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4.7 out of 5 stars63
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2008
This was never one of my favourite Heyer's when I first started reading her books, probably because I was looking for romance, and in this book that element very much takes a back seat. I re-read it recently on holiday however and really enjoyed it for completely different reasons. The story mainly focuses on Gilly (the Duke of Sale) who is fed up with being molly coddled by his many doting retainers and protective relatives. Our hero is far from your traditional tall, dark and handsome alpha heros but is 'below average height', slightly delicate and very gentle with a 'sweet disposition'. He is reluctant to hurt the feelings of those who have his interests so much at heart but is totally fed up with being thwarted every time he tries to assert himself by all the well-meaning busy bodies who surround him. He decides he'd like to see what it's like to be just plain Mr Dash from Nowhere and his cousin Matthew gives him the opportunity. Matthew has become entangled with a very dodgy character who claims to be the guardian of the blindingly beautiful but extremely dim-witted Belinda (the Foundling of the title). The adventures Gilly encounters as plain Mr Rufford are what makes this book so charming and so enjoyable. He becomes involved with a runaway school boy, various colourful rogues, highway men and inn-keepers, he gets captured, escapes and manages to fend for himself very well in the end. As usual there is loads of wonderful detail and plenty of funny moments. They wind up in Bath where Gilly enlists the help of his betrothed (who he proposes to at the beginning of the book at the suggestion of his uncle who has virtually arranged the match). His Harriet is the perfect match for him, shy and gentle but with a strong core and the whole muddled, complicated plot comes out happily in the end. Of course. If you are looking for passionate romance this is not for you but if you love Heyer, her insights into Regency life, her humour and originality this one is definitely worth reading.
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on 3 November 2012
As virtually every other Georgette Heyer book - this was brilliant. Light, witty and a pleasant escape from the modern world. If you haven't read any Georgette Heyer before, pick one at random and welcome to the Regency world. The conventions of that world are beautifully described, together with heroes and heroines who delightfully do not conform to the strict manners required at the time. We only meet the rich - servants, chambermaids, inn-keepers etc. and the reality of life in England at the time being carefully excluded or alluded to only in so far as they help the plot lines along. The pace of life - very hectic rounds of parties but taking days to get to places such as Bristol or Yorkshire from London - is far removed from the 21st century!
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on 6 February 2001
This is a fabulous Georgette Heyer, full of energy, witty and with a good plot. The romance between The Duke of Sale, a wonderfully unusual quiet and shy hero, and Harriet is understated and not given many pages, but the adventure and characters make up for this. The romance when it happens is also very real and lovely.
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VINE VOICEon 11 October 2009
The Foundling lacks Heyer's usual faultless narrative drive, I feel, but it is still a very engaging story. Gilly is perhaps Heyer's most feminised hero - he is small, rather delicate and compliant. In fact he is more 'feminine' in some ways than most of her heroines! Romance plays second fiddle to adventure and intrigue in many of Heyer's Regencies but here it is particularly understated. In some ways Gilly's most charged and intense relationship appears to be, not with Harriet, but with his dashing cousin Gideon. The relationship between them is reminiscent of the relationships between Heyer's more conventionally masculine and sardonic heroes and her sprightly, slightly rebellious young heroines. Gilly's development from a shy and uncertain youth to a more self reliant and confident young man who can stand on his own two feet is very satisfying - and, as is usual with Heyer's novels - minor characters provide some delightfully absurd humour.
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on 4 April 2010
This is one of Georgette Heyer's better books; the plot is really interesting and the end is not immediately obvious. I loved the lead characters, and really the more I think about it, the more I love this book!
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on 30 June 2013
Unusually for a Heyer romance, Foundling centers on a young man who is too timid to ever stand up to his overprotective (and overbearing) guardians who take the shape of uncles, aunts, servants, etc. Starting out to try to help his younger cousin, he goes on a journey to help him discover how to take control of his own life.
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on 16 June 2014
I have to confess that I just love Georgette Heyers' Regency novels. It is her attention to the details of the time; the clothes, the manners, the carriages, the differences in the upbringing of the upper-class sons and daughters. The Foundling deals with how suffocating over-protectiveness can be and what a lonely life Gilly is leading, for all his wealth and privilege. The other side of the coin is Belinda, who is the foundling. To be born with no name and no family was not an enviable position to be in as such a person would on the lowest rung of the ladder and open to exploitation and abuse by such a person as Swithin Liversedge. Gilly goes on an adventure, friightens the life out of his family and find happiness for himself and for Belinda.
I think that someone who enjoys gentle comedy, a good story with some historical fact and a bit of romance would enjoy this book
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on 15 January 2014
I came to the wonderful Georgette Heyer relatively late.
This book is a revelation. More character based than many, the story is of course taken at a gallop as usual. But what makes it such a pleasure are the individual players personalities, especially the wonderful Mr Liversedge, who deserves a book of his own.
I enjoyed it a great deal as I have just finished (devoured) the entire Vor Universe of Lois McMaster Bujold, whose books somehow encompass Georgette Heyer style Regency high jinks and romance, with distant future epic space opera. Georgette fans take note!
The main protagonist, Miles Vorkosigan and his cousin Ivan must have been inspired a least a little by the rather diminutive Duke of Sale and his dashing cousin Gideon.
Loved it!
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on 3 June 2014
The foundling is the extremely beautiful and exceedingly dim Belinda who will go off with anyone who promise presents that she likes. Our hero beset by relatives and servants who wish to save him from any danger or distress, decides to deal, incognito, with the blackmail of his young relative about his alleged breach of promise to marry Belinda being pursued by rogues who have obtained Belinda by promises of presents and largesse. He rescues her and defeats the rogues but has the embarrassment as an engaged person of being seen by people who know him with the beautiful Belinda which ends in him needing the help of his fiancée. It is a complete delight to read. A very amusing tale.
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on 11 June 2016
This book narrates (among other things) the machinations of several men in their dealings with a sexually attractive, learning disabled, adolescent woman.

Happily it all ends well, when the Duke gives the hot, plebiean, orphan moron to a thick-necked yokel with a successful farm and not much in the way of sensibility.
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