Sylvester (A) Audio CD – Abridged, Jul 1 2009
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Although this is an abridged version of Heyer's work, British actor Richard Armitage makes this exceptionally fun to listen to. The only drawback is that listeners will be disappointed that he didn't read the full-length version. Armitage is perhaps best known for playing the most appealing John Thornton in the BBC production of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. He also played the dastardly Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood, and, a spy in Spooks. Armitage's reading is warm, lively, simply brilliant. He easily voices all characters and regional and class differences with ease and captures the underlying tension and growing romantic interest between Phoebe and Sylvester. The period classical music between chapters adds wonderful, appropriate atmosphere. - Jean Palmer, Soundcommentary.com - Talking of Regency romance, a favourite Georgette Heyer novel is Sylvester, which has a wicked uncle, a feisty heroine, a clash of personalities, a desperately cute child and a daffy mama. It's also read by the seductive-voiced Richard Armitage, just the pick me up for the end of winter. - Kati Nicholl, Daily Express
About the Author
Georgette Heyer's novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades. English Heritage has awarded Georgette Heyer one of their prestigious Blue Plaques, designating her Wimbledon home as the residence of an important figure in British history. She was born in Wimbledon in August 1902. She wrote her first novel, The Black Moth, at the age of seventeen to amuse her convalescent brother; it was published in 1921 and became an instant success.
Heyerpublished 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. A very private woman, she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or personal life. Her work included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. She was married to George RonaldRougier, a barrister, and they had one son, Richard. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Phoebe Marlow has been raised since an early age by her stepmother. While a very efficient and strict mother, she is not nurturing nor loving. Her main goal is to get Phoebe married off as quickly as possible so that she can concentrate on the most suitable matches for her own daughters.
Things take an interesting twist when Sylvester asks his godmother, who is also Phoebe's grandmother, about Phoebe. This sets in motion a chain of events involving a possible elopement, a broken leg, being socially ostracized, and finally an abduction.
Once Phoebe escaped from the stifling confines of her stepmother, she blossomed. She no longer had to worry that she would be chastised for each and every word she said or action she committed. I found the new Phoebe a very likable character. Most Regency era women are written as too wimpy for me. This one has spunk and speaks her mind. On the other hand, Sylvester appears to be the haughty Duke that all expect him to be. Somehow, throughout their misadventures, they each manage to pull out the best and the worst in each other. This made for very amusing reading never knowing what to expect next.
The style of writing in this book put me very much in mind of Jane Austen's style. Rich in detail and discussion of friends and family. All were most proper in manners and for their concern of their position in society. This is the second book that I have read by Georgette Heyer and leaves me wanting to read more.
But Phoebe is not at all impressed at being considered for the honour of becoming Salford's wife, and runs away! Part of her problem is that she's just written a gothic novel which is in fact a _roman a clef_ in which Sylvester himself is cast as the villain, though she also found him overly arrogant when she'd met him before.
Then Sylvester finds her after her carriage had overturned, and they're forced to spend several days in each other's company....
As usual, Heyer throws in plenty of witty dialogue, an assortment of hilarious and/or likeable supporting characters, and fast pacing as events begin to spiral out of the control of even the supremely confident Duke.
A wonderful novel, worth reading over and over: as with the best Heyers, there's plenty of subtleties you'll miss the first time and will spot on re-reading.
Most recent customer reviews
Although an abridged version this was a delight to listen to. Richard Armitage's awesome renditions of the different characters combined with the amazing writing of Georgette Heyer... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Doris Smith
Excellently narrated by Richard Armitage. Wonderful story by Georgette Heyer. Listened to well commuting to and from work. Great investment.Published 20 months ago by Laura Devine
Absolutely love anything Richard Armitage does. Please don't let him go "Hollywood" Love the story and his voice. The accent doesn't hurt either.Published on Feb. 2 2014 by Marilyn
I enjoyed this story. I thought it was well-written and funny, very entertaining.Published on July 19 2004 by marla weaver
I really liked this book by Heyer. The only reason for not giving it 5 stars is the lack of romantic feeling by the heroine until the end of the book. Read morePublished on June 12 2004 by S. Reader
It's difficult to choose a favorite Heyer novel--but Sylvester would certainly be in the Top 5. The plot centers on the heroine Phoebe and the gradual humanizing of the dashing,... Read morePublished on Aug. 15 1999