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The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
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The Grand Sophy (original 1950; edition 2009)

by Georgette Heyer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2071012,942 (4.26)365
Member:Crazymamie
Title:The Grand Sophy
Authors:Georgette Heyer
Info:Sourcebooks Casablanca (2009), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle, Completed in 2012
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer (1950)

  1. 30
    Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (Bjace)
    Bjace: While it's not in the same genre, the books are similiar. Both Sophy and Flora Post are Miss Fix-its, whose practical, problem-solving approach to life is a contrast to the silliness of their relatives. Also, both are delightful reads in different ways.
  2. 10
    Lord Rutherford's Last Retort by Elizabeth Harcourt (ClareDauncey)
  3. 10
    Friday's Child by Georgette Heyer (moonsoar)
    moonsoar: The main females in both books are up to the same sort of shenanigans in both books.
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» See also 365 mentions

English (96)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All (101)
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
I enjoyed the Sophy character tremendously, so perhaps rated this with more stars than I might normally, given the plot's shortcomings. The story was a bit strange where her father's paramour the Marquesa was involved. The dénouement [spoiler!!] where Charlbury is winged and the imbroglio at Sophy's family country estate is too elaborate and comes across as forced. Overall the portrayal of the other characters was hugely amusing ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jul 1, 2017 |
This was my first Heyer, and I must say firstly that I listened to the audio version read by Sarah Woodward. That fact is probably at least 50% responsible for my enjoyment of this novel. Why Woodward only narrated one Heyer is beyond me; she was fabulous!! She absolutely captured the personalities of the characters and the humor and irony of the writing. The story itself was, well, Regency romance (and I am not generally a romance reader), so it was fluffy. But boy, did I enjoy listening to this! ( )
  AlaMich | Jun 20, 2017 |
Georgette Heyer did have a habit of writing some different and intriguing books. Sophy, from the title, is quite a unique young lady, especially for the times. She manages to turn everyone's life upside down and get away with some quite disgraceful behaviour for the times in which it is set. A very enjoyable piece but could see the ending coming from a long way off - but it still was a very fitting ending. ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Apr 8, 2017 |
I was afraid I'd either be embarrassed for Sophy, or hate her manipulations of everyone around her. Somehow she managed to walk that fine line; I enjoyed all her clever tricks. Possibly because all her plans were good-hearted - aimed at making those around her happy, not just Sophy's idea of happy but truly happy. It was amusing where she got...not exactly outmaneuvered, but outflanked, with Sancia. And the same with Charles - he got her figured out pretty thoroughly. Silly ending but I suspect they'll do very well together - and so will Eugenia. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Mar 25, 2017 |
This delightful romantic comedy set in Regency England has an unforgettable heroine in effervescent 20-year-old Sophy Stanton-Lacy, who comes to stay with her aunt, Lady Ombersley, while her father, Sir Horace, goes on a trip to South America. Sir Horace asks his sister not only to take in Sophy while he is gone, but to work on finding her a husband. Sir Horace would like to marry Sancia, the Marquesa de Villacanas, but Sancia has no desire to be a stepmother.

Sir Horace also contends that Sophy will make a good companion for his sister’s daughter, 19-year-old Cecelia. Cecelia is in want of guidance, Lady Ombersley allows, since Lord Charlbury has asked for Cecelia’s hand in what would be a respectable match, but she is in love with an unemployed airhead and would-be poet, Augustus Fawnhope.

Running the household is not the husband of Lady Ombersley but her oldest son Charles, 26, who is, at any rate, the oldest responsible male, and who inherited the fortune of his great uncle. Since the frivolous senior Ombersley managed to get their whole estate encumbered, it is Charles who now manages the estate, and “who calls the tune.”

Charles has the whole family on sort of a frivolity lockdown, in part because of his sobering assessment of their finances, and in part because of the influence of his fiancee, Eugenia Wraxton, a horrid person no one else but Charles likes very much.

After Sophy arrives, with her greyhound Tina; a parrot and monkey for the younger children; and her vicacity, enthusiasm, and refusal to act like a “proper” female, the house is in an uproar, but in a good way (except in the opinion of Eugenia). Further, Sophy observes to Cecilia: “Everything you have told me shows me that you are fallen, all of you, into a shocking state of melancholy!” And Sophy intends to do something about it.

She sets out to put everyone’s relationships to right in a very amusing series of escapades that show why so many acquaintances have dubbed her "The Grand Sophy." For Eugenia, Sophy contrives a scheme that I can’t believe wasn’t part of the inspiration for “The Parent Trap.” And for the others, Sophy - with courage, compassion, and cleverness - devises resolutions that are quite in line with the comedic antics of Shakespeare.

In the end, all is well that ends well, and it ends very well indeed.

Evaluation: The skewered society airs and preoccupations of the wealthy are set in stark relief to Sophy’s irresistible exuberance, lack of pretention, and insistence that women can and should be able to do what they want. The dialogue is fast and witty, and although this is a romcom rather than a thriller, it’s hard to put down for wanting to know how these schemes of Sophy’s will turn out.

The only regrettable aspect of the book to me was a rather shocking lapse into vicious antisemitism by the author. Aside from that brief inclusion in the book, it will remind you of the madcap movies that paired Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, or Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.

The ending, while certainly chaste enough in the style of Regency romances, is not only hilarious, but veritably pulses with sexual tension and the promise of romantic passion. ( )
  nbmars | Mar 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
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Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Woodward, SarahNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The butler, recognizing her ladyship's only surviving brother at a glance, as he afterward informed his less percipient subordinates, favored Sir Horace with a low bow, and took it upon himself to say that my lady, although not at home to less nearly connected persons, would be happy to see him.
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Book description
When the redoubtable Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy is ordered to South America on diplomatic business, he leaves his only daughter Sophy with his sister's family, the Ombersleys , in Berkeley Square. Upon her arrival, Sophy is bemused to see her cousins in a sad tangle. The heartless and tyrannical Charles is betrothed to a pedantic bluestocking almost as tiresome as himself; Cecilia is besotted with a beautiful but feather-brained poet; and Hubert has fallen foul of a money-lender. It looks like the Grand Sophy has arrived just in time to sort them out, but she hasn't reckoned with Charles, the Ombersleys' heir who has only one thought - to marry her off and rid the family of her meddlesome ways...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140221894X, Paperback)

Sophy sets everything right for her desperate family in one of Georgette Heyer's most popular Regency romances.

When Lady Ombersley agrees to take in her young niece, no one expects Sophy, who sweeps in and immediately takes the ton by storm. Sophy discovers that her aunt's family is in desperate need of her talent for setting everything right: Ceclia is in love with a poet, Charles has tyrannical tendencies that are being aggravated by his grim fiancee, her uncle is of no use at all, and the younger children are in desperate need of some fun and freedom. By the time she's done, Sophy has commandeered Charles's horses, his household, and finally, his heart.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:18 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When Lady Ombersley agrees to take in her young niece, no one expects Sophy, who sweeps in and immediately takes the ton by storm. Sophy discovers that her aunt's family is in desperate need of her talent for setting everything right: Ceclia is in love with a poet, Charles has tyrannical tendencies that are being aggravated by his grim fiancee, her uncle is of no use at all, and the younger children are in desperate need of some fun and freedom. By the time she's done, Sophy has commandeered Charles's horses, his household, and finally, his heart.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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