Resourceful, adventurous and utterly indefatigable, Sophy is hardly the mild-mannered girl that the Rivenhalls expect when they agree to take her in. Kind-hearted Aunt Lizzy is shocked; stern Cousin Charles and his humorless fiancée Eugenia are disapproving.
With her inimitable mixture of exuberance and grace Sophy soon sets about endearing herself to her family, but finds herself increasingly drawn to her cousin. Can she really be falling in love with him, and he with her? And what of his betrothal to Eugenia?
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©1950 Georgette Heyer (P)2013 Naxos AudioBooks
I had never read a Georgette Heyer romance before, although I have enjoyed her witty 1930s-era mysteries. I thoroughly enjoyed this too, although the romance is very subtle. Sophy is a competent, forceful, quick-thinking and warm-hearted young lady who turns the Rivenhall household on its head and brings happiness to its members in various (often ingenious) ways.
Heyer's command of language shines through in this audio version; I marvelled at the breadth and precision of her vocabulary combined with the amusing Regency slang sprinkled throughout. Sarah Woodward's narration for the most part added to my appreciation. There were a few phrasing errors but the characters were well-differentiated and the dialogue was natural and lively.
The villainess of the story, if there is one, Miss Eugenia Wraxton, is particularly well characterised as an impossibly stuffy and complacent woman who stands in complete contrast to Sophy's good nature and innate integrity. Heyer is a master of skewering her character's faults through their own words, which is the source of much comedy.
I was charmed and highly entertained by The Grand Sophy and will certainly try other Heyer audiobooks.
Another wonderful romance beautifully related by the reader.
my compliments on the execution and research of the author.
I have already heard this more than once, for the subtle nuanced reading which complemented the witty, stylish writing.
I liked the clever twists and turns of the plot, and the very appealing force of nature that was the heroine. The resolution was clever and satisfying.
The narrator's voice was well-suited to the different characters and accents throughout the story.
I was frequently moved to laughter!
A very fine example of Heyer's style. A light-hearted farce, written with elegance and sophistication. Sophy is larger than life in all ways.
While it may be thought to help the presentation, readers vocalising for the different characters in the story really detract because of the honestly bad characterisations. One person cannot properly depict each person, male and female, in an acceptable way. Ian Hickson reads Agatha Christie's stories as they are written, and the are far more believable as it leaves the listener to use his/her own imagination. Bit late now for those books already produced but future books should be read as written.
"The Full Sophy"
If Georgette Heyer's many fans were to vote for their favorite Heyer heroine/novel, I predict "The Grand Sophy" would win. Naxos did a nice job on the abridgment that has been on Audible for two years (and which I quickly ponied up a credit for), but it was … abridged.
Now we get the entire book, and it is good. I enjoyed Clare Wille's narration of the abridgment -- she also reads the unabridged versions of "Cotillion" and "A Civil Contract," both well worth listening to -- but Sarah Woodward's rendition is equally good, and now all my favorite scenes are here, not on the cutting room floor.
Sophia Stanton-Lacy is the daughter of a British diplomat who has spent her teenage years traveling the Continent with her widower father as the Napoleonic wars wound down. Now Sir Horace is off to Brazil and leaves the 21-year-old Sophy in London with his sister and her numerous offspring. The household's eldest son is strait-laced Charles, who has recently (1) inherited a large fortune from a distant relative and (2) become engaged to the Honourable and egregiously proper Eugenia Wraxton.
Sophy is sparkling, spontaneous, self-sufficient, and as Charles disapprovingly observes, “on easy terms with every rattle who ever wore a red coat." Not hard to see where the romance will go, especially keeping in mind that first-cousin alliances were common among the “quality” right up through the early twentieth century.
Besides the protagonists -- and Sophy and Charles are among Heyer's most delightful and memorable -- several other characters also have romances underway or underfoot, and the machinations are tangled, funny, and occasionally bittersweet. Sophy's interactions with her large brood of cousins add marvelous depth to this classic novel. All will be well that ends well, so set aside the dreary dystopians and the vapid vampires and enjoy a romp through the Regency.
"Georgette Heyer at her very best"
All the familiar elements of a good Heyer Regency are here - the star-crossed lovers, the stern but good-natured Charles, the humourless Eugenia, the ineffectual Lady Ombersly, and, of course, the Grand Sophy, a resourceful young women brought up by her father, Sir Horace, in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars. The final climax of the story is perfect Heyer. Funny, convoluted, and perfectly in keeping with the characters.
The reader is Sarah Woodward and she does an excellent job. Highly recommended.
I loved this book. The narration was excellent, and the development of the attraction between the two protagonists worked perfectly for me. It ranks as one of my top three favorite Heyer books.
"Fabulous Fun, Witty and Highly Entertaining"
Indeed I would and have done so. I enjoyed it so much the first time that I looked forward to meeting these characters again.
Sophia is such a tremendous character. She leaps from the pages with her intelligence, humor, compassion and generous heart.
Woodward was simply marvelous. I have listened to a great many narrated books and her performance is very high on the list. I believe she captured Sophia's and Charles' personalities to perfection.
Oh, this is a very funny book. The dialogue is great bringing on smiles and laughter.
"absolutely one of the best ever"
Love love love this book, the dialog is fabulous. How can you not love 'the grand Sophy'. I don't remember a book when I've laughed out loud so much. Sophy is everything I would want to have been, if I had been born in that era. She takes the town by storm. Her schemes are so funny I could just see her mind working. The narration was great also. I am hooked on these older books by Heyer and will be looking for more.
"Great story, odd reading"
Yes, because I enjoy the story, characters, and dialogue.
I thought she did better toward the end, but in general I found her timing rather strange and the characters almost indistinguishable.
"Grand and Great and Entirely Heyer"
You can't argue with "The Grand Sophy". Here is one of Georgette Heyer's most memorable heroines, full of courage, charisma and feeling.
The "minor" characters are so essential in these books, which (it must be admitted) have pretty thin plots. No fear, Sophy and those around her make for rich entertainment. Not a lot of hot romance, but mayhem and comedy aplenty. I love the way Sarah Woodward voices these eccentric characters, male and female. She is an excellent narrator - so very important in the enjoyment of Heyer's books.
This book was written in 1950, at the height of the author's powers. How I wish that she had refrained from the cringe-worthy stereotypes which make a (thankfully short) episode in "Sophy" uncomfortable to listen to. I know she is writing about Regency England, where such perceptions were commonplace, but, by 1950, she should have known better than to have dwelt on them.
Aside from that, "The Grand Sophy" remains one of the best of Georgette Heyer, and therefore very entertaiing indeed! In the mood for light, well written diversion, and with a great narrator like Woodward, the listener can't go wrong with Sophy!
One of my favorites from one of my all time favorite authors. Thank you Audible for getting it unabridged.
Some of Georgette Heyer's books are better than others, but they are all good and worth reading over and over. Finding them on Audible and revisiting them yet again with someone else' voice has been so fun! If you haven't read her books before, do yourself a favor.
I bought the book on sale, based on Heyer's reputation and reader reviews. Loved it. a charming romp.
"Great Story, poor narration"
The Grand Sophy is my favorite Georgette Heyer book, however this narration doesn't do it justice. During the narration I was constantly distracted by Sarah Woodward swallowing, clearing her throat etc. Also, the volume of the narration fluctuated as well. I will not get another narration by Ms Woodward.
During the narration I was constantly distracted by Sarah Woodward swallowing, clearing her throat etc
"An old favourite bought to life"
Back in the dark ages when I was 12 or 13, I discovered and devoured Georgette Heyer's Regency novels. My half century old paperbacks are more than well worn and now I'm working through my favourites in audiobooks, rapidly finding some narrators are better than others.
Sarah Woodward is one of the good ones. Miss Wraxton, Augustus Fawnhope and Lord Bromford are the comedy foils to Sophie, and it might be tempting to ham them up. Sarah doesn't. She absolutely nails them, and I'd certainly buy any others she reads.
This is one of my favourite books by Georgette Heyer, and I was wary of a narrator new to me. But she did an excellent job - her Sophy was just right, as was her Miss Wraxton.
I think there has been a slight editing of the money-lender scene which causes problems for many readers, although I haven't checked it word for word. Just a few words omitted or changed, from memory.
"Couldn't stop listening"
Yes, very entertaining
Sophy of course!
Great character voices so you knew who was speaking
All of it
One of my fav GH's
I have been waiting such a long time for this to be made into an Audible book but the narrator does a very poor job - does not understand the humour, or conjure the characters. They should have gone to Phyllida Nash who is a beautiful reader.
Occasionally, I found the narration a little annoying - especially when she was reading for male characters but generally, Ms Woodward did a very good job.
Lovely funny story. The Grand Sophy is as lovely to listen to as it is to read.
"Poor narration of a great story."
Who on earth decided to assign this piece of narration to someone who clearly speaks no Spanish whatsoever? It was a strikingly poor choice. In addition to this, Ms Woodward seems not to have bothered to check pronunciations of which she appears uncertain, and on numerous occasions fails to adequately distinguish character voices from each other, as well as failing to attribute pieces of dialogue to the correct characters. In an audiobook both the latter faults are unpardonable. I'm considering returning this purchase because of her poor reading. It really is a crying shame, as the book itself is an excellent one.
"Brilliant, Witty and Charming"
I read this book many years ago and loved it. I've had a marvellous time listening to this fantastic Audio rendition. The plot and the characters are gripping and I laughed out loud at some of the heroine's antics, and the effects she had on the other characters. The heroine is quite aptly named 'The Grand Sophy' - I only wished that I could emulate her. The narrators excellent skill drew me along so that I felt that I was actually present observing the events described. It's a keeper for my Library.
"Much worse than I remembered"
Only a lack of wifi reception to download another book kept me going with this. I downloaded it out of nostalgia. I'm not sure if a better narrator might have bucked it up a bit but suspect not.
"another good read"
Another excellent Georgette Heyer story. The usual mix of intrigue and excitement, well read by Sarah Woodward
Excellent heyer will now rank in my top 5 audible books. Was hesitant about the narrator.however she did a good job.
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