Georgette Heyer Fans discussion

36 views
Group Reads > The Grand Sophy August 2018 Chapters 10 - 18

Comments Showing 1-50 of 61 (61 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
All right, at the halfway mark, what are your thoughts and feelings?


Barb in Maryland | 681 comments Oh, chapter 10 is fabulous. Now we really get to see Sophy in action. The way she convinces Charlbury to follow her lead--masterful! I am so fond of Charlbury--my favorite of the secondary characters.
On a more serious note, though... GH played the whole 'mumps' thing for laughs. We now know that catching the mumps as an adult man has the rare possibility of leading to low sperm count or even sterility. Would GH have been aware of that in 1950? Possibly? (I certainly knew it the first time I read the book in the mid 1960s.) Would the doctors of the Regency era have known that?


message 3: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3537 comments Thank you, it was driving me crazy trying to remember what it was about mumps as an adult that made it bad - and I was getting irritated about how everyone made such a joke of it! Getting sick back then was no picnic, no matter your age.

Charlbury was swoon-worthy - I don’t care how pretty Augustus was! I’m with Sophy, a man sensible enough to secure a chair in the rain is a pearl beyond price!


message 4: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3537 comments Just starting chapter sixteen, and I am enjoying this audiobook immensely - it’s been raining all week here, and Sophy has been grand company indeed yesterday and today!


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1118 comments Mumps has been known about since Ancient Greek times but it was particularly prevalent in the late 18th and early 19th centuries as it spread so easily in boys schools and in military establishments. The first vaccine was not available until the 1960s and one might assume that Heyer would have known about mumps and how serious it could be. It has always seemed an odd choice to me to use it as a factor to make fun of Charlbury. Perhaps she was ignorant of the possible side effects?


message 6: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3537 comments Susan in Perthshire wrote: "Mumps has been known about since Ancient Greek times but it was particularly prevalent in the late 18th and early 19th centuries as it spread so easily in boys schools and in military establishment..."

I hope so, otherwise it’s quite thoughtless- especially since one of an aristocrat’s prime duties is producing a male heir! Of course, they’d probably blame the wife and call her “barren”...


message 7: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Susan in Perthshire wrote: "Mumps has been known about since Ancient Greek times but it was particularly prevalent in the late 18th and early 19th centuries as it spread so easily in boys schools a..."

I think Heyer just played it for laughs but yes mumps has always seemed a bad choice to me especially as its effects were known by the 1930s.


message 8: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments I think it's one of those diseases that have the misfortune, in English, to have funny-sounding names. Chicken pox is another. Am I the only one here who thought as a child that it came from being pecked by a chicken?


message 9: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments This half of the book really drives home Sophy’s abilities to manage people, doesn’t it! She would have been a wonderful CEO today!
Hubert’s difficulties and the brothers’ relationship was done very well, as was the illness track.


message 10: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 681 comments Maith wrote: "This half of the book really drives home Sophy’s abilities to manage people, doesn’t it! She would have been a wonderful CEO today!
Hubert’s difficulties and the brothers’ relationship was done ve..."


Oh yes, the way she persuades Charlbury to follow her instruction is masterful. And the scene between Charles and Hubert was indeed well done--giving us another glimpse of the 'real' Charles. Poor Eugenia was not happy about that outcome, now was she...


message 11: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Maith wrote: "This half of the book really drives home Sophy’s abilities to manage people, doesn’t it! She would have been a wonderful CEO today!
Hubert’s difficulties and the brothers’ relationsh..."


Ah Eugenia. Unfortunately I think this is when Charles’ nascent disillusionment started growing more concrete.


message 12: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments A comment on jewelry -This may belong in the first 9 chapters actually. Both my copies TGS (1960s PAN and a 1980s Arrow), when describing Sancia at the ball, refer to her wearing "rubies OR emeralds" - which seems strange phrasing - the stones were very different and it's a strange typo to have survived. Anyone else seen this?


message 13: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 681 comments Maith wrote: "A comment on jewelry -This may belong in the first 9 chapters actually. Both my copies TGS (1960s PAN and a 1980s Arrow), when describing Sancia at the ball, refer to her wearing "rubies OR emerald..."

Ah, found the description--once you have the whole phrase it makes sense--" ruby or emerald brooches, chains and necklaces". So rather than enumerate each piece of jewelry by gemstone, GH just lumps them together. Perhaps GH believed that using the word 'and' would lead readers to (erroneously) conclude that both gems were present on each piece. Who knows?
I loved the fact that Lord O took one look at the Marquesa and greeted her 'with real enthusiasm'!


message 14: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
IMO, beautiful, filthy-rich Sancia carelessly tosses on both rubies and emeralds, and Heyer's tone emphasizes how little such jewels matter when compared to her enormous wealth.


message 15: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Maith wrote: "A comment on jewelry -This may belong in the first 9 chapters actually. Both my copies TGS (1960s PAN and a 1980s Arrow), when describing Sancia at the ball, refer to her wearing "rub..."

You think? Still reads funny to me (yeah and I'm so eloquent! :)) - can Just imagine Sancia dressed in gold satin, looking like a goddess!


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1118 comments I’m with Barb and Critterbee - it just instantly conveys the sheer volume of jewellery which the very rich Sancia would drape all over herself. A plethora of precious stones! Money no object!


message 17: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
Posted by Maith


Heyer often used the trope of people wearing too much jewelry to indicate vulgarity right? (Mrs. Floore in Bath Tangle, for ex) - but this wasn't the case here - she makes it quite clear that Sancia fits perfectly well into this social milieu. So yeah, I agree with Susan/Barb and Critterbee - this was just to indicate a grand style of dress.



message 18: by Maith (last edited Aug 08, 2018 08:05AM) (new)

Maith | 148 comments Found this page that has a lot of very useful information about the colors we read about so often - Sophy's favorite Pomona green is mentioned!

http://hibiscus-sinensis.com/regency/...

This page has more details on colors used in Georgian and Regency times:

http://sarahs-history-place.blogspot....


message 19: by Nick (new)

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 438 comments Thanks for that, Maith. Very helpful for imagining the scene!


message 20: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
Maith wrote: "Found this page that has a lot of very useful information about the colors we read about so often - Sophy's favorite Pomona green is mentioned!

http://hibiscus-sinensis.com/regency/...

Th..."

What a gorgeous green - my favorite color, although likely the only thing I have in common with Sophy!


message 21: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Nick wrote: "Thanks for that, Maith. Very helpful for imagining the scene!"

I always thought of Pomona green as something closer to mint green - I am actually not much of a fan of bright green and my mental image of Sophy is a little dented :D


message 22: by Nick (new)

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 438 comments Maith wrote: I always thought of Pomona green as something closer to mint green - I am actually not much of a fan of bright green an..."

Yes, I had it in mind as a sort of sea-green. Not due to anything in the text, I suppose I must've imagined that that would go best with Sophy's complexion. The Pomona on the website is very bold! I guess if it's an evening dress then the brightness would be conteracted by the fact that it was only ever seen in candlelight.


message 23: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4323 comments Mod
Maith wrote: "Found this page that has a lot of very useful information about the colors we read about so often - Sophy's favorite Pomona green is mentioned!

http://hibiscus-sinensis.com/regency/...

Th..."


Oh these colours are interesting. Pomona green is a much harder green than I was picturing. I always thought it would be like our apple green.

I'll put these links in Our Really Useful Stuff folder as well. :)


message 24: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Nick wrote: "Maith wrote: I always thought of Pomona green as something closer to mint green - I am actually not much of a fan of bright green an..."

Yes, I had it in mind as a sort of sea-green. Not due to an..."


Sea green! That's the color I was thinking of! And yes, the bright colors should be tempered by candlelight, but I was thinking of a green overdress over white satin and it seems a bit much! :D


message 25: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
Ohh no, I am so there for the green dress! Imagine with red hair or hair with red highlights or black hair! So dramatic.


message 26: by Maith (last edited Aug 09, 2018 05:54AM) (new)

Maith | 148 comments Its fascinating how fashions in colors have changed. Growing up in India, pastel blue and pink and some shades of lavender were called English colors - considered suited to only those with very fair complexions. I still don’t wear baby pink or pale blue :) and here you have blondes discouraged from wearing pink!


message 27: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
I think that pink looks great on everyone. But I might be in the majority...


message 28: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "I think that pink looks great on everyone. But I might be in the majority..."

I daresay you are right, but some conditioning is hard to overcome :)
Not related to Sophy, but Freddie's pain at Meg's fondness for shades of pink is hilarious! "a Female just needs to have a yaller head.....


message 29: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 681 comments Sophy's ball dress of Pomona green does more than show her love of the color. It was also a societal indicator that she was not in her first Season. You will recall that Cecelia, the debutante, wore a white dress with a silver 'spider gauze' overlay. If that doesn't scream 'virginal', I don't know what would!


message 30: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Ch 11, the coachman is "betwattled" at Sophy's behavior. We often use flabbergasted or befuddled, but this is another good one to use!


message 31: by Maith (new)

Maith | 148 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Sophy's ball dress of Pomona green does more than show her love of the color. It was also a societal indicator that she was not in her first Season. You will recall that Cecelia, the debutante, wor..."

oh yeah - good catch! I didn't think of that aspect of it


message 32: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
I think Cecilia was in her second season, though. Hang on let me check.


message 33: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I think you're right, because they all talk about her ball the year before!


message 34: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3537 comments Karlyne wrote: "Ch 11, the coachman is "betwattled" at Sophy's behavior. We often use flabbergasted or befuddled, but this is another good one to use!"

That sounds like a word that needs to make a comeback...


message 35: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
Ah! Lady O says in Chapter one:
'...You see, what with the really dreadful expense of presenting Cecilia last year..."

I think Cecilia was so fair that they thought white would look good on her - Sophy even said that she was glad she bought a white mantilla for Cecilia:

'How clever it was of me to have selected a white one for you! I am by far too brown-complexioned to wear white, but you will look enchantingly in it!'

I do not think fair people look to their advantage in white. It washes them out.


message 36: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
I like betwattled, too!


message 37: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "Ah! Lady O says in Chapter one:
'...You see, what with the really dreadful expense of presenting Cecilia last year..."

I think Cecilia was so fair that they thought white would look good on her - ..."


It must depend on the skin tone because some fair people do look good in white. With her golden hair and bright blue eyes, Cecilia must have had the right type!


message 38: by Susan in NC (last edited Aug 09, 2018 01:18PM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3537 comments Karlyne wrote: "❇Critterbee wrote: "Ah! Lady O says in Chapter one:
'...You see, what with the really dreadful expense of presenting Cecilia last year..."

I think Cecilia was so fair that they thought white would..."


That’s what I figured from the mantilla incident, also; I was thinking fair people often look washed out in stark white unless they’re suntanned (a big no-no back then), so I just assumed Cecilia is one of those lucky women who are so stunning, they’d look nice in a sack (of any color).


message 39: by Jackie (last edited Aug 09, 2018 01:25PM) (new)

Jackie | 1275 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "I think that pink looks great on everyone. But I might be in the majority..."

LOL

I think pink looks good on a lot of people

"betwattled"

I had missed that, Karlyne, thanks for posting it.
this goes to show no matter how many times I've read a book if I SLOW DOWN there are things I didn't see before. finding them is one my favorite thing about a group read.


message 40: by Nick (new)

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 438 comments ❇Critterbee wrote: "I do not think fair people look to their advantage in white. It washes them out. "

Yes, I very much agree with you! I wonder if the fashioni in the rengecy was much more for very pale skin - so what we would think of as washed-out and anemic, looked beautiful pale to them?


message 41: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
When I google Lord Byron, Lady Jersey, Lady Sefton, Ava Lovelace, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Lady Caroline Lamb, their portraits look so deathly pale!


message 42: by Carolm (new)

Carolm | 62 comments The white that they would have would not be the totally bleached white that we have today. It would have been more of what is now called candlelight or linen.


message 43: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 109 comments As a blue-eyed blonde female with very pale skin growing up in North America, I was encouraged to wear pink - although not as much as little girls are now. Being a contrary child, I disliked pink and liked more dramatic colours. Much later in life I realized that I don't really look bad in pink; in fact, sometimes I get compliments if I wear pink, perhaps because it makes me look less pale. I draw the line at princess dresses with lace and frills, though!

I think in the past in Europe pale complexions were fashionable - at least until it became fashionable to show that you could afford expensive vacations in the south, while the workers were mostly labouring in factories instead of fields! I would have thought by now, with all the warnings about skin cancer, tanned skin would be less fashionable. But a lot of the local girls, when getting ready for their prom or wedding, will go to a tanning salon if they think they are too pale.


message 44: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1348 comments Cheryl wrote: "I think in the past in Europe pale complexions were fashionable - at least until it became fashionable to show that you could afford expensive vacations in the south, while the workers were mostly labouring in factories instead of fields"

Yes in America too. Redneck" originally meant someone who worked in the fields. It's now a derogatory term for working class white person from a rural area usually the south at least from a Yankee perspective. If you could afford to sit in your drawing room and sip tea all day you had a pale complexion. Even while outdoors ladies covered their faces with hats and parasols.


message 45: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2642 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I think in the past in Europe pale complexions were fashionable - at least until it became fashionable to show that you could afford expensive vacations in the south, while the workers were mostly labouring in factories instead of fields! I would have thought by now, with all the warnings about skin cancer, tanned skin would be less fashionable. But a lot of the local girls, when getting ready for their prom or wedding, will go to a tanning salon if they think they are too pale."

Anything to emphasize class separation I guess!


message 46: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 109 comments Anything to emphasize class separation I guess!

Or to appear to emphasize class separation, since people using tanning salons aren't the same people as those who frequently go on vacations in the South! I think, though, it's simply fashion for a lot of them nowadays. They just think tans look nice - it's kind of an extension of the idea that if you didn't have a tan, you would look sickly, and people would ask if you were sure you felt OK.



message 47: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments Maith wrote: "Nick wrote: "Maith wrote: I always thought of Pomona green as something closer to mint green - I am actually not much of a fan of bright green an..."

Yes, I had it in mind as a sort of sea-green. ..."


For what it's worth, Pomona was the Roman goddess of crops, especially fruit. Might that fact help one envision the shade?

Now, what's "poison green"? I had thought that the name summed it up and it was a repellent shade. until I encountered it in an evidently positive context in a recent novel.


message 48: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 681 comments MaryC wrote: "Maith wrote: "Nick wrote: "Maith wrote: I always thought of Pomona green as something closer to mint green - I am actually not much of a fan of bright green an..."

Yes, I had it in mind as a sort ..."



Re: Poison Green--almost everything I've been able to find indicates that it is a 'malachite' (i,e, jade) green. I thought it might be a ref to 'absinthe green' (looks fern colored to me). Any way you look at it, we are not talking a deep, clear green--but one a bit lighter (jade) or a touch yellow (fern).


message 49: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments Thanks, Barb!


message 50: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments "Poison green" reminds me of the serpent/witch in C.S. Lewis' Narnia, The Silver Chair.


« previous 1
back to top