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on 13 November 2005
Arabella is one of my favourite Heyer books and part of its charm are the amusing conversations that Beaumaris has with the little dog Ulysses. The central idea that because Arabella isn’t interested in Beaumaris, that piques his interest and makes him pursue her, works quite well except it’s never entirely clear what it is about her that DOES attract him. Yes, she’s pretty – although younger than his usual lady, but she is also innocent and unworldly and therefore makes mistakes that he appears (rather surprisingly) to find charming; she foists young orphans, mongrel dogs and penniless brothers on him (not usually guaranteed to snare your man) and she withholds the truth of her fortune from him – not knowing that he already knows it.
Beaumaris starts the book seeming jaded, bored – the typical rich Heyer hero (although untitled this time), but he seems to become more and more amiable as the book goes on, going against his better judgement in order to humour her in many areas (such as Jemmy the Climbing Boy that he takes in). His conversations with the dog are fantastic though – Heyer occasionally includes dogs in her books and she always gives a wonderfully affectionate and amusing portrait, such as Lufra in the book Frederica and Bouncer in The Reluctant Widow.
The book is a great fun read, with lots of interesting characters well-drawn. For me the only real disappointment is that we never really know quite why Beaumaris falls in love with Arabella, apart from her innocence and freshness, and also why he is so sure that she does really like him when she has given him so little encouragement.
Despite these negative comments, read it and enjoy it. It’s well worth it!
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It's a long time since I last read `Arabella' and I had totally forgotten how good it is. Arabella is the daughter of a Yorkshire parson who is invited to London for the Season to stay with her Godmother. Arabella's family are not well off and her mother has been saving for years so that she can have new clothes for her stay. During her journey to London accompanied by a neighbour's governess their carriage breaks down close to one of the properties belonging to Mr Robert Beaumaris. Arabella is not impressed with this gentleman because she over hears him and his guest talking about her.

Her reaction to the overheard comment stores up trouble for herself as she suggests that she is an heiress. As a result she is a huge success in London and Mr Beaumaris goes out of his way to make her popular. I loved both Arabella and Robert and actually had a lot of sympathy for her much tried Godmother. The dialogue - especially between Robert and Arabella is marvellously done being both amusing and natural.

One of my favourite characters is Ulysses, the mongrel dog - but to explain how he comes into the story would spoil the plot. I think `Arabella' is one of my favourite Heyer romances and Arabella herself one of my favourites among her younger heroines. She knows her own mind and has very definite principles which she will not go against. But she is not put off by society's conventions and doesn't believe any of Robert's deliberate flattery. If you have not tried Georgette Heyer before then this book would be a good one to start with.
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on 16 July 2000
I found a battered copy of this on the crewroom floor at work and as I was at a loose end I read it . I was hooked on Georgette Heyer from that moment . On her way to London Arabella seeks shelter in Mr Beaumaris' house having no idea who he is . He thinks it a ploy on her part and she overhears his not very flattering opinion of her . She decides to pay him back by pretending to be an heiress who would never be interested in him , little knowing that she will meet him everywhere in London and her heiress tale will spread like wildfire . Conseqeuntly , she has all the fortune hunters after her but the only man she really wants is Beaumaris . She can never marry him and keep up the pretence but how can she tell him the truth and not loose him ?
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on 5 December 1999
I would highly recommend this book to all Heyer fans. I find Arabella my favorite heroine out of all the Georgette Heyer's books I have read. Arabella is a naive, but extremely spirited young lady. Therefore when she feels herself slighted by the arrogant Mr Beaumaris she has no scruples in putting him into his place. However the tables seem to turn and Arabella gets into a number of scrapes which seem to place Mr Beaumaris the leader of the little 'game' that they play. Very witty and really a very charming book
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on 23 May 2000
This is my all-time favourite Georgette Heyer novel and indeed one of my favourite novels full stop. It is a fairytale combination of a sweet, lively and infinitely likeable heroine in Arabella and a hero which is the closest I've found to Mr Darcy in the appealing hero stakes in Mr Beaumaris. The storyline is charming, the characters captivating - this is definitely one which you will look forward to re-reading.
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on 28 July 2004
This has to be one of her funniest, the characters are so full of life and yet it is all done so lightly, with no heavy handedness. The hero and heroine are, as ever, very interesting characters, and I personally find the hero's unrepentant mischievousness much more appealing than any plaster saint.
Though the 'conversations' with his dog has to be the highlight of this book.
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on 26 June 2012
As always, a good story (love story towards the end is slightly thin) but the translation from paper to electronic book leaves something to be desired in the proof-reading. Some of the errors jump off the page, others take a re-read to make sense of.
It's high time that the purveyors of such electronic goodies learned that a rip-off is a rip-off, be it on paper or on electric media.
Apart from that, a good read.
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on 2 August 2001
Arabella, beautiful and spirited penniless Yorkshire girl has chance of one Season in London. Initial meeting with society leader, Mr. Beaumaris, leads to misunderstandings but eventual happiness. Set against the background of Regency London, this books lifts the curtain on the harsher side of London life, contrasting it with the pampered social round of the well born. Amusing, witty and a tale well told - a good read.
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Finally, I'm getting to read Georgette Heyer's books because so many are available on Kindle Unlimited.

"Arabella" is a lovely story about Arabella Tallant - young lady from a large family whose father is a vicar in the Yorkshire area of England. When Arabella's godmother agrees to guide Arabella through the social season in London, her mother's fondest hope is that the beautiful Arabella will be successful enough to marry a good man with enough wealth that will enable Arabella to sponsor her remaining sisters in their quest to find husbands.

The Tallant family is led by the Reverend Henry Tallant, a man of strong principles who has great expectations of his children that center on qualities in life such as honesty, generosity of spirit and the understanding of what is truly important in life. He doesn't care for frivolity and is earnest about making sure his children have the benefit of his counsel in order to steer them away from anything dishonorable.

When Arabella sets out on her journey to London, she is properly chaperoned, her uncle has lent her his traveling carriage and plans have been made for refreshing the horses to ensure Arabella arrives safely at her godmother's house a few days hence. But, of all things, the carriage breaks down and Arabella in her innocence insists she and her chaperone make their way to an estate nearby to see if they will be allowed sustenance and a place to refresh themselves while the carriage is being repaired. Little does Arabella know the estate is actually the hunting lodge of the "Nonpareil" of London - Mr. Beaumaris, who happens to be in residence along with one of his bosom buddies - Lord Fleetwood. When the ladies are announced by the butler, Beaumaris, accustomed to having women throw themselves in his path in all sorts of ways believes Arabella to be just another schemer and offers the two ladies the bare minimum of hospitality. Lord Fleetwood, however, is captivated by the beautiful Arabella and insists that Beaumaris invite the two women for dinner.

After Arabella has refreshed herself, she overhears Beaumaris complaining to Lord Fleetwood about women pursuing him to the point of knocking on his door with the tale of their carriage being broken down, Arabella is angry and allows herself to give into behavior her father wouldn't approve of - she decides to lie to Beaumaris and Fleetwood and declares herself an heiress who is concerned about about gentlemen pursuing her for her wealth. However, she requests that Beaumaris and Fleetwood do not share the fact that she's an heiress with any other people. Fleetwood is taken in by this Banbury tale but Beaumaris is not. Still Arabella has garnered Beaumaris' interest so he decides to go along with her little game.

Arabella, in her innocence doesn't realize exactly who Beaumaris is nor does she stop and consider the fact that she will soon have to face both men at social events in London. This mistruth about her being an heiress is spread abroad by Lord Fleetwood and soon Arabella finds herself with an abundance of suitors with her godmother wondering why all these men are chasing after Arabella since she has nothing to offer in the way of wealth or connections. Arabella takes Beaumaris to task for telling everyone she is an heiress, but he puts all the blame on Fleetwood and decides to give Arabella his countenance to the point, all of London is taken with her. Arabella has been warned that Beaumaris has the reputation of being a heartbreaker, so she doesn't give him the condescension due someone of his exalted stature. This of course piques his interest and before long, he is genuinely taken up with Arabella and her lovely soul. As time goes on, Arabella begins to have feelings for Beaumaris but suffers agony that she has lied to him about being an heiress, never realizing that he didn't believe her in the first place.

My favorite parts of this books are when Arabella rescues the chimney sweep from his cruel owner, also the little scapegrace of a puppy that some boys are trying to kill and lastly, when her brother Bertram takes a holiday from his scholarly duties and shows up in town with the 100 pounds he has won, all the while keeping his presence in London a secret from his father. I love Bertram - he adds so much to the storyline. Of course, Beaumaris winds up being responsible for the chimney sweep and the puppy and eventually he has to take Bertram in hand after he has gotten head over heels in a few areas.

Great read and sweet build up in the Romance between Beaumaris and Arabella.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 December 2013
The Georgian era has been and remains one of the most popular settings for comedy romance novels, but all too often these days such books show only the slightest hint of understanding of the morals and manners of that period. By contrast this delightful book, first published in 1949, is a welcome reminder of how the Regency Romance genre can be written by someone with a complete mastery of the period.

Almost all the classic elements of the genre are here - the irascible and apparently impossible but devastatingly handsome hero, the proud and spirited heroine, assorted less confident female friends or relatives of the heroine who she has to look after, associated decent but not particularly romantic male friends, associated pushy mamas, snobs and nobs, a ridiculous will, romances and misunderstandings, crack-brained attempts to elope, and the glittering facade of Regency High Society.

The book begins as Miss Arabella Tallent, eldest daughter of a Yorkshire parson, is about to be launched into society with a London Season. The precise date is never given, but there are references to the Prince Regent in the novel so it can be assumed to be set between 1811 and 1820.

Arabella is to be introduced to society by her Godmother, Lady Bridlington, who has enough social standing to secure vouchers for Almacks and introductions to society and guide Arabella about the style and manners of the ton, as high society in Georgian London was known.

Arabella has not even arrived in London when a problem with her carriage brings her into contact with Robert Beaumaris, who is a "Nonpareil" e.g. one of the most fashionable (and richest) men in London, and her high-spirited response could easily have killed her chances for a successful London season before it began. Fortunately the Angel who looks after innocents preserves her, and what follows is a preposterous (but highly amusing) series of misunderstandings and escapades involving Arabella, her brother Bertram, Robert Beaumaris and others ...

The style of the book is old fashioned, which many afficionados of the genre will like but some modern readers may find a little hard to understand. As was originally the standard for a regency romance, there is absolutely no sex in the book. There are, however, a great many authentic details of the regency period.

If you like old-fashioned regency romantic comedies in the proper, original "regency" style, you will almost certainly love this book.
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