Brazil making Rio de Janeiro their capital. The British forced the French out of Portugal, making Portugal effectively a British protectorate.
I think there's a short line in the novel about Sir Horace being sent to Brazil to persuade the royals to come home.


message 30: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Nick wrote: "Maith wrote: "I wondered why Sir Horace was sent to Brazil, since it was not...""

yes that's what I assumed he had gone to do - especially as Beresford had no tact! But I checked and the book says nothing about why.


message 31: by Hana (last edited Aug 01, 2018 03:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hana | 652 comments Maith and Nick, thank you for highlighting a bit of Napoleonic history that I've completely missed. Looking forward to starting this re-read tonight.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments I have a copy of Regency Buck Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer with this cover that is also one of the covers for tGS.


Jackie | 1275 comments QNPoohBear wrote: "Jackie wrote: "are there any other Heyers where it is so much about the entire family? "

Yes! Frederica is all about Frederica and her family."


I was sure there were some, at least one, but could only think of those where the families members don't really have a large roll. Like Arabella, where they are in the background for most the book.

Like Critterbee said, I love the entrance of Sophy. She overwhelms her Aunt, but in a good way.


message 34: by Nick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 438 comments Jackie wrote: "Like Critterbee said, I love the entrance of Sophy. She overwhelms her Aunt, but in a good way. ."

Yes, haha! I really enjoyed all the Rivenhall's pitying 'poor little Sophy' and then finally meeting the real thing! It's much better on the 2nd read when I know what's coming!


message 35: by Maith (last edited Aug 01, 2018 08:19PM) (new)

Maith | 148 comments I love how Eugenia’s calm certainty that London standards of behaviour are the best and that she’s the best person to ‘guide’ Sophy through the social minefield is so neatly overturned!
Also Sir Horace, despite his clearly being a real big-shot in English government and diplomatic circles, clearly doesn’t say much about it to his family. The Rivenhalls seem to not know anything about his sphere of influence until Sophy arrives.


Barb in Maryland | 681 comments This is my gazillionth re-read. I so enjoy the scenes with Sophy and Charles taking each other's measure. I'm at the bit where Charles drives Sophy to the bank. So lovely--the give and take in the conversation. Then his smug attitude leading to Sophy's 'I will show you!' action. Great writing!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Maith wrote: "I love how Eugenia’s calm certainty that London standards of behaviour are the best and that she’s the best person to ‘guide’ Sophy through the social minefield is so neatly overturned!
Also Sir H..."



Eugenia is calmly certain about everything. I think she’d be certain that the sun rose in the West and set in the east!


Jackie | 1275 comments Eugenia is a wonderful character: so smug and easy to dislike.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Jackie wrote: "Eugenia is a wonderful character: so smug and easy to dislike."

Exactly!

Though I admit, I hate to have to deal with her, she’s interesting bec she is so unlikable, but she is not evil. Her intentions are good ones. This make her interesting. She isn’t a stupid, ineffective busy-body nor is she a melevolent schemer out to harm others or even find her own advantage at the expense of others. She wants to do good, yet she’s unbearable.


message 40: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Jackie wrote: "Eugenia is a wonderful character: so smug and easy to dislike."

Exactly!

Though I admit, I hate to have to deal with her, she’s interesting bec she is so unlikable, but she is not ..."


She's the kind of person, who because she's successful (within her definition of success) and has followed the rules, sees anyone not following the rules and still succeeding as an affront to her. It's an almost universal pattern - relevant even today.


Barb in Maryland | 681 comments The whole ride in the park from Chapter 5 is such a delight. No sooner has Eugenia scolded Sophy about the galloping and warning her about how strict the patronesses of Almack's are when who should appear but Countess Lieven and Mrs Drummond Burrell! What follows is so delicious--makes me smile every time.


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
Exactly - Sophy is not cowed by Eugenia.


message 43: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 530 comments Heh. Sophy is not cowed by anybody!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Maith wrote: "She's the kind of person, who because she's successful (within her definition of success) and has followed the rules, sees anyone not following the rules and still succeeding as an affront to her. It's an almost universal pattern - relevant even today."


I really think that you are right in this in terms of Eugenia view of Sophy and in RL. Years ago, I read this book about the seedy side of the modeling industry and this gorgeous AA model mentioned that her sister is a doctor, but she is making $25,000 per day as a model. To be a doctor, you have to "follow the rules" work hard and probably make many sacrifices, yet this model makes more money than her hard-working, studious sister.

Also, in the case of Eugenia and Sophy: There isn't much of it on page, but it doesn't take a genius to see that Eugenia has a good reason to be jealous of how "taken" her betrotheds family is with Sophy, where her (Eugenia's) reception is dutifully correct and lukewarm when she visits the Rivenhall home.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "The whole ride in the park from Chapter 5 is such a delight. No sooner has Eugenia scolded Sophy about the galloping and warning her about how strict the patronesses of Almack's are when who should..."

This was delicious! I think Eugenia was trying to condescend to Sophy, but the patroness' put a stop to that, at least for that occasion.


Jackie | 1275 comments Margaret wrote: "Heh. Sophy is not cowed by anybody!"

so true!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3540 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Barb in Maryland wrote: "The whole ride in the park from Chapter 5 is such a delight. No sooner has Eugenia scolded Sophy about the galloping and warning her about how strict the patronesses of Alm..."

Yes, just listened to this this evening- I loved it! Eugenia foiled!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3540 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Maith wrote: "She's the kind of person, who because she's successful (within her definition of success) and has followed the rules, sees anyone not following the rules and still succeeding as an af..."

Very true - like where the little sister (Gertrude?) tells Eugenia she doesn’t like the monkey because it was a gift from Sophy - out of the mouths of babes!


message 49: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Folks a technical question - do any of you use the GR app?
On the app, I am unable to quote-reply to any message on the threads - that option shows up only on logging in to GR on a browser. Is there a setting I'm missing?


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Maith wrote: "Folks a technical question - do any of you use the GR app?
On the app, I am unable to quote-reply to any message on the threads - that option shows up only on logging in to GR on a browser. Is the..."


Maith,

You can't quote replies when you use the app.

I use the desktop that displays on a PC via the safari browser via my iPhone--and then I quote replies and make hot links to book titles and names of authors. I only really use the app to look at my home feed to see what my friends are reading, like or comment on their updates and reviews.


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