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The Georgette Heyer BBC Radio Drama Collection

Four Full-Cast Dramatisations
Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
2 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

BBC Radio adaptations of three of Georgette Heyer’s sparkling Regency romances and a classic comedy thriller.

The acknowledged ‘queen of Regency romance’, best-selling author Georgette Heyer, also penned a dozen delightful mystery novels. Included here are dramatisations of four of her finest stories from both genres, full of her characteristic wit, charm and period detail.

Regency Buck

Pretty but shrewd Judith Taverner gallops in from the provinces and daringly defies the gaming, drinking and brawling world of Regency London to claim her rights, her fortune - and who knows, perhaps her happiness? Starring Elizabeth Proud as Judith Taverner and Simon Shepherd as Peregrine Taverner.

Friday’s Child

‘I’m going back to London! And I’m going to marry the first woman I see!’ is the cry of young Lord Sheringham when his proposal of marriage is rejected by Isabella, the Incomparable. True to his word, he takes the even younger Hero Wantage as his bride.... Starring James Frain as Viscount Anthony Sheringham and Elli Garnett as Hero Wantage, with Simon Russell Beale as Jasper Tarleton.

Faro’s Daughter

Deborah Grantham’s position in a gaming house makes her utterly unsuitable as a wife for a nobleman, so Max Ravenscar determines to rescue his cousin from her clutches. But the bribe he offers does not go down well and a battle of wits commences.... Starring Sylvestre Le Touzel as Deborah Grantham and Nathaniel Parker as Max Ravenscar, with Anna Massey as Lady Bellingham.

Envious Casca

An English country Christmas in the 1930s, a Tudor manor house decked with holly, a family gathered for seasonal cheer - and a murder. Inspector Hemingway is on the case, but can he shake off amateur sleuths Toby and Jane French? Starring Peter Kelly as Inspector Hemingway, James Fleet as Toby and Helen Baxendale as Jane.

©2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about The Georgette Heyer BBC Radio Drama Collection

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Pretty average

If you’re a lover of Georgette Heyer you might struggle with these abridged versions, as so much of the fun and frivolity has been cut out.
Many of the performances are not the greatest either.

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  • Kelli
  • 17-07-2020

Awful

I rarely write reviews, but I had to for this one. I pre-ordered this and waited patiently for it to be released. Such a disappointment! I LOVE these books but the performance in these was not what I was expecting. The female leads sound petulant and just too annoying to listen to. I think I’ll stick with the books!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rather be reading
  • 28-07-2020

Not her best stories

I have read books by her that I enjoyed more than these. The mystery was the best story but it’s presentation was the least enjoyed because it was broken into parts.

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  • AMP5
  • 24-07-2020

Eagerly anticipated, but disappointed

I kind of enjoyed most of added sound effects, and the various narrators. I suppose part of disappointment was there were only four stories. I had just listened to regular Audible performance of two of them, Friday’s Child and Faro’s Daughter. I tried first two and fourth. Having just listened to a Friday’s Child, I was surprised I enjoyed regular one narrator version of Audible over this BBC version. Also I noticed they edited quite liberally, leaving me in
confusion of what was going on, and I knew the story well. The first, Regency Buck, is one of my least favorite of Heyer’s, and the last was one of Heyer’s mystery thrillers set in later era than Regency, and after 15 minutes I couldn’t listen anymore. All were strangely irritating.
So yeah, I was really bummed. I had hoped for more stories and more of my favorites.

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  • NJ Mom
  • 21-07-2020

Stick to the books or audio books so far...

Regency Buck never one of my favorites but the sneering laugh and mustache twirling they use for Worth is such a disservice!
And so much abridgment on RB that the best scenes after the race and pavilion cut out! I listened to Faros Daughter BBC drama before and hope I still like it and will try the rest but poor poor Regency Buck!!!

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  • Tesli
  • 18-07-2020

very enjoyable

Loved this dramatized version of Georgette Heyers stories. Well done! Always wondered why none of her books became movies.

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  • Rebecca Webb
  • 17-07-2020

Disappointing - especially for Heyer fans

I suppose one really shouldn't get one's hopes up. I adore Heyer's books (a whole bookcase full!) and was so excited to listen to these dramatisations. Its the BBC for Goodness Sake! The Gold Standard! But in reality these 4 are all rather disappointing - especially to those who know the characters and plot lines inside out.

The 3 romances have been truncated to just 1 hr+; so much has been left out that the characters are underdeveloped, key scenes are rushed through or happen 'off stage' and they come across as shallow romance-trash that could have been written by Barbara Cartland. Quality actors are struggling with the material and the only one which matched my imagined version was Julian Rhind-Tutt as Ferdy in 'Friday's Child'

For years I have thought that Heyer's crime books should be dramatised - they are more peppery than Agatha Christie but not as scholarly as that other Queen of Crime, Dorothy L Sayers. Again, it is highly abridged, but my worst grip is that the writer has added 2 characters (I think from another novel; cannot quite remember) to play the part of narration and exposition. As a consequence Stephen & Matilda have sunk to being 'Spear Carriers'. The plot has become less than unrealistic, making you have little understanding why the murder happened in the first place!

Sorry - nothing positive. Feet of Clay.

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  • mrs linda shafto
  • 17-07-2020

Really well done, an old recording but too short

This must have been recorded a long time ago as Anna Massey passed away in 2011.
It is brilliantly done and the performances and music are excellent. But the dramas are so fast moving and short that unless you know the story, it must be hard to get a feeling for a character. Fridays child is one of my favourites and it is funny with Sherrys friends being played perfectly but they miss so much of the story, particularly the naivety of the young married couple that is so endearing.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Clair
  • 21-07-2020

Not what I hoped for

I was really looking forward to this collection. I prefer her regency novels but was prepared to accept the detective story too. Unfortunately the latter receives the better treatment, being divided into four episodes.
I particularly resent the version of Regency Buck. The actor chosen to play Worth has a tendency to titter. The amount of time allocated meant the story was rushed through with no opportunity to judge the difference in the two male characters and little thought for the tension created by Miss Heyer. We are meant not to know who is the villain which is the heart of the book, not so as you’d notice from this version. The other two Regency novels were slightly better and the two leads in Faro’s Daughter well chosen.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • dr v m cadman
  • 21-07-2020

A poor substitute for reading the books

As a long term Heyer fan I was looking forward to these but they are a big disappointment. As is increasingly typical, the stories are raced through with scant regard for the building of the characters or their relationships so it's hard to care about anyone. It's also hard to follow, which given how well I know these stories, is quite an achievement. Most of the cast seem to be overacting horribly except for Sam Shepherd, who at least sounds like he knows this isn't restoration comedy. Worth is one of my favourite characters in Heyer and frankly comes over as both too old and insufferably pompous, whilst Miss Taverner is totally unappealing and rather a harpy. I wish the producers had given this the time and treatment Heyer's
wit and light touch deserves, but as it is, it is both underwritten and overdrawn. Sadly, this doesn't surprise me since the BBC these days seems to think we don't want characters but just plot plot plot or issues issues issues, as if we get bored by nuance and just want action and drama (or to be preached at).
What results here are stories that feel mechanistic and charmless. Frankly, I would stick with the books and give these a miss

1 person found this helpful

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  • C. Kennedy
  • 11-08-2020

Abridged too far

I am not sure if you were not already intimately acquainted with the stories to which these performances relate, it would be sufficient to enable you to understand the story.
The great joys of Georgette Heyer is her plotting and her dialogue. Too much of the former has been lost leaving the latter sitting uncomfortably.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dawn Nair-Bartlett
  • 11-08-2020

enjoyable

overall enjoyable. although the actors in 1st story voices were a over the top grating

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  • cynthia j
  • 03-08-2020

Just one thing wrong

The first three plays are great, just wish they could have been longer. But Envious Casca has two extra totally unnecessary characters added for no good reason. In doing that the roles of the hero and heroine are reduced to nearly nothing so what was the point of that? Also it undersells Inspector Hemingway’s intelligence, making out he needed an old friend to solve it for him. All Heyer readers know how superfluous that is. It wasn’t too bad but I prefer sticking to the book. Still worth listening to and the first three are as good as they can be given the time restraints. Wish they’d do all the Heyers.