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Regency romance at its best
on 7 February 2013
The story of an unusually self-possessed young lady, who spent her childhood following her widowed diplomat father around the globe, sent to stay with her aunt's family to make her come-out is my all-time favourite Georgette Heyer novel.
No one is prepared for a young woman with quite so much self-command and organisational zeal as Miss Stanton-Lacy. Least of all, her rather disapproving older cousin.
This isn't one of Heyer's `bigger' plots. There's no major historical event impacting directly upon the plot and characters (as, e.g. 'An Infamous Army'), nor any particularly large-scale drama. Instead, this is a more private, family-centred novel that relies more upon a delicious blend of character and wit combined with Heyer's impeccable understanding of the language and mores of her chosen time period.
There's plenty of well-paced humour (often at the expense of pompous beaux, condescending fiancées, and a rather splendidly idle Spanish lady), but the pivotal character is our unconventional yet always likeable heroine, who contrives to rescue her family from the consequences of their various errors in judgment. Miss Stanton-Lacy is certainly not afraid of using highly unorthodox methods to achieve her ends.
The Grand Sophy indeed!