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The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer
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The Unknown Ajax (original 1959; edition 2011)

by Georgette Heyer

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989318,671 (4.09)102
Member:skiourophile
Title:The Unknown Ajax
Authors:Georgette Heyer
Info:Cornerstone Digital (2011), Edition: New edition, Kindle Edition, 377 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle
Rating:*****
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The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer (1959)

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Enjoyable, but the characters weren't as lovable as those of Frederica. That Lord Darracott sure is a dick! ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
This is how I like my light reading, delightful story of an unexpected heir, assumed by all to be a low born "weaver's brat" who is, of course, nothing of the sort, and who delights in stringing along his very out of countenance relations, and, in the end, proves to be the saving of them. Of course he, one of Miss Heyer's large and anything-but sleepy military heroes, gets the girl as well. Great fun but with an interesting underlying moral - bad laws are NOT meant to be broken... ( )
  Figgles | Dec 1, 2013 |
What an enjoyable comic romp, this is, and my favorite Heyer read so far. This was an exceptionally fun period piece, and the funniest Heyer read for me so far. Set in 1817, Major Hugo Darracott, recently returned to England from his war service on the peninsula, finds himself being summoned to Darracott Place by his paternal grandfather, Lord Darracott, as the new heir now that his lord's previous heir and heir apparent have both died in an ill-fated boating expedition off the coast of Cornwall. Hugo, a Yorkshireman giant in size and with a gentle disposition, finds himself under the scrutiny of the remaining Darracott family where they expect their newly discovered working class relation to "eat off his knife". Hugo finds himself surrounded by family he has never met before along with stories of ghosts that haunt the Dowager House and of smugglers and free traders that abound in that area of Sussex and Kent where the Darracott stately pile is located... and a pile it is, a huge rambling house and estate in serious need of repairs.

I am a big fan of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series so, of course, mention of the 95th rifles and some of the battle locations on the Pennisula caught my rapt attention. The characters are great - from the Corinthian cousin Vincent to his fashion forward, Mr. Bromwell wanna-be younger brother Claud to their strong-minded cousin Anthea and eighteen-year-old Richmond, who happens to be Lord Darracott's favorite. I really, really enjoyed how Heyer made the romance take back seat in this one, leaving the story to instead focus on the various male characters, their roles in society and their interactions with one another. The women are present but spend most of their time in the shadows, observing all that is happening. This story also brings some of the servants into the spotlight, kind of like a Downton Abbey experience, and written way before Downton Abbey saw the light of day! As for the adventure at the end, well, lets just say it is a caper that is worthy of reading, even if you don't gravitate towards novels set in the regency period. ( )
2 vote lkernagh | Oct 14, 2013 |
Five plus stars!

The romance is very low-key, but the hero is magnificent, as he tries to fit into this family he never knew. There's a large cast of characters, and each one is deftly and lovingly drawn -- even the ones we don't like very much. There's so much going on, with Heyer's trademark humor. Definitely rereadable. ( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
When Lord Darracott sends for his heir, a previously unacknowledged grandson from his son's unfortunate liaison with a Yorkshire weaver's daughter, Lord Darracott and the rest of the family assume that the new heir will be a fairly rough article. With sly humor, Hugo Darracott lives up to their expectations, though he occasionally slips and forgets to speak in broad Yorkshire, or exhibits touches of a wry intelligence beneath his plodding good nature. In the end, he manages to not only win over his entire family, but to save them from a sticky situation, as well.

Heyer always elevates her genre, and this is far from being an exception to that rule. While it's obvious from the start that Hugo is having a bit of fun at his relatives' expense, the extent of his tomfoolery is revealed to the reader piece by piece -- and not through exposition, but through clues cleverly dropped into the dialogue or revealed through the actions of the various characters. There's a smuggling subplot that I found interesting, though some reviewers don't seem to have cared for it. My only criticism of this book was that I wanted more: more of the romance (which almost took a back seat in this book), and more of the story of what happened after the conclusion of the book! I was so wrapped up in the characters and their drama that I hated to see the book end. ( )
2 vote foggidawn | Aug 1, 2013 |
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Silence had reigned over the dining-room since his lordship, midway through the first course, had harshly commanded his widowed daughter-in-law to spare him anymore Steward's room gossip.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099474360, Paperback)

The family of the irascible Lord Darracott are unprepared for the arrival of the weaver’s brat and heir apparent to Darracott Place.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Miles from anywhere, Darracott Place is presided over by irascible Lord Darracott. The recent drowning of his eldest son has done nothing to improve his temper. For now he must send for the unknown offspring of the uncle whom the family are never permitted to mention. Yet none of that beleaguered family are prepared for the arrival of the weaver's brat and heir apparent.… (more)

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