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The summary given for 'Arabella' gives a very false impression of the book. Arabella is an entirely innocent girl from the country, who naturally wants to see more of the world, and enjoy life in London. It is her innocence that makes the book so enjoyable, and the fact that she does what her conscience tells her is right, never mind the consequences. She is not 'after a rich husband', but her parents want her to make a 'good' match, so she feels it her duty to find a suitable husband. She did not 'have her sights' on Mr Beaumaris, nor does she 'put up a fight' - she was entirely taken by surprise when he proposed to her, and only then realised she was in love with him - and then declined him for reasons of conscience, until he told her he knew her secret.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
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Gold star all round for finally recording Arabella, unabridged, and by Phyllida Nash.
Points off for whoever wrote the bland 'publisher's summary' that managed to make the book sound like the diary of a gold-digger.
There's no mention that Arabella is young, the daughter of a Yorkshire clergyman, and slightly naive about the ways of high society. Imbued with her father's standards, and unaware that the rest of the polite world don't necessarily think the same, she renders her fashionable hostess's life extremely uncomfortable by sticking to her principles, getting involved with a bullied climbing boy and rescuing a scruffy mongrel amongst other social disasters. We're in Georgette Heyer world though, where impending social death is always avoided - eventually
This is a witty, enjoyable comedy of manners and it's great to finally have it added to Audible's Heyer collection. Thank you.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Maggie's review on Audible UK summed it up perfectly:
"Gold stars all round for finally recording Arabella, unabridged, and by Phyllida Nash. Points off for whoever wrote the bland 'publisher's summary' that manages to make the book sound like the diary of a gold-digger."
The synopsis of this book (as of 10/14) has every aspect of this charming story wrong. Anyone who reads the first chapter will know that Arabella is certainly *not* a gold-digger. And the amusing misunderstanding-leading-to-deception that drives the plot is far more the work of Beaumaris than of Arabella.
I would say it is with the 1949 publication of "Arabella" that Georgette Heyer completely took possession of the Regency romance in a way that defines the genre to this day. "The Grand Sophy," perhaps her most famous work, followed in 1950, with another 15 years of wonderful books before the stories (in my opinion) began to slide in the late '60s.
There is some similarity between the plot and characters of "Arabella" and those of the later "Sylvester," but Arabella is unique. The scenes where Arabella quite innocently foists a mongrel dog (to say nothing of the chimney sweep's "climbing boy") into the care of the suave and "dandy" Beaumaris are priceless. Her father and mother, though relatively minor characters, are wonderful.
For fans of Heyer, this one is not to be missed. These Naxos editions continue to eat my credits for lunch, but I'm not complaining.
74 of 75 people found this review helpful
Well worth the credit
Will likely listen to again One of Heyer's best ones. Not Austen but closest author I can find. Performance/reading is lively and does justice to the book
10 of 10 people found this review helpful