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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
2,141953,055 (4.26)342
  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 342 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)

Originally posted here

This was my first Georgette Heyer novel and it was as entertaining and delightful as expected. Focusing on the often ridiculous situations the upper classes get into, what results is a story full of biting wit that would rival a Jane Austen novel.

The main character of this book is Sophy, a niece of Mrs. Ombersley's brother who comes to stay at Ombersley house while her father is abroad. Sophy is a force to be reckoned with though, as her strong personality compels her to meddle in her cousins' affairs and display some shocking behaviour that is frowned upon in the English upper class society of the time. I really liked Sophy, she was no nonsense, funny and spoke her mind. Her arguments with her cousin, Charles were some of the funniest especially when it was about comparing his betrothed's face to a horse. I cannot deny that Georgette Heyer is writing primarily to entertain as I was thoroughly entertained throughout. However....

Then came the scene that featured a Jewish moneylender. A man who was so thoroughly caricatured as the nastiest anti-semitic stereotype that I have ever read in a book. The descriptions of this man was so over the top that he seemed more like an evil fantastical creature rather than a human being. I am not sure whether anti-semitism was that severe in the early 19th century but I feel like that scene perfectly demonstrates Georgette's own feelings towards Jews at time of writing which was around 1950. It left me feeling quite uneasy as a modern reader being confronted with such a blatantly nasty side of the author.

It is because of that highly problematic scene that I feel I can't rate this book higher but, I did find the ending a little disappointing too as Sophy seems to undergo a confusing personality change and becomes meek and submissive. Nonetheless, I think The Grand Sophy is a great story but I would skip if you find reading anti-semitism greatly upsets you. ( )
  4everfanatical | Dec 9, 2016 |
I was never a fan of Regency books. Until I discovered Georgette Hayer's Regency books... This one is specially delightful, witty. ( )
  MrsRK | Nov 21, 2016 |
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 | Oct 31, 2016 |
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 | Oct 31, 2016 |
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

Georgette Heyer offers fun stories with engaging characters in an over-the-top manner that is never more present than in The Grand Sophy. Sophy is everything that is against strict society, having been raised motherless within the diplomatic community on the Continent. She’s half parenting her very own father and often responsible for arranging and organizing all manner of events despite her young age.

Drop such an unusual personality into a family ruled by the iron fist of Charles, the oldest brother, who is austere as a direct reaction to his father’s wasteful nature, so much so that he’s forgotten almost all the value to come from bending a little. His family is half afraid of his tyrannical nature, and terrified of the changes expected when he marries his fiancée, a young lady so proper she has little else to recommend herself.

Even though the book begins without introducing either of the main characters, I soon had them figured out. In general, the way to find the main characters when reading Heyer is to find the persons most at odds with the other. Sophy and Charles butt heads consistently throughout the book.

I don’t often like romances where one of the major characters is already engaged because it seems unfair for them not to follow through on their commitment, but in the case of Cousin Charles, his fiancée, Miss Wraxton, is a truly unlovable character who crushes the life out of Charles at the least excuse. Even better, it’s obvious there is no way for the two of them to be happy together as Charles will only go so far against his loyalty to his brother and sisters, that distance limited by what he determines is good for them. Miss Wraxton, however, wants to reform them all into mirror images of herself, a pending disaster of which the rest of the family is all too aware.

What I found harder to forgive is the caricature of Jews presented in the moneylender. On the one hand, it’s a fascinating glimpse not just into the presentation of Jews in the Regency Era but that of anti-Semitism in WWII, a general attitude complicit in the rejection of refuges and the inability to accept the truth of what was happening under the Nazis. Heyer wrote The Grand Sophy during this timeframe, so the book is a window into attitudes accepted as normal. It did make for rough reading where those passages were concerned, however, undercutting my enjoyment and the intended humor.

Ultimately, The Grand Sophy offers another story founded on pure and utter chaos. With the exception of the anti-Semitism, it is another lovely, outrageous story peopled with a fun and challenging cast. Dialogue is one of Heyer’s strengths and this is no less fantastic an example while Sophy’s rejection of social convention is a grand look at how women were expected to behave and the fear that surrounded such constraints.

I could see the moments of connection and change between the main characters, especially within Charles so when they came together in the end, though rather abrupt, it worked for me. Sophy would have trampled over any other suitor while her presence offered hope for the whole family in restoring Charles’ good nature, which obligation, family history, and the hand of Miss Wraxton had all but destroyed. ( )
  MarFisk | Jul 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
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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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