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The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
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The Grand Sophy (1950)

by Georgette Heyer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,188982,964 (4.26)352
Recently added bym_beth, Janetatwood60, private library, ltjennysbooks, Owen.Tyler, nbmars, T_K_Elliott, magsbooks, mmoj
  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 352 mentions

English (93)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All (98)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
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 |
Georgette Heyer can be counted on to deliver a historical romance quite above the rest. Strong women, dashing men (and plentiful as well), and a plot that moves along.

Sophy is elegantly dumped on her Aunt's doorstep, after her father has decided he's needed in Brazil. She hasn't seen her Aunt's family for some time and finds the household in a melancholy mess. One cousin has fallen for an impoverished poet, one has begun following in his father's footstep, the youngest are riding roughshod over their governess and her oldest cousin, Charles, is a control-freak. Of course Sophy must sort out the household as she's always done for her father. Sparks fly between her and Charles as she takes over the household. Fun, enjoyable romp that shows you don't need sex to have an enjoyable romance. ( )
  mmoj | Mar 2, 2017 |
4.5

I had a bad start with Georgette Heyer. The first two books I'd read didn't impress me and I didn't think much of those characters. Then I stumbled upon [b:Frederica|311196|Frederica|Georgette Heyer|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1395082866s/311196.jpg|2128291] and really wished that it wasn't just good luck. Well, I can say now that it wasn't an accident because The Grand Sophy is just as entertaining, lovely, humorous and occasionally over the top as Frederica, maybe even more.

From the start, when her father asks his sister to take care of her while he is in Brazil, you know you are in for a treat. The way he understates her personality is hilarious. His 'taking little thing' arrives with her monkey, a dog and her larger than life personality and the Ombersleys get help they didn't even know they needed.

This is a humorous book with exaggerated situations and people and I enjoyed it very much.
It might even work for people who don't usually read romance because there is so little of it here. You get it in the end, of course, but the book itself is more about the family and Sophy's way of dealing with problems. ( )
  Aneris | Feb 15, 2017 |
Fluffy and amusing, with the striking exception of the egregious anti-Semitism. Cousin Sophy was a very Modern female protagonist, and her various matchmaking machinations entertained. I can't really rate the book more highly, though, because of the repulsive portrayal of a Jewish criminal money-lender, that trucked in virtually every negative anti-Semitic stereotype. ( )
  lquilter | Jan 4, 2017 |
An excellent Heyer. Full review on my blog here ( )
  moonlight_reads | Dec 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (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)

» see all 5 descriptions

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