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New York Times Bestseller!

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.

Topics: London, England, Witty, Horses, Scandal, Feminism, Family, Cousins, Domestic, and Comedy of Manners

Published: Sourcebooks on
ISBN: 9781402227066
List price: $13.99
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I'm finally cleaning up my currently-reading shelf and this one has been sitting there for too long. As much as I'd love to finish this one, I only have it via Kindle and I own a Nook. (I don't like reading on my giant iPad, so chances are it'll just be a wasted two bucks.)more
Heyer is a delightful comic writer and can be gorgeously visual. The image she paints of Sophy rolling up at her relatives front door in a fashion not at all expected is giant.more
Even though I recommend this for Jane Austen fans, I must say Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen shouldn't be compared.

Georgette Heyer's novels are simply entertaining, with none of the serious social commentaries that Jane Austen supplied, though her writing style I think is as much sophisticated (and oh-so-English) as Austen's.

The Grand Sophy is my favorite Heyer so far, because it's the one that entertained me the most, particularly Sophy and Charles's chemistry. These two were made for each other. At first I didn't suspect that Charles was the hero in the story, because how could I think that Sophy's cousin would be her future husband? But after I got over that little bump, I thoroughly enjoyed Sophy's and Charles's antics. After all, they did practice marrying first cousins back then, and one of the most romantic real-life marriages for me was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's.

It's a first-rate Heyer (at least for me, since I've only read 9 of her romances so far, and I intend to read all). I recommend all romance readers to read at least this Georgette Heyer.more
Another light, frothy, Heyer Regency romance. This time, we have "dear little Sophia" -- one of the cleverist of Heyer's many heroines, who has an unquenchable desire to help those she likes and to set everything to rights. Nothing much gets in Sophie's way as she manipulates, aids, inches, nudges, and shoves those around her into situations to make them ultimately happy. Sophie is fairly shameless, but she's not perfect, and she's just so human that I find this book is one I can read again and again. She makes me laugh.

The worst I can say about this book -- written in 1950 and set in the early 1800s -- is there are touches of Antisemitism in one section of the book. They are accurate to the period. They are also short and particular, but could upset the sensibilities of those sensitive or concerned about issues of prejudice. However, one can't change history and I thought they were just an example of "stuff we don't do anymore". They don't detract from the book in my opinion if viewed as a product of the research and the time period.


Great rainy afternoon reading, sniffly with a cold reading, or I hate to fly so distract me reading.more
THANK YOU to the Goodreads friends who recommended this book!more
I am not familiar with the Regency Romance genre so I thought I'd try one and this is so highly recommended. Not bad, but it did go on for too long, rehashing the same character traits and plot devices. I guess this genre is just not my cuppa.more
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer has now joined the ranks of other of Heyer’s Regency Romances that I have greatly enjoyed. Truly Sophy Stanton-Lacy is the most outrageous, assertive, likeable Heyer heroine yet. Her exuberance practically jumps off the pages as she leaps into the affairs of everyone yet remains extremely likeable and compassionate. Twenty year old Sophy has been left by her father with her Aunt’s family while he pursues a diplomatic mission to Brazil. Sophy finds the household of her Aunt and Uncle in a muddle. Her cousin, Cecilia has just announced that she cannot possibly marry the suitable man her family approves of, as she has fallen in love with a poet whose work most find quite unexceptional. Meanwhile, younger cousin Hubert obviously has problems and needs to confide in someone, and eldest cousin, Charles, who holds the household purse strings, is counting pennies and has engaged himself to the strait-laced, prim and exceeding boring, Eugenia Wexford. Sophy decides to fix all their problems, and embarks on some major meddling. Georgette Heyer has carefully crafted her story, keeping Sophy fresh and spontaneous, yet still well within that society’s strict boundaries. Her respectability is never in question, except by the odious Miss Wexford. I found the story engaging and humorous, and when Charles and Sophy are in the same room you can practically see the sparks fly. With the Heyer trademarks of superior supporting characters, accurate historical detail and sizzling dialogue, The Grand Sophy is truly a grand read.more
My first novel by Heyer, and I wasn't disappointed. It is highly entertaining in the Victorian - Austenian way.Head-strong, unconventional Sophy is left by his father at her Aunt's House so that she introduces her to society and to start thinking of finding her a suitable husband. But Sophy has other plans which change all the lives of her dear cousins. Love or gambling problems are nothing to her, she moves soothingly around and gives comfort to those in need without thinking of herself.But won't she find happiness for herself surprisingly with the person she might have least thought of?Told in an almost casual way, with the apparent pose of the true Victorian times, I followed Sophy's cunning manoeuvrings to get her objectives with a half smile plastered on my face. Even though I knew what would happen after having read 20 pages it was a pleasure to read how she managed it in the end!I found the narrative easy, refreshing and perfect for a light read for those who love Austen and Victorian novels.Enjoy!more
(12 December 2011 – from Heather) (April read)When I left my library job last year, I was kindly given a book token by my colleagues, and then my friend Heather also gave me two Georgette Heyers, as we’d often talked about this marvellous author and I was always saying I wanted to re-read her. Although I had come across the omnibus I’ve been reading and read a couple from there, it was a real treat to read a lovely paperback edition. I first read Heyer in those hardbacks with the mint green covers, from various libraries – anyone else remember them?Anyway, this is one of the best Heyers – of course. Motherless Sophy is lodged with her aunt and cousins while her father is off in Brazil. Not the shy and retiring girl expected, and seeing the parlous state of her relatives’ various finances and emotional entanglements, she rolls up her sleeves and gets to work, to the consternation of her cousin Charles, and the glee of his younger siblings, especially when a monkey makes an appearance! With her pistol and her amazing horsewomanship, Sophy could easily become too good to be true, but she is given a rounded character and her own faults, and it’s a very funny book, too.more
Classic Georgette Heyer Regency romp. Cousin Sophy, with a continental upbringing, comes to stay with her London cousins, finds them all in a sad tangle, which only she can set to rights. Great fun, though the moneylender character is dreadfully politically incorrect... There's also a hint of an upper class version of Cold Comfort Farm here too. No surprises but it's enjoyable to follow our hero and heroine on their journey to find out they are made for each other!more
I'm in two minds about recommending The Grand Sophy to Heyer neophytes. On the one hand, the book is an unalloyed delight. On the other, it represents Heyer at the absolute peak of her powers - and thus might be better saved for further down the track, when one can fully appreciate its merits!Life in the Ombersley household is grim. Lord Ombersley's gambling has forced the household to depend on the good graces of stern eldest son, Charles. Lady Ombersley is prone to spells, and eldest daughter Cecy has just turned down a most promising suit in favour of a penniless younger son and aspiring poet, no less. When Lady Ombersley's continental niece, Sophy, lands on the doorstep, she is determind to restore things to order. Vivacious, demanding, and boiling over with schemes, Sophy is going to upset the dour routine of the Ombersley household.I loved this book. Heyer's works are frequently filed alongside Harlequin romances and saddled with the most depressing covers - but that wholly belies the intelligence and skill of her books.The prose instantly plunges you in the world of the regency, not merely ripe but positively dripping with period detail. This vérité extends from the clothing and relationships, to the carriages and the idioms. For all that, it's far from flowery; Heyer really is an accomplished writer.But this competent prose is merely a well-constructed vehicle for the twin treasures of The Grand Sophy: plotting and character. With no prevarication, Heyer sets her giddy story spinning, and she maintains the pace right through to the its triumphant conclusion. The Grand Sophy _is_ a romance novel, and as such its ending shouldn't be too surprising for anyone, but getting there is such an enjoyable, unpredictable treat that it really doesn't matter a whit. Further, the characters are delightful. Sophy herself, with her unconventional and forthright opinions, scandalous behaviour and byzantine schemes, is the perfect foil for the staid and bewildered Ombersleys. For all her gentle mockery, however, Heyer clearly loves her characters, and The Grand Sophy lacks the condescension that some drawing-room narratives can succumb to. Even the most irritating characters and ostensible villains are affectionately exasperating. There are very few books indeed that make me laugh aloud - not even double digits - yet this book had me chortling every few pages. I absolutely adore it when genre fiction doesn't talk down to its readers, and The Grandy Sophy represents the pinnacle of its genre. Hilarious, human, and smarter than a Zegna suit, I cannot fathom why anyone wouldn't love it, I certainly did.more
I picked "The Grand Sophy" as my introduction to GH, and it's a WOW! Such a satisfying read, chock full of memorable characters, humour and a great detailed glimpse into the society, fashions and speech of the Regency period. I understand the author was the undisputed expert of this era and it really shows. Sophy is such a likeable manipulator, especially when scheming against her adversary, Charles Rivenhall. Many laughs at the predicaments and unexpected outcomes she finds herself in. Excellent detail on the carriages, horses and especially the manners of that time. I feel like I was whisked away in a time machine and stole a little glimpse into the chaos that follows The Grand Sophy. It was truly a delightful journey and am looking forward to delving into the other works by this incredible author.more
My favorite of Heyer's, along with Frederica. Sophie arrives for a visit on her Aunt’s doorstep with a menagerie in tow & promptly turns the household upside down, include cousin Charles. Apart from being personally against the idea of first cousins marrying, I liked the book a great deal. It was very witty & laugh out loud funny in places.more
I struggled to get into The Grand Sophy in the beginning, as I didn't naturally connect with Sophy or her cousins. Like many free-spirited young ladies in novels before and since, Sophy is not only the kind of character you know is going to get into trouble, but who is also going to worm her way into everyone's hearts by showing them a different side of themselves. In short, it's time to hang on for the ride to see where she was going to take the story.Although I liked the story with Cecilia, who Sophy coached into feeling okay about choosing who she cared for and loved (It was fun seeing Charles riled up and annoyed at Sophy's meddling ways), I didn't really start to get into the novel until she stepped in to help Charles and Cecilia's younger brother. He had gotten himself into a precarious situation and built up some debt with a Jewish financier who swindled him out of a bunch of money and some precious family property. (The bit about the swindler being Jewish had a good deal of Anti-Semitism built in that made me cringe, which really was a reflection more of the time period than anything.) In the end, Sophy faced down the swindler and bravely saved the family name and finances! From that point on, Charles sees Sophy less as an annoyance and more as her own person. I loved watching him change his opinion about Sophy, , as she surprised him with her loyalty and bravery, even if he never stopped being aggravated by her lively behavior.If you like period pieces, Jane Austen's romances, or high society dramas, then Georgette Heyer seems to fit the bill. I've seen her name mentioned in British Chick Lit. before, as the main characters drop her name as someone they've read, but I wasn't aware of her work until now. Honestly, it was a fun read, and although slow to pick up speed in the actual story, the comedy in behavior was there and fun to watch from the beginning.more
It's 1816 and Sophia Stanton-Lacy, the daughter of diplomat Sir Horace, has come to London to stay with her aunt's family, the Ombersleys. Sir Horace assures Lady Ombersley that his "little Sophy" will be no trouble at all (this, of course, is the tip-off that Sophy is going to be boatloads of trouble, and savvy readers will turn the pages more quickly to find out just how). Well, it starts with monkeys and ends with marriages. Sophy arrives in grand style to find that the Ombersley household is not an entirely happy one. There's Lord Ombersley, who divides his time between adulterous affairs and gambling, putting the family deeply in debt. There's Lady Ombersley, who reads like a slightly more perturbable Lady Bertram, ineffective and easily overruled. The oldest son, Charles Rivenhall, condemns his father's ways and can enforce his will as the result of a wealthy uncle's legacy, while the oldest daughter, Cecelia, is infatuated with an aspiring poet by the name of Augustus Fawnhope. The second son, Hubert, has secret troubles of his own, and there are several younger children who just want to play with the monkey in the schoolroom. Add to all this Charles's pretentious, politely malicious fiancee Eugenia Wraxton, and you have the perfect recipe for a Regency tangle. And who better to sort things out than Sophy?Sophy is quite a fun character, and the rest of the cast plays up to her beautifully. She's sweet and charming, but she has to be the only Regency heroine who packs a pistol in her muff and beards crooked moneylenders in their own dens. Without seeming to do anything of the kind, Sophy manipulates events so that the other characters' natural tendencies lead them to make the choices she wishes. Sophy's system isn't perfect, however, and occasionally someone does something quite outside of her plan (like get married to the wrong person). But sometimes even Sophy cannot foresee what is best for everyone, and despite the unexpected nuptials a happy ending is had by all. Even the insufferable Miss Wraxton finds herself indebted to Sophy's generous and farseeing machinations!The minor characters are fun too; you have to love a lady who is so lazy that she falls asleep under the very eyes of her guests. And yet when she is roused, Sancia, the Marquesa de Villacañas, can make a delicious dinner from the most doubtful ingredients and under the most inauspicious conditions. One of those inauspicious conditions is the presence of the poet, Augustus Fawnhope. To my delight he is everything his name promises: utterly clueless, wrapped up in composing his inane poetry, and deliciously oblivious to just about everything else. He is even adept at interrupting passionate love scenes without in the least realizing it (all in quest of ink for his latest epic). And don't forget Lord Charlbury, who had the unutterable stupidity to go and catch the mumps during a most interesting stage of his courtship of Cecelia! There is simply no excuse for a man like that.The Grand Sophy is often hailed as one of Georgette Heyer's finest Regency romances, and I can see why. I certainly enjoyed this story and would rank it as one of Heyer's more conspicuous successes, but I admit that all the hype surrounding this particular title did lead me to expect something more from it. Other titles like Friday's Child and Cotillion remain my favorites. Still, of course, this is quite a fun read and I'd recommend it to readers new to the genre.more
For the most part, I enjoyed this, my first Georgette Heyer. It was light, just what I thought I needed for the moment. Sophy is delightful! She is a woman ahead of her time in her refusal to play the helpless female and her fearless assault on the male-dominated society. The writing is witty, the storyline never sags. The last chapter is absolutely hilarious. Alas, this book lost at least 1.5 stars because of the gratuitous anti-Semitism. I say gratuitous because she didn't need it for the story. I don't want to give too much away, so I will just say that the moneylenders in general and one in particular didn't have to be so precisely identified as being Jewish. Since the book was published in 1950, there was no reason for her to be insensitive towards this issue, unlike Shakespeare and Dickens, who lived in very different times. Not sure I can read more of her work because of this problem. I hate to say it, but I am just being honest.more
Heyer's historical novels are perfect summer holiday reading. I keep two of her romances as my favorites in my bookcase, and I reread them once in the ten years, because I still enjoy this form of escape literature; a happy ending in a make believe romance world. In the words of A.S. Byatt, Sophy is a typical Heyer heroine. "A lively resourceful girl (...) with natural moral taste". And her cousin Charles, large and good looking, with keen intelligence hidden under sometimes a heartless, but amused approach. And she write in very good historical detail about the conventions and habits of daily family life in the Regency society period (between 1795 and 1837), and she does it " with good taste", as to quote A.S. Byatt again from her essay "An Honourable escape: Georgette Heyer".more
Oh bless, this was just splendid. I think I am now a confirmed Heyer fan, I adored this. The plot might have been predictable, but this might have been the book others were modelled on. An unknown cousin, raised abroad by an unconventional father, comes to stay and shakes a family out of its doldrums.I'd give to any historical romance fan - but they've probably already read it!more
There’s nothing like a good Historical to curl up with on a rainy day and we have had quite a slew of them recently. THE GRAND SOPHY by Georgette Heyer was the perfect book to cuddle up with. Heyer writes with an astounding amount of wit and beautiful flow, leaving no doubt as to why THE GRAND SOPHY is a favorite for many people.I absolutely loved the story within the pages of THE GRAND SOPHY. Admittedly, I was a little nervous at first about reading a book written in 1950. Typically I love Historicals…as long as they were written in contemporary times. Perhaps it’s the change in how people write today than in the past, I’m not sure. In either case, I felt myself drawn further into the book with each page that passed, proving that Heyer is a writer that can effectively cross decades and will probably continue to remain fantastic for years to come.Sophia, or Sophy as she is commonly referred to, has come to live with her aunt while her father travels to Brazil. Especially with a book set in this time period I was expecting a quiet and demur girl walking along through a sensible love story. Instead, I found myself face to face with an independent and witty Sophy who brought spunk to most things that she did. I think it was the spunk that addicted me to the story. I really just wasn’t expecting that in the book given the time period and the time when the book was published. Nevertheless, Heyer gave Sophy a fun loving attitude and an ability to stir things up, both of which made for a wonderful read.Sophy sets out to fix all the things that are wrong in the Ombersley household and this provided the greatest amount of humor for me. Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t just a humorous book. Heyer also works hard to fill the pages with emotion, intrigue and passion. Certainly not the kind of passion that would require a sensuality rating, but passion in the sense that the reader can really feel what is going on with the characters. Heyer brings her story to life and encourages Sophy and her entourage to jump off the page. It’s not at all difficult to imagine being there with her as we watch Sophy’s story unfold.If I had to make any recommendation to future readers of THE GRAND SOPHY, I would say this. Bring a piece of paper and writing utensil along for the ride. Sophy’s little marriage plots can get quite complicated! I found myself occasionally flipping back to earlier sections of the book to reread and figure out what exactly was going on. That doesn’t at all mean that the story was poorly written, rather, Heyer wrote a complex and detailed story that really encourages us to think and interact rather than sit idly by and watch the fun happen.I would have to say that my favorite aspect of THE GRAND SOPHY was how modern the story seemed. It felt very authentic and I don’t doubt that Heyer did a good amount of research into Sophy’s time, but she imbued her own sense of humor and modern feel into the book. This is a story that sits up and grabs your attention rather than sitting idly by, dusty and forgotten on a shelf. I have a feeling that I’ll be grabbing this one time and time again.If you couldn’t already tell, I would definitely give THE GRAND SOPHY a very large A. The story was wonderful and there were a couple times that I actually chuckled out loud, much to the confusion of those around me. I simply smiled and pointed to the book saying, “You have got to read this.” Now, I’m saying it to you. Go find yourself a copy, curl up somewhere and give it a good read. I think that lovers of any kind of fiction, but especially Romance and Historical alike will get quite a bit of enjoyment out of this one.more
At first I had doubts about reading this book, but in the end I absolutely loved it. Sophy splashes on the pages by chapter three and doesn't stop till the last page. With her vibrant personality you can't help but being drawn in, she is a pure delight. The Grand Sophy was an exciting, charming read. The characters grab you and don't let go. You can't help but want to see what Sophy will do next.Georgette Heyer, is definitely a pioneer of the Historical Romance genre. I think any one today that is reading this genre should read Ms. Heyer at least once.more
Though I have been meaning to read her works for a while, The Grand Sophy is my first time reading Georgette Heyer and it certainly won't be my last. After browsing several reviews and blurbs, I finally settled on The Grand Sophy from Heyer's many novels and was not disappointed.When Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy prepares to journey to Brazil, he leaves his darling Sophy in the care of her aunt, Lady Ombersley, but little do the Ombersleys know that the "Grand Sophy" will soon turn their quiet home life upside down! Unapologetically wilful and intrepid, Sophy arrives in a house turned dismal by debt and ill-chosen matches. Sophy's eldest cousins, Cecilia and Charles have made up their minds to marry persons who are all wrong for them, as Sophy soon discovers. There is nothing else for it, it is up to Sophy to make things right and restore her family's former happiness.---Reading Georgette Heyer's Regency romance is often said to be the next best thing to reading Jane Austen and I can now see why. Sophy is definitely a young lady who would be right at home among the Bennet sisters, her humor and candid nature making her fit fight in with Austen's heroines. I loved Sophy's personality and her seeming naiveté; she comes across as entirely unassuming but somehow manages to make everyone do exactly what she wills. Her rollicking, yet carefully planned [mis]adventures with her cousin Charles and Lord Charlbury are some of the funniest moments in the novel, and the ending is sweet and fitting.Gricel @ things-she-read.orgmore
When Sophy Stanton-Lacy arrives at her aunt’s doorstep little did they know what was in store for them. Sophy’s father is off on business and has asked his sister to mind after Sophy (quite possibly even find her a suitable match). Her aunt, although a bit reluctant at first, agrees to take Sophy in and introduce her to the ton. But upon her arrival Sophy finds that her cousins’ lives are in a bit of disarray. For one, her cousin Cecilia is smitten with what the family considers an unsuitable suitor (a poet). Then there is her high-strung cousin Charles Rivenhall who is determined to marry a horribly prosy bluestocking. Using unorthodox methods, Sophie sets out to put everything to rights... but staying with her relatives could be her biggest challenge yet... especially since it seems that she has finally met her match.Sophy is a this fantastic, fun-loving, unconventional, and adorable heroine. In my book of heroines, she is only second to one Miss Elizabeth Bennett. The fact that her motivation for all her escapades is a desire to make other people happy makes her absolutely endearing. Her determination to force Mr. Rivenhall to lighten up and the inevitable battles that ensue provide pure delightful entertainment. Although at first you are not too fond of Mr. Rivenhall, he actually turns out to be the perfect gentleman with a need for exactly someone like Sophy to provide just what his life was lacking. All the secondary characters were just as entertaining as her main characters. I loved them all - from the distracted poet to the lazy, Spanish Marquesa, even all of the crazy animals. In the span of a few pages, Heyer manages to break three betrothals, create two new engagements, one marriage, and through it all leaves everyone, including the reader, perfectly satisfied.This is regency romance with a sense of humor. Sophy grabs you and takes you on a ride you don’t want to end. With fabulous characters, zany laugh-out-loud moments, and the need to see just what she will come up with next.You just HAVE to read this!more
The Grand Sophy is delightful. As always with Heyer, the characters are sharp, the dialogue sparkles and there are laugh out loud funny moments throughout. Sophy herself is a marvelous character, fun and not at all foolish. My only (slight) complaint is that I don't think Charles deserves her, and I never saw him do anything to justify her falling in love with him. (It's abundantly obvious why he would fall in love with her!)more
This book was so much fun! I really enjoyed reading it. I had heard a lot about Heyer's Regency Romances lately. I am so glad that my SantaThing Secret Santa picked this book for me. Sophy is an excellent character. She knows just how to manage people and how to get in to harmless trouble. And it has a happy ending to top it off.more
After years of hearing rave reviews about this book, I finally got around to reading it. I'm glad I did; it was adorable! Regency heroines are usually so bland and proper but Sophy is spunky and witty. She reminded me of a grown-up Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to have a cup of tea with her. There were so many interesting characters and story lines in this book. When they finally all jumbled together, I laughed out loud. This book is a little Jane Austen, a little cheesy regency romance and whole a lot of fun. It's also completely clean (the opposite of my other favorite authors V.C. Andrews and Laurell Hamilton) - I think there were two kissing scenes in the whole book!more
My first venture in Georgette Heyer's work and I am definitely hooked. The Grand Sophy was full of delightful and rememberable characters. The regency era was no doubt extensively researched, for the story was so rich you could feel like you actually stepped back in time.Perfection. Can't wait to read more of her books.more
One of Hayer's best, but completely spoiled for me by the antisemitic stereotypes. Same thing with Sayers and other mid-century British authors. I'm not quite sure how I can rate this - very hard to get past the description of the moneylender with "semitic nose and greasy sidelocks".more
This is Georgette Heyer “over the top!” In this one it is the “wandering” niece who comes home to England to “set the family right.” Sophy is by far Heyer’s strongest and most intrepid female character (and that is saying something). She is also my favorite character. She is outrageous, audacious and provides some of the most hilarious episodes in Heyer’s oeuvre. For those who prefer their romantic heroines to be more insipid Cecelia – a damsel born to be in distress -- is a charming dolt whom Sophy saves from her impetuous mistake of choosing the wrong suitor.more
Fun! If you distill the fluff out of a Jane Austen novel, the result is a Georgette Heyer novel. This book is loads of fun, witty, elegantly written, clever dialogue, I loved it! This is the first Heyer novel I've ever read, and I will definitely be reading more.more
Set in the Victorian Era in England. A family's life is uprooted when the unconventional Sophy arrives. Sophy dares to do things like drive her cousin's team of spirited horses, manage her own money, and meddle in the affairs of her cousins who are on the marriage market. And good for them because Sophy has a lot of good sense and manages to make things come out right in the end. This was a very enjoyable read, I could guess at how it would end way in in advance but it was so satisfying to see how Sophy managed it. I loved the main character's irrepressable charm and intelligence.more
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Reviews

I'm finally cleaning up my currently-reading shelf and this one has been sitting there for too long. As much as I'd love to finish this one, I only have it via Kindle and I own a Nook. (I don't like reading on my giant iPad, so chances are it'll just be a wasted two bucks.)more
Heyer is a delightful comic writer and can be gorgeously visual. The image she paints of Sophy rolling up at her relatives front door in a fashion not at all expected is giant.more
Even though I recommend this for Jane Austen fans, I must say Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen shouldn't be compared.

Georgette Heyer's novels are simply entertaining, with none of the serious social commentaries that Jane Austen supplied, though her writing style I think is as much sophisticated (and oh-so-English) as Austen's.

The Grand Sophy is my favorite Heyer so far, because it's the one that entertained me the most, particularly Sophy and Charles's chemistry. These two were made for each other. At first I didn't suspect that Charles was the hero in the story, because how could I think that Sophy's cousin would be her future husband? But after I got over that little bump, I thoroughly enjoyed Sophy's and Charles's antics. After all, they did practice marrying first cousins back then, and one of the most romantic real-life marriages for me was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's.

It's a first-rate Heyer (at least for me, since I've only read 9 of her romances so far, and I intend to read all). I recommend all romance readers to read at least this Georgette Heyer.more
Another light, frothy, Heyer Regency romance. This time, we have "dear little Sophia" -- one of the cleverist of Heyer's many heroines, who has an unquenchable desire to help those she likes and to set everything to rights. Nothing much gets in Sophie's way as she manipulates, aids, inches, nudges, and shoves those around her into situations to make them ultimately happy. Sophie is fairly shameless, but she's not perfect, and she's just so human that I find this book is one I can read again and again. She makes me laugh.

The worst I can say about this book -- written in 1950 and set in the early 1800s -- is there are touches of Antisemitism in one section of the book. They are accurate to the period. They are also short and particular, but could upset the sensibilities of those sensitive or concerned about issues of prejudice. However, one can't change history and I thought they were just an example of "stuff we don't do anymore". They don't detract from the book in my opinion if viewed as a product of the research and the time period.


Great rainy afternoon reading, sniffly with a cold reading, or I hate to fly so distract me reading.more
THANK YOU to the Goodreads friends who recommended this book!more
I am not familiar with the Regency Romance genre so I thought I'd try one and this is so highly recommended. Not bad, but it did go on for too long, rehashing the same character traits and plot devices. I guess this genre is just not my cuppa.more
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer has now joined the ranks of other of Heyer’s Regency Romances that I have greatly enjoyed. Truly Sophy Stanton-Lacy is the most outrageous, assertive, likeable Heyer heroine yet. Her exuberance practically jumps off the pages as she leaps into the affairs of everyone yet remains extremely likeable and compassionate. Twenty year old Sophy has been left by her father with her Aunt’s family while he pursues a diplomatic mission to Brazil. Sophy finds the household of her Aunt and Uncle in a muddle. Her cousin, Cecilia has just announced that she cannot possibly marry the suitable man her family approves of, as she has fallen in love with a poet whose work most find quite unexceptional. Meanwhile, younger cousin Hubert obviously has problems and needs to confide in someone, and eldest cousin, Charles, who holds the household purse strings, is counting pennies and has engaged himself to the strait-laced, prim and exceeding boring, Eugenia Wexford. Sophy decides to fix all their problems, and embarks on some major meddling. Georgette Heyer has carefully crafted her story, keeping Sophy fresh and spontaneous, yet still well within that society’s strict boundaries. Her respectability is never in question, except by the odious Miss Wexford. I found the story engaging and humorous, and when Charles and Sophy are in the same room you can practically see the sparks fly. With the Heyer trademarks of superior supporting characters, accurate historical detail and sizzling dialogue, The Grand Sophy is truly a grand read.more
My first novel by Heyer, and I wasn't disappointed. It is highly entertaining in the Victorian - Austenian way.Head-strong, unconventional Sophy is left by his father at her Aunt's House so that she introduces her to society and to start thinking of finding her a suitable husband. But Sophy has other plans which change all the lives of her dear cousins. Love or gambling problems are nothing to her, she moves soothingly around and gives comfort to those in need without thinking of herself.But won't she find happiness for herself surprisingly with the person she might have least thought of?Told in an almost casual way, with the apparent pose of the true Victorian times, I followed Sophy's cunning manoeuvrings to get her objectives with a half smile plastered on my face. Even though I knew what would happen after having read 20 pages it was a pleasure to read how she managed it in the end!I found the narrative easy, refreshing and perfect for a light read for those who love Austen and Victorian novels.Enjoy!more
(12 December 2011 – from Heather) (April read)When I left my library job last year, I was kindly given a book token by my colleagues, and then my friend Heather also gave me two Georgette Heyers, as we’d often talked about this marvellous author and I was always saying I wanted to re-read her. Although I had come across the omnibus I’ve been reading and read a couple from there, it was a real treat to read a lovely paperback edition. I first read Heyer in those hardbacks with the mint green covers, from various libraries – anyone else remember them?Anyway, this is one of the best Heyers – of course. Motherless Sophy is lodged with her aunt and cousins while her father is off in Brazil. Not the shy and retiring girl expected, and seeing the parlous state of her relatives’ various finances and emotional entanglements, she rolls up her sleeves and gets to work, to the consternation of her cousin Charles, and the glee of his younger siblings, especially when a monkey makes an appearance! With her pistol and her amazing horsewomanship, Sophy could easily become too good to be true, but she is given a rounded character and her own faults, and it’s a very funny book, too.more
Classic Georgette Heyer Regency romp. Cousin Sophy, with a continental upbringing, comes to stay with her London cousins, finds them all in a sad tangle, which only she can set to rights. Great fun, though the moneylender character is dreadfully politically incorrect... There's also a hint of an upper class version of Cold Comfort Farm here too. No surprises but it's enjoyable to follow our hero and heroine on their journey to find out they are made for each other!more
I'm in two minds about recommending The Grand Sophy to Heyer neophytes. On the one hand, the book is an unalloyed delight. On the other, it represents Heyer at the absolute peak of her powers - and thus might be better saved for further down the track, when one can fully appreciate its merits!Life in the Ombersley household is grim. Lord Ombersley's gambling has forced the household to depend on the good graces of stern eldest son, Charles. Lady Ombersley is prone to spells, and eldest daughter Cecy has just turned down a most promising suit in favour of a penniless younger son and aspiring poet, no less. When Lady Ombersley's continental niece, Sophy, lands on the doorstep, she is determind to restore things to order. Vivacious, demanding, and boiling over with schemes, Sophy is going to upset the dour routine of the Ombersley household.I loved this book. Heyer's works are frequently filed alongside Harlequin romances and saddled with the most depressing covers - but that wholly belies the intelligence and skill of her books.The prose instantly plunges you in the world of the regency, not merely ripe but positively dripping with period detail. This vérité extends from the clothing and relationships, to the carriages and the idioms. For all that, it's far from flowery; Heyer really is an accomplished writer.But this competent prose is merely a well-constructed vehicle for the twin treasures of The Grand Sophy: plotting and character. With no prevarication, Heyer sets her giddy story spinning, and she maintains the pace right through to the its triumphant conclusion. The Grand Sophy _is_ a romance novel, and as such its ending shouldn't be too surprising for anyone, but getting there is such an enjoyable, unpredictable treat that it really doesn't matter a whit. Further, the characters are delightful. Sophy herself, with her unconventional and forthright opinions, scandalous behaviour and byzantine schemes, is the perfect foil for the staid and bewildered Ombersleys. For all her gentle mockery, however, Heyer clearly loves her characters, and The Grand Sophy lacks the condescension that some drawing-room narratives can succumb to. Even the most irritating characters and ostensible villains are affectionately exasperating. There are very few books indeed that make me laugh aloud - not even double digits - yet this book had me chortling every few pages. I absolutely adore it when genre fiction doesn't talk down to its readers, and The Grandy Sophy represents the pinnacle of its genre. Hilarious, human, and smarter than a Zegna suit, I cannot fathom why anyone wouldn't love it, I certainly did.more
I picked "The Grand Sophy" as my introduction to GH, and it's a WOW! Such a satisfying read, chock full of memorable characters, humour and a great detailed glimpse into the society, fashions and speech of the Regency period. I understand the author was the undisputed expert of this era and it really shows. Sophy is such a likeable manipulator, especially when scheming against her adversary, Charles Rivenhall. Many laughs at the predicaments and unexpected outcomes she finds herself in. Excellent detail on the carriages, horses and especially the manners of that time. I feel like I was whisked away in a time machine and stole a little glimpse into the chaos that follows The Grand Sophy. It was truly a delightful journey and am looking forward to delving into the other works by this incredible author.more
My favorite of Heyer's, along with Frederica. Sophie arrives for a visit on her Aunt’s doorstep with a menagerie in tow & promptly turns the household upside down, include cousin Charles. Apart from being personally against the idea of first cousins marrying, I liked the book a great deal. It was very witty & laugh out loud funny in places.more
I struggled to get into The Grand Sophy in the beginning, as I didn't naturally connect with Sophy or her cousins. Like many free-spirited young ladies in novels before and since, Sophy is not only the kind of character you know is going to get into trouble, but who is also going to worm her way into everyone's hearts by showing them a different side of themselves. In short, it's time to hang on for the ride to see where she was going to take the story.Although I liked the story with Cecilia, who Sophy coached into feeling okay about choosing who she cared for and loved (It was fun seeing Charles riled up and annoyed at Sophy's meddling ways), I didn't really start to get into the novel until she stepped in to help Charles and Cecilia's younger brother. He had gotten himself into a precarious situation and built up some debt with a Jewish financier who swindled him out of a bunch of money and some precious family property. (The bit about the swindler being Jewish had a good deal of Anti-Semitism built in that made me cringe, which really was a reflection more of the time period than anything.) In the end, Sophy faced down the swindler and bravely saved the family name and finances! From that point on, Charles sees Sophy less as an annoyance and more as her own person. I loved watching him change his opinion about Sophy, , as she surprised him with her loyalty and bravery, even if he never stopped being aggravated by her lively behavior.If you like period pieces, Jane Austen's romances, or high society dramas, then Georgette Heyer seems to fit the bill. I've seen her name mentioned in British Chick Lit. before, as the main characters drop her name as someone they've read, but I wasn't aware of her work until now. Honestly, it was a fun read, and although slow to pick up speed in the actual story, the comedy in behavior was there and fun to watch from the beginning.more
It's 1816 and Sophia Stanton-Lacy, the daughter of diplomat Sir Horace, has come to London to stay with her aunt's family, the Ombersleys. Sir Horace assures Lady Ombersley that his "little Sophy" will be no trouble at all (this, of course, is the tip-off that Sophy is going to be boatloads of trouble, and savvy readers will turn the pages more quickly to find out just how). Well, it starts with monkeys and ends with marriages. Sophy arrives in grand style to find that the Ombersley household is not an entirely happy one. There's Lord Ombersley, who divides his time between adulterous affairs and gambling, putting the family deeply in debt. There's Lady Ombersley, who reads like a slightly more perturbable Lady Bertram, ineffective and easily overruled. The oldest son, Charles Rivenhall, condemns his father's ways and can enforce his will as the result of a wealthy uncle's legacy, while the oldest daughter, Cecelia, is infatuated with an aspiring poet by the name of Augustus Fawnhope. The second son, Hubert, has secret troubles of his own, and there are several younger children who just want to play with the monkey in the schoolroom. Add to all this Charles's pretentious, politely malicious fiancee Eugenia Wraxton, and you have the perfect recipe for a Regency tangle. And who better to sort things out than Sophy?Sophy is quite a fun character, and the rest of the cast plays up to her beautifully. She's sweet and charming, but she has to be the only Regency heroine who packs a pistol in her muff and beards crooked moneylenders in their own dens. Without seeming to do anything of the kind, Sophy manipulates events so that the other characters' natural tendencies lead them to make the choices she wishes. Sophy's system isn't perfect, however, and occasionally someone does something quite outside of her plan (like get married to the wrong person). But sometimes even Sophy cannot foresee what is best for everyone, and despite the unexpected nuptials a happy ending is had by all. Even the insufferable Miss Wraxton finds herself indebted to Sophy's generous and farseeing machinations!The minor characters are fun too; you have to love a lady who is so lazy that she falls asleep under the very eyes of her guests. And yet when she is roused, Sancia, the Marquesa de Villacañas, can make a delicious dinner from the most doubtful ingredients and under the most inauspicious conditions. One of those inauspicious conditions is the presence of the poet, Augustus Fawnhope. To my delight he is everything his name promises: utterly clueless, wrapped up in composing his inane poetry, and deliciously oblivious to just about everything else. He is even adept at interrupting passionate love scenes without in the least realizing it (all in quest of ink for his latest epic). And don't forget Lord Charlbury, who had the unutterable stupidity to go and catch the mumps during a most interesting stage of his courtship of Cecelia! There is simply no excuse for a man like that.The Grand Sophy is often hailed as one of Georgette Heyer's finest Regency romances, and I can see why. I certainly enjoyed this story and would rank it as one of Heyer's more conspicuous successes, but I admit that all the hype surrounding this particular title did lead me to expect something more from it. Other titles like Friday's Child and Cotillion remain my favorites. Still, of course, this is quite a fun read and I'd recommend it to readers new to the genre.more
For the most part, I enjoyed this, my first Georgette Heyer. It was light, just what I thought I needed for the moment. Sophy is delightful! She is a woman ahead of her time in her refusal to play the helpless female and her fearless assault on the male-dominated society. The writing is witty, the storyline never sags. The last chapter is absolutely hilarious. Alas, this book lost at least 1.5 stars because of the gratuitous anti-Semitism. I say gratuitous because she didn't need it for the story. I don't want to give too much away, so I will just say that the moneylenders in general and one in particular didn't have to be so precisely identified as being Jewish. Since the book was published in 1950, there was no reason for her to be insensitive towards this issue, unlike Shakespeare and Dickens, who lived in very different times. Not sure I can read more of her work because of this problem. I hate to say it, but I am just being honest.more
Heyer's historical novels are perfect summer holiday reading. I keep two of her romances as my favorites in my bookcase, and I reread them once in the ten years, because I still enjoy this form of escape literature; a happy ending in a make believe romance world. In the words of A.S. Byatt, Sophy is a typical Heyer heroine. "A lively resourceful girl (...) with natural moral taste". And her cousin Charles, large and good looking, with keen intelligence hidden under sometimes a heartless, but amused approach. And she write in very good historical detail about the conventions and habits of daily family life in the Regency society period (between 1795 and 1837), and she does it " with good taste", as to quote A.S. Byatt again from her essay "An Honourable escape: Georgette Heyer".more
Oh bless, this was just splendid. I think I am now a confirmed Heyer fan, I adored this. The plot might have been predictable, but this might have been the book others were modelled on. An unknown cousin, raised abroad by an unconventional father, comes to stay and shakes a family out of its doldrums.I'd give to any historical romance fan - but they've probably already read it!more
There’s nothing like a good Historical to curl up with on a rainy day and we have had quite a slew of them recently. THE GRAND SOPHY by Georgette Heyer was the perfect book to cuddle up with. Heyer writes with an astounding amount of wit and beautiful flow, leaving no doubt as to why THE GRAND SOPHY is a favorite for many people.I absolutely loved the story within the pages of THE GRAND SOPHY. Admittedly, I was a little nervous at first about reading a book written in 1950. Typically I love Historicals…as long as they were written in contemporary times. Perhaps it’s the change in how people write today than in the past, I’m not sure. In either case, I felt myself drawn further into the book with each page that passed, proving that Heyer is a writer that can effectively cross decades and will probably continue to remain fantastic for years to come.Sophia, or Sophy as she is commonly referred to, has come to live with her aunt while her father travels to Brazil. Especially with a book set in this time period I was expecting a quiet and demur girl walking along through a sensible love story. Instead, I found myself face to face with an independent and witty Sophy who brought spunk to most things that she did. I think it was the spunk that addicted me to the story. I really just wasn’t expecting that in the book given the time period and the time when the book was published. Nevertheless, Heyer gave Sophy a fun loving attitude and an ability to stir things up, both of which made for a wonderful read.Sophy sets out to fix all the things that are wrong in the Ombersley household and this provided the greatest amount of humor for me. Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t just a humorous book. Heyer also works hard to fill the pages with emotion, intrigue and passion. Certainly not the kind of passion that would require a sensuality rating, but passion in the sense that the reader can really feel what is going on with the characters. Heyer brings her story to life and encourages Sophy and her entourage to jump off the page. It’s not at all difficult to imagine being there with her as we watch Sophy’s story unfold.If I had to make any recommendation to future readers of THE GRAND SOPHY, I would say this. Bring a piece of paper and writing utensil along for the ride. Sophy’s little marriage plots can get quite complicated! I found myself occasionally flipping back to earlier sections of the book to reread and figure out what exactly was going on. That doesn’t at all mean that the story was poorly written, rather, Heyer wrote a complex and detailed story that really encourages us to think and interact rather than sit idly by and watch the fun happen.I would have to say that my favorite aspect of THE GRAND SOPHY was how modern the story seemed. It felt very authentic and I don’t doubt that Heyer did a good amount of research into Sophy’s time, but she imbued her own sense of humor and modern feel into the book. This is a story that sits up and grabs your attention rather than sitting idly by, dusty and forgotten on a shelf. I have a feeling that I’ll be grabbing this one time and time again.If you couldn’t already tell, I would definitely give THE GRAND SOPHY a very large A. The story was wonderful and there were a couple times that I actually chuckled out loud, much to the confusion of those around me. I simply smiled and pointed to the book saying, “You have got to read this.” Now, I’m saying it to you. Go find yourself a copy, curl up somewhere and give it a good read. I think that lovers of any kind of fiction, but especially Romance and Historical alike will get quite a bit of enjoyment out of this one.more
At first I had doubts about reading this book, but in the end I absolutely loved it. Sophy splashes on the pages by chapter three and doesn't stop till the last page. With her vibrant personality you can't help but being drawn in, she is a pure delight. The Grand Sophy was an exciting, charming read. The characters grab you and don't let go. You can't help but want to see what Sophy will do next.Georgette Heyer, is definitely a pioneer of the Historical Romance genre. I think any one today that is reading this genre should read Ms. Heyer at least once.more
Though I have been meaning to read her works for a while, The Grand Sophy is my first time reading Georgette Heyer and it certainly won't be my last. After browsing several reviews and blurbs, I finally settled on The Grand Sophy from Heyer's many novels and was not disappointed.When Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy prepares to journey to Brazil, he leaves his darling Sophy in the care of her aunt, Lady Ombersley, but little do the Ombersleys know that the "Grand Sophy" will soon turn their quiet home life upside down! Unapologetically wilful and intrepid, Sophy arrives in a house turned dismal by debt and ill-chosen matches. Sophy's eldest cousins, Cecilia and Charles have made up their minds to marry persons who are all wrong for them, as Sophy soon discovers. There is nothing else for it, it is up to Sophy to make things right and restore her family's former happiness.---Reading Georgette Heyer's Regency romance is often said to be the next best thing to reading Jane Austen and I can now see why. Sophy is definitely a young lady who would be right at home among the Bennet sisters, her humor and candid nature making her fit fight in with Austen's heroines. I loved Sophy's personality and her seeming naiveté; she comes across as entirely unassuming but somehow manages to make everyone do exactly what she wills. Her rollicking, yet carefully planned [mis]adventures with her cousin Charles and Lord Charlbury are some of the funniest moments in the novel, and the ending is sweet and fitting.Gricel @ things-she-read.orgmore
When Sophy Stanton-Lacy arrives at her aunt’s doorstep little did they know what was in store for them. Sophy’s father is off on business and has asked his sister to mind after Sophy (quite possibly even find her a suitable match). Her aunt, although a bit reluctant at first, agrees to take Sophy in and introduce her to the ton. But upon her arrival Sophy finds that her cousins’ lives are in a bit of disarray. For one, her cousin Cecilia is smitten with what the family considers an unsuitable suitor (a poet). Then there is her high-strung cousin Charles Rivenhall who is determined to marry a horribly prosy bluestocking. Using unorthodox methods, Sophie sets out to put everything to rights... but staying with her relatives could be her biggest challenge yet... especially since it seems that she has finally met her match.Sophy is a this fantastic, fun-loving, unconventional, and adorable heroine. In my book of heroines, she is only second to one Miss Elizabeth Bennett. The fact that her motivation for all her escapades is a desire to make other people happy makes her absolutely endearing. Her determination to force Mr. Rivenhall to lighten up and the inevitable battles that ensue provide pure delightful entertainment. Although at first you are not too fond of Mr. Rivenhall, he actually turns out to be the perfect gentleman with a need for exactly someone like Sophy to provide just what his life was lacking. All the secondary characters were just as entertaining as her main characters. I loved them all - from the distracted poet to the lazy, Spanish Marquesa, even all of the crazy animals. In the span of a few pages, Heyer manages to break three betrothals, create two new engagements, one marriage, and through it all leaves everyone, including the reader, perfectly satisfied.This is regency romance with a sense of humor. Sophy grabs you and takes you on a ride you don’t want to end. With fabulous characters, zany laugh-out-loud moments, and the need to see just what she will come up with next.You just HAVE to read this!more
The Grand Sophy is delightful. As always with Heyer, the characters are sharp, the dialogue sparkles and there are laugh out loud funny moments throughout. Sophy herself is a marvelous character, fun and not at all foolish. My only (slight) complaint is that I don't think Charles deserves her, and I never saw him do anything to justify her falling in love with him. (It's abundantly obvious why he would fall in love with her!)more
This book was so much fun! I really enjoyed reading it. I had heard a lot about Heyer's Regency Romances lately. I am so glad that my SantaThing Secret Santa picked this book for me. Sophy is an excellent character. She knows just how to manage people and how to get in to harmless trouble. And it has a happy ending to top it off.more
After years of hearing rave reviews about this book, I finally got around to reading it. I'm glad I did; it was adorable! Regency heroines are usually so bland and proper but Sophy is spunky and witty. She reminded me of a grown-up Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to have a cup of tea with her. There were so many interesting characters and story lines in this book. When they finally all jumbled together, I laughed out loud. This book is a little Jane Austen, a little cheesy regency romance and whole a lot of fun. It's also completely clean (the opposite of my other favorite authors V.C. Andrews and Laurell Hamilton) - I think there were two kissing scenes in the whole book!more
My first venture in Georgette Heyer's work and I am definitely hooked. The Grand Sophy was full of delightful and rememberable characters. The regency era was no doubt extensively researched, for the story was so rich you could feel like you actually stepped back in time.Perfection. Can't wait to read more of her books.more
One of Hayer's best, but completely spoiled for me by the antisemitic stereotypes. Same thing with Sayers and other mid-century British authors. I'm not quite sure how I can rate this - very hard to get past the description of the moneylender with "semitic nose and greasy sidelocks".more
This is Georgette Heyer “over the top!” In this one it is the “wandering” niece who comes home to England to “set the family right.” Sophy is by far Heyer’s strongest and most intrepid female character (and that is saying something). She is also my favorite character. She is outrageous, audacious and provides some of the most hilarious episodes in Heyer’s oeuvre. For those who prefer their romantic heroines to be more insipid Cecelia – a damsel born to be in distress -- is a charming dolt whom Sophy saves from her impetuous mistake of choosing the wrong suitor.more
Fun! If you distill the fluff out of a Jane Austen novel, the result is a Georgette Heyer novel. This book is loads of fun, witty, elegantly written, clever dialogue, I loved it! This is the first Heyer novel I've ever read, and I will definitely be reading more.more
Set in the Victorian Era in England. A family's life is uprooted when the unconventional Sophy arrives. Sophy dares to do things like drive her cousin's team of spirited horses, manage her own money, and meddle in the affairs of her cousins who are on the marriage market. And good for them because Sophy has a lot of good sense and manages to make things come out right in the end. This was a very enjoyable read, I could guess at how it would end way in in advance but it was so satisfying to see how Sophy managed it. I loved the main character's irrepressable charm and intelligence.more
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