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Black Sheep Paperback – 3 Jun 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (3 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099468034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099468035
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"My favourite historical novelist ... I owe her many happy hours" (Margaret Drabble)

"Wonderful characters, elegant, witty writing, perfect period detail, and rapturously romantic" (Katie Fforde)

"Sparkling" (Independent)

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'Sparkling.' (The Independent) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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'Black Sheep' is one of Georgette Heyer's later Regency novels and shows all her skills as a writer, including her much-praised historical accuracy for this period. The 'Black Sheep' of the title is Mr Miles Calverleigh, a gentleman who was sent to India twenty years before after shaming his family. Unfortunately for Miss Abigail Wendover, the absent Mr Calverleigh's nephew Stacy is apparently trying to beguile her spirited niece Fanny in order to get his hands on her fortune. Abigail and her sister Serena have stood as parents toward Fanny for many years but Abigail begins to discover that Fanny has grown up enough to want to rely less on her aunt and more on her own heart.

It is into this situation that Miles Calverleigh steps, having finally returned from India. The first scene between him and Abby, a case of mistaken identity, is a wonderful example of Heyer's skill in writing two spirited and interesting characters. Abigail tries to get Miles to help separate his nephew from her niece but she finds herself thwarted by his apparent lack of interest in the cares of others and his apparent wish to thwart her own strict views on being a support to her own sister which may prevent her from following her heart.

There are some similarities between this book and 'Lady of Quality', also written late in Heyer's career, not least in the age of the heroes and heroines who aren't the youngsters of 'Friday's Child' or 'Cotillion' but are mature people who may perhaps feel that the opportunities in life have passed them by. As usual the side characters are excellent in this story, including the very amusing Mrs Clapham and even the straighlaced James Wendover.
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Format: Paperback
I love reading, and if ever I want a book to take me out of myself after a long day, I reach for Georgette Heyer...
On my list of GH favourites, Black Sheep has to rate fairly high. Not only does it capture the feeling of beautiful Regency Bath so well that I feel I am taking a turn about the famous Pump Room and elegant streets myself, but it brings together two infectious characters that I immediately warmed to. Abby the heroine, described by herself as a 'staid old aunt' when in fact she is a stylish witty woman in her late twenties, has never been attracted to any man enough to relinquish her single status. Until, that is, the arrival of the indolent, rakish Miles, the 'Black Sheep' of the noble Calverleigh family banished to hot climates years before for his wild ways. The tale centres on the love story of these two whilst Abby struggles with the guardianship of her wilful, pretty niece, who is heiress to a tidy fortune and being pursued by the slimy if artful Stacy Calverleigh, Miles's impoverished nephew.
A wonderful story with a good mix of humour and some nice little twists provided by cheeky Miles. Get comfortable, open the book and enjoy!
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read `Black Sheep' when it was first published and it has lost none of its charm on re-reading. Abigail Wendover is one of Heyer's most endearing older heroines with a great deal of common sense and a disinclination to bow to convention. She lives in Bath with her older sister Selina and their young niece Fanny.

Unfortunately while Abby was away from Bath visiting one of her other sisters, Fanny has become the object of a fortune hunter - Stacy Calverleigh. Stacy's estranged Uncle Miles Calverleigh returns unexpectedly from India and becomes acquainted with Abby who hopes to involve him in her plan to detach Stacy from her niece.

What follows is a lively fast paced plot with some truly memorable characters - Miles Calverleigh himself, the delightful Fanny, hypochondriac Selina and the outrageous Mrs Clapham who plays a small but important part in the story. As ever the plot is intriguing and characters realistic and Bath society is well portrayed. The dialogue is witty and entertaining and many of the incidents are really funny. This is a feel good story ideal for these winter evenings. It would be a good introduction to Georgette Heyer's work for anyone who has not read any of her books before as I think it is possibly one of her best.
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As with most others, I thoroughly enjoy Georgette Heyer's books. My only frustration is that they always end so abruptly and Black Sheep is no exception.

It seemed to be the way with films made during and just after WWII that as long as the couple got together it was all right to end. Nowadays the loose ends are tied up much better, as did Austen in her books come to think of it.

Other than that, a good read again.
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I have been collecting the set of Heyer's Regency Romances and this is one of my favourites, with a heroine and a hero you can't help enjoying their love story. Set in the lovely city of Bath. Curl up and enjoy, I am sure you will not be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
I've recently come back to Georgette Heyer after many, many years and I'm really enjoying reading old favourites over again. If I'm stressed or feeling down, I don't want challenging or thought provoking - and I really don't want self-obsessive chick-lit. If books were comfort food, Georgette Heyer would be the best quality chocolate and Black Sheep is one of my favourites.
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