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Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer

Black Sheep (1966)

by Georgette Heyer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
What I love about “Black Sheep” is the superb comedy elements. The author achieves great humour largely through dialogue exchanges between characters. I especially enjoyed the conversations between Abigail and Miles – the hero and heroine of the piece – where some hilarious moments occur.

The first half of the book is high entertainment; however, the latter part didn’t engage me in the same way. This is perhaps owing to the amount of time given to Miles’s nephew and his perusal of a rich widow. This is something of a subplot, which I didn’t feel deserved so much attention, plus these characters aren’t as appealing as Abigail, Fanny, Selina, or Miles, who are all brilliant in their own way.

In short, the plot was entertaining but not enthralling, while the main characters and the humour they produce make this a very good read. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Apr 18, 2018 |
The title character is Miles Calverleigh, who was sent in disgrace to India years ago by his straitlaced family after an excess of youthful exploits. Now he's back in England and soon encounters Abigail (please, call her "Abby"), a single woman of the advanced age of 28. She's always chafed against her family's devotion to society's conventions, but she dearly loves her elder sister Selina and the 17-year-old niece they've raised together after her parents died. But Fanny has fallen in love with a fortune-hunting charmer and Abby seems to be the only one who realizes it his true motives. In her efforts to put the kibosh on the budding romance, she tries to enlist the help of Miles, who turns out to be the uncle of the fortune hunter. Miles has spent his entire life utterly uninterested in lifting a finger to help anyone, but has Abby's unconventional nature pierced his armor? And can she find true happiness with a black sheep without becoming one herself? ( )
  rosalita | Mar 14, 2018 |
Miles Calverleigh with a scandalous past, oversets Abigail Wendover who has a niece to preserve from a foolish liaison. Takes place mostly in Bath. Amusing story, but a reworked theme of Heyer's similar to her earlier stories. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jun 19, 2017 |
Black Sheep is one of Heyer's more serious stories. Abigail Wendover lives in Bath with her oldest sister and their orphaned, teenaged niece. Abby suspects that her niece's suitor, Mr Calverleigh, is only interested in Fanny's inheritance, but she doesn't want to oppose the match in a way that will leave Fanny feeling like a "modern Juliet" or encourage her to elope. When Mr Calverleigh's uncle Miles - the black sheep of his family, and of the title - arrives in Bath, Abby tries to enlist his help.

Abby is a delight. She's an unmarried 28 year old who is largely satisfied with her life and her independence, and who is determined to bring her niece up with more freedom than she herself was given. I liked her world of female relations and friends, and the importance Black Sheep places on these relationships. I also enjoyed Abby's interactions with the unconventional and unpredictable Miles Calverleigh.

Black Sheep had the potential to be Heyer at her best, but it falls slightly short. Slightly. I suspect the pacing isn't as strong as it could be, but my main dissatisfaction was with the last few pages. I didn't want a rescue, I wanted a solution that respected Abby's agency more.
It's an okay ending and I wanted more than okay.

She said unsteadily: “Talking to you is like—like talking to an eel!”
“No, is it? I’ve never tried to talk to an eel. Isn’t it a waste of time?”
She choked. “Not such a waste of time as talking to you!”
“You’re surely not going to tell me that eels find you more entertaining than I do?” he said incredulously.
( )
  Herenya | Feb 7, 2017 |
Starting off the year with an easy read (actually a re-read!). Heyer never disappoints. While BLACK SHEEP is not one of my top 5 Georgette Heyer regencies, it's a delightful romp packed with very human characters playing out their lives in Heyer's usual exquisitly crafted setting of Regency England. Because this isn't one of my top favourites, I haven't re-read it so often and found little details that I'd forgotten or missed in previous reads. Abigail is a strong but compassionate heroine and, as Miles himself says, everyone loves a rake, & I'm no exception so Miles is a perfect match for Abby! ( )
  JudyCroome | Jan 27, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Leigh-Hunt, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A little before eight o'clock, at the close of a damp autumn day, a post-chaise entered Bath, on the London Road, and presently drew up outside a house on Sydney Place.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
"May I speak frankly to you sir? About your nephew? I do not wish to offend you, but I fancy he is more the black sheep of your family than you are!"

"Oh, I shouldn't think so at all!"
Miles responded.

Abigail Wendover was determined to prevent Fanny, her pretty high-spirited niece, from being gulled into a clandestine marriage with Stacy Calverleigh, a good-looking town-beau of shocking reputation and an acknowledged fortune-hunter.

The arrival of Stacy's uncle seemed to indicate an ally, but Miles turned out to be the most provoking creature Abigail had ever met - with a disconcerting ability to throw her into giggles at quite the wrong moment...
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A historical novel telling of one woman's efforts to detach her niece from a fortune-hunter. The endeavours are complicated by the arrival of the black sheep of the family.

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