The Unknown Ajax Paperback – Aug 22 2011
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"Georgette Heyer is unbeatable" -- India Knight "Sparkling" Independent "My favourite historical novelist - stylish, romantic, sharp, and witty. Her sense of period is superb, her heroines are enterprising, and her heroes dashing. I owe her many happy hours" -- Margaret Drabble --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hugo whose father was banished for marrying a weaver's daughter instead of a proper wife, returns to meet his estranged family when he unexpectedly becomes Lord Darracott's heir. Expecting the worst, they prepare themselves for an unschooled, foolish yokel, and poor Hugo is thrust amidst an argumentative and scornful family. Hilariously, they have no idea who actually has the upper hand.
Look for: Claud, whose manner of speaking is a bit like Freddy from Cotillion, but not as lovable, and more dandyish and clothes-mad. Lady Aurelia who is truly majestic and a prototype Earl's daughter.
Even though I'd read this book before, I still had to stay up all night to finish it!
This is one of Heyer's Regency romances that really has it all from romance to a little bit of action and plenty of humour, and the characters are very well developed. It has my favourite kind of Heyer hero: the good-natured, competent hero that is initially underestimated yet proves his worth and his intelligence. It also has my favourite type of Heyer heroine: smart and sassy without being annoying. Hugo and Anthea really click in their scenes together making the romance satisfying and a natural development, and the rest of the characters enrich the tale from beginning to end. The story itself moves along quickly and interestingly as Hugo discovers his family and becomes a valuable part of it.
Fans of Heyer won't regret this purchase.
I was taken aback when I first heard Philpott, thinking that he could not possibly do the Yorkshire dialect justice. A few minutes into his reading (well before the dialect and accent started) I was hooked. It helps that this is one of my favorite Heyers where I love even the asides from the servants. But Philpott shows us Hugo tripping up his hostile family neatly into his particular net, along with Lord Darracott, his several other descendants and daughters-in-law, Lt Ottershaw (the customs officer), and even the servants - Charles the footman, Grooby and the other valets, Chollacombe the butler, and Mrs Flitwick the housekeeper. He manages to create a distinct "voice" for each character, and to make each one come alive in a way highly satisfying to me.
Highly recommended, particularly in this unabridged audio book version.
This is the story of the heir Hugh, generally disliked in advance by the entire Darracott family before he arrives, and the gradual way he insinuates himself into the household, without ever trying. His good-natured humour, but iron-will win him friends, respect and love. God, that sounds so wet doesn't it? That's the trouble with Heyer - you strip the plots back to the bare bones and the whole thing looks pathetic - yet it is her ability to characterise, overlay complex story lines and inject the whole with an ironic voice that gives her books such strength.
The book is one of Heyer's best. All the action takes place at Darracott Hall which geographically is somewhere down on the border of Kent and Sussex, it has the requisite number of smugglers, dandy's, beau's and gouty grandfathers, along with a beautiful grand-daughter for a love interest. What sets this book above the norm is the wonderful hero - Hugh - or Hugo. He is a gem.
The first time I read this book I have to admit I didn't much like it. I was defintiely put off by the accent which Hugh adopts at the start. He did seem a clumsy oaf and I never quite recovered. However as a confirmed fan of Heyer I have come back to it again and again and not only has it grown on me, it is one of the top five (alongside Talisman Ring, Corinthian, Cotillion, and Toll-Gate). It is witty, ironic and the hero is so capable but so humourous I can't help falling in love with him each time I read it.
The story develops at an even pace.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I am a very long time fan of GH. Her best books combine a talent for humor, plot twists and characterization. Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2002 by Angela W