Arabella (The Georgette Heyer Signature Collection) Info

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"Whenever I wish I could just chuck it all and live
in a world of quick-witted characters, handsome gentlemen and elegant
drawing rooms, I curl up with a cup of tea and Georgette Heyer. She
never fails to transport me there." ―New York Times bestselling
author Laura Kinsale

Georgette Heyer is known as the
"Queen of Regency Romance".

Daughter of a modest country
clergyman, Arabella Tallant is on her way to London when her carriage
breaks down outside the hunting lodge of the wealthy Mr. Robert
Beaumaris. Her pride stung when she overhears a remark of her host's,
Arabella pretends to be an heiress, a pretense that deeply amuses the
jaded Beau.

To counter her white lie, Beaumaris launches her into
high society and thereby subjects her to all kinds of fortune hunters.
When compassionate Arabella rescues such unfortunate creatures as a
mistreated chimney sweep and a mixed-breed mongrel, she foists them upon
Beaumaris, who finds he rather enjoys the role of rescuer and is soon
given the opportunity to prove his mettle in the person of Arabella's
impetuous young brother...

The Georgette Heyer Signature
Collection
is a fresh celebration of an author who has charmed
tens of millions of readers with her delightful sense of humor and
unique take on Regency romance. Includes fun and fascinating bonus
content―a glossary of Regency slang, a Reading Group Guide, and an
Afterword by official biographer Jennifer Kloester sharing insights into
what Georgette herself thought of Arabella and what was going
on in her life as she was writing.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Arabella (The Georgette Heyer Signature Collection):

4

Nov 07, 2013

Arabella is one of the more charming and funny Georgette Heyer books that I've read, with a major plus in the form of one of my favorite Heyer book boyfriends, Mr. Robert Beaumaris. Arabella Tallant is a lovely, unspoiled girl, but certain to be hampered in the eyes of London society by the fact that she's a poor country vicar's daughter from Yorkshire. Nevertheless, her optimistic mother prevails on Arabella's high society godmother to sponsor her in making her debut into society. So despite Arabella is one of the more charming and funny Georgette Heyer books that I've read, with a major plus in the form of one of my favorite Heyer book boyfriends, Mr. Robert Beaumaris. Arabella Tallant is a lovely, unspoiled girl, but certain to be hampered in the eyes of London society by the fact that she's a poor country vicar's daughter from Yorkshire. Nevertheless, her optimistic mother prevails on Arabella's high society godmother to sponsor her in making her debut into society. So despite Arabella's (and her father's) misgivings, off she goes, with strict instructions to find a rich husband so she can help bring out her younger sisters later.

On the road to London, there's an accident with Arabella's carriage, and she and her companion ask for shelter in a nearby hunting box owned by one of the leading lights of London society, Robert Beaumaris, a handsome and extremely wealthy man. Arabella overhears the rather arrogant Beaumaris tell his friend that he's certain Arabella has pursued him from London and has made up the carriage accident as an excuse. She's so incensed by this accusation that she immediately launches into a series of reckless lies, telling Beaumaris and his friend that she's a wealthy heiress who is unutterably weary of all the fuss people make over her. Beaumaris realizes she's making this all up and is vastly amused, but his more gullible friend believes the story, especially after Beaumaris (tongue firmly in cheek) confirms that of course he knows of the Tallant fortune.

A few days later Arabella is horrified, as she begins to go about in society, to find that word has spread and everyone in London society now believes she's an heiress. To seal the deal, Beaumaris whimsically begins to pay her particular attention, just to make certain that her Season is a success. As they get to know each other better their attraction grows, and Beaumaris, a confirmed bachelor, starts to reconsider his status. But Arabella feels caught by the web her lie has created and doesn't know who she can trust, or who will still care about her when her poverty becomes known.

Arabella is a sympathetic heroine, naive but also self-aware, and determinedly resistant of the natural inclination to fall head over heels in love with Robert Beaumaris, convinced that he'll only hurt her in the end. Robert finds Arabella refreshing as he gets to know her better, despite - or more accurately, because of - her charitable impulses, which land him with a mongrel dog and worse. It's great fun to watch these two try to come to an understanding in spite of the lie that is still pushing them apart.

Minus a star for a subplot about Arabella's brother getting into some severe gambling trouble, which I thought was predictable and almost painfully embarrassing to read (I skimmed that part on reread), and for Arabella's overdone silliness and naivete at the very end, combined with a dollop of paternalistic attitude from Beaumaris that I'm sure read better back in 1949 when this book was first published. But other than that, Heyer's wit shines in this book, and it's a delicious Regency romp. ...more
5

Oct 04, 2012

WOW, what an absolutely fantastic read Arabella was.

This Heyer combines all that's best about regency romances, starting with a well crafted hero. 'Cause let's face it ladies, we all like a swoon-worthy book man. And I'm here to tell you that Robert Beaumaris has got "it" in spades:


He's charming (but not overbearing). He's slightly jaded (but not an out-an-out rake), he's a bit world weary (but not cynical), and most important of all, he's got a dry sense of humor, especially when it comes to WOW, what an absolutely fantastic read Arabella was.

This Heyer combines all that's best about regency romances, starting with a well crafted hero. 'Cause let's face it ladies, we all like a swoon-worthy book man. And I'm here to tell you that Robert Beaumaris has got "it" in spades:


He's charming (but not overbearing). He's slightly jaded (but not an out-an-out rake), he's a bit world weary (but not cynical), and most important of all, he's got a dry sense of humor, especially when it comes to his fashion sense in dandelion boutineers and conversations with canine mutts (just read the book and you'll see what I mean about the last two!). He channels a little Mr. Darcy, a little Captain Wentworth and, surprisingly enough to me, a little Rory Frost from my favorite book of all time, Trade Wind. Not many readers are going to understand that last reference at all, because these two books have absolutely nothing in common in style, content or plotline. However, one of the best moments in both these books comes when the jaded hero steps up and takes on a problem because he knows it will help the heroine yet cause countless difficulties for himself. The best part about this plot device is that no one is more surprised then the hero himself that he makes this offer. It's as if he can't help himself, and it's at that moment he knows his heart is irrevocably lost to the heroine. I.MELT.EVERY.TIME.

The heroine Arabella is also a good character. She's young and naive, but she's not overtly silly and helpless (although Heyer overdoes it with all her blushing). She cares for defenseless things, is willing to fight for what she believes in, and plays the older, worldly-wise Beaumaris with a surprisingly deft hand in the game of love. These two, you feel, will have a very good life together, because they bring out the better elements in each other's character. In a word, they are believable.

It goes without saying that this is a clean read, but it's not an easy one with all the cant-speak and idioms Heyer uses. It gives the novel a very authentic voice, but it's not always easy for modern readers to follow. Heyer was a prodigious researcher, and I'd be willing to bet there's not many people who have or had a better grasp of Regency England then she did. It shows, and it makes for a rich and detailed read that goes beyond the romance.

Until a future Heyer read challenges my vote, Arabella is now my favorite Heyer romance. If another can top it, then I'm excited to find it, since I faced the exquisite quandry of wanting to find out what happened at the end, and conversely never wanting it to end.

Well done, Georgette. Well done. ...more
5

Jul 11, 2014

This isn't the book cover I have (the copy I read was by Mandarin Publishing in the 1990s & Arabella looks nothing like I envisage her) but this is my favourite Heyer cover ever. so I'm using this one.

In spite of some stiff competition from Fridays Child & Cotillion, this is my favourite Heyer Regency. I am still a little in love with Robert Beaumaris & Ulysses is my favourite minor GH character! ;) I love the way that Arabella has other motivations & character in her life other This isn't the book cover I have (the copy I read was by Mandarin Publishing in the 1990s & Arabella looks nothing like I envisage her) but this is my favourite Heyer cover ever. so I'm using this one.

In spite of some stiff competition from Fridays Child & Cotillion, this is my favourite Heyer Regency. I am still a little in love with Robert Beaumaris & Ulysses is my favourite minor GH character! ;) I love the way that Arabella has other motivations & character in her life other than finding a rich husband. & the book does contain many insights into what life was like for the less fortunate in Regency times.

Edit; 2/7/18. This time this is the edition I read! I still love this cover, even though Arabella is a brunette.

This is still a 5★ read for me, but it is no longer my favourite Heyer Regency. In fact, it may have slipped out of my top 5 of Heyer's romances. The main reason is the amount of time Arabella's tiresome brother Bertram receives. I appreciate GH's realistic portrayal of (view spoiler)[ a naive young man living beyond his means. (hide spoiler)] I am sure the number of unsatisfactory brothers in GH novels is due to her financially supporting her own brothers for most of their lives. but Bertram pushes Arabella & Robert's romance off centre stage.

As above, I still love Robert & Ulysses. Arabella is one of GH's best heroines & with GH (as usual) handling all the strands in her novel so well, Arabella's social conscience doesn't mean she behaves like a 20th century heroine transplanted to the Regency era.

Just bear in mind I have probably read this title over 50 times. Things that niggle at me, may not strike you at all.

But Bertram. Ugh.

...more
5

Jun 05, 2010

Enjoyed this book so much I read it again. It think I enjoyed it more the second time around. Great ending! Seriously swoon worthy. And read it a 3rd time.
Content: Clean
Source: Audible
Originally read in October 2015 - Reread in March 2016 & again in June 2016
5

Apr 17, 2013

What can I say about this wonderful little darling book that hasn't already been said?

Arabella is charming. It's a true Regency romance classic, the epitome of the perfect comedy of manners set in London, and features all your favourite Regency quirks, mannerisms, glittering balls and shocking crushes. And naturally, there is an enterprising heroine and a dashing hero, who meet quite by chance and fall quite madly in love amidst a set of funny and delightful adventures. Ah, to have a London What can I say about this wonderful little darling book that hasn't already been said?

Arabella is charming. It's a true Regency romance classic, the epitome of the perfect comedy of manners set in London, and features all your favourite Regency quirks, mannerisms, glittering balls and shocking crushes. And naturally, there is an enterprising heroine and a dashing hero, who meet quite by chance and fall quite madly in love amidst a set of funny and delightful adventures. Ah, to have a London Season and go shopping in Bond Street, entertain callers all morning and be sought-after by all the gazetted fortune hunters for miles around! Such is the lot of our dear heroine Arabella in this story, but mind you, she brought it all upon herself (because of Mr. Beaumaris, of course), as you will see.

Once upon a time, in a sheltered and remote Yorkshire village, there lived the Tallant family, of which Arabella was the eldest and prettiest daughter. The Tallants lived a quiet and peaceful existence until the day Arabella’s godmother, Lady Bridlington, had the brilliant idea (aided with a few not-so-subtle-hints from Mrs. Tallant) to invite her to London for the upcoming social season. Arabella, who had been poring over fashion magazines with her sisters and dazed by the prevailing fashion of satin bodices and diamond fastenings, was naturally delighted and looked upon the season as her Only Hope to form an eligible connection to aid her family and bring her sisters in the way of meeting other eligible young men. If she were to make a splendid match, how beneficial it would be for everyone!

After many preparations, most of which included exclaiming over Mama’s old clothes from the old trunk, the making of new gowns by the nearest town’s modiste and shopping for such indispensible accessories as hats, bonnets, gloves, fans and silk stockings, Arabella was finally ready to depart, and after tearful goodbyes, she got into her uncle’s old carriage and left for London.

Meanwhile, enjoying a respite from the humdrum of the metropolis and the conniving schemes of unscrupulous females too numerous to number, Mr. Robert Beaumaris was intending to spend a very relaxing evening in his Leicestershire hunting-box with his dear friend Lord Fleetwood (who was definitely hoping for more than good food and wine as his only distractions of the evening). Alas, that his peace should be shattered!

Lord Fleetwood: So, Rob, what are we doing tonight?
Mr. Beaumaris: I told you. Eat. Drink. Relax.
Fleetwood: Yeah, but what else?? Seriously, what are we going to DO?
Beaumaris: I just told you. EAT AND DRINK AND RELAX. You will not be disappointed in my cook, let me tell you!!
Fleetwood: Look, I realize than anyone else would be happy just being invited to your hunting-box, but I AM NOT ANYONE ELSE. Now seriously Rob, entertainment??! Don’t you have a few pretty women hidden somewhere??
Beaumaris: Yeahhhhhh. Because I just casually have women hiding around in my houses in the hope of pleasing you!
Fleetwood: Come on man, I was expecting some wild orgies and drinking wine out of skulls!! (Guys, ^^ that’s actually in the book!)
Beaumaris: GTFO Lord Byron! Because IF, and I say IF, I had any, do you imagine I would just show you them and run the risk that they would prefer you to me?!
Fleetwood: Oh stop that BS! If there are to be no women -
Beaumaris: No clue why you would THINK there would be!
Brough enters: Excuse me sir, a couple of women have had a carriage accident right outside your door and are asking if they can wait here until it the damage is fixed?
Beaumaris: Meh. Bring them to the salon.
Fleetwood: Wait, whoa, waiiiiiit!! Are they young, old, pretty, what?!
Brough: Uuuhh…one of them is young and –I think- very pretty!
Fleetwood: Then what the hell, Robert?! Bring them here Brough! Ahhh women after all!!
Beaumaris: *facepalm* FML.

And so it is that the beautiful Miss Tallant and her traveling companion Miss Blackburn are ushered into the presence of the two aforementioned gentlemen. It should also be said, in favour of the gentlemen (Mr. Beaumaris in particular) that they appeared rather to advantage in their state of ease and good-humour, and that Mr. Beaumaris just happened to be charmingly smiling as Miss Tallant entered the room. Naturally, sparks fly and the electricity will remain in the air between them for the rest of the story, even though the majority of them are fuelled by anger and provocation on Arabella’s part.

While ascending the stairs, she overhears with dreadful clarity Mr. Beaumaris telling Lord Fleetwood that she has set up the carriage accident on purpose to throw herself at him. Our dear heroine becomes so incensed that she decides then and there to embark on a dangerous game. She will prove to that arrogant, no-doubt-good-for-nothing darling of society that she can have no use at all for his money and position. Behold, the Miss Arabella Tallant, heiress to a vast fortune, and travelling incognito to London!

Yay! Brilliant! Of course this is going to work!

Except about the part where that snarky Mr. Beaumaris sees right through the charade and decides to play fire with fire…

Like, “you want to be an heiress?” OK FINE. HEIRESS IT IS. But don’t come cryin’ to me later!

Unfortunately for him, he has no idea what kind of “heiress” he’s just agreed to launch into society. Arabella is, first and foremost, a country clergyman’s daughter bent on helping others in need whether she’s a lady of quality or not. Before long, she has foisted a dirty climbing-boy and an abused mongrel dog onto poor unsuspecting Mr. Beaumaris, and has him completely twisted round her little finger whether he wants to or not. Dang it, she wasn’t supposed to be that charming! And while he tries in vain to capture her attention, he manages to win the complete and utter adoration of a totally unexpected party: the mongrel dog (which he names Ulysses).

This book is FAMOUS for the conversations Mr. Beaumaris entertains with his dog. Seriously. It is too good.

Ulysses just freakin’ LOOOOVES Mr. Beaumaris and can’t bear to be away from him.



And he knows that Mr. Beaumaris knows that Arabella loves him too.



Even though his manners leave a lot to be desired (as Beaumaris reminds him continuously).





And his eating habits are questionable.




Honestly, that dog is just priceless whether Beaumaris agrees or not. It was a really unique element to an otherwise slightly déjà-vu story, and it was really fun.

Next, throw in Arabella’s young hothead brother Bertram bent on having a taste of Town and running into one scrape after another, a merry chase about the place with everyone trying to rescue each other, and a very wise Dowager Duchess Highly Advising Matrimony for her favourite grandson, and you have yourself a delightful classic comedy of manners, full of laughs and mishaps.

And another one of those hilarious-but-completely-random valet scenes stopping all action at a very crucial point, because we need to know what will happen to Mr. Beaumaris’ clothes while he travels.

Beaumaris : Alright Painswick, I need to leave and it’s pretty urgent, so just pack up shirts and neckcloths and, you know, simple sutff, because you’re not coming with me.
Painswick : *so shocked he remains speechless for a full minute*
Beaumaris : Yeah, and tell them to have the carriage ready for six, and –
Painswick : B-but, d-d-did you s-say I wasn’t going with you????
Beaumaris : Yeah I did, I’m going alone, dude HURRY UP, I NEED TO GO!
Painswick : But sir! Who is going to dress you? Wait upon you? Take care of you??? YOU NEED ME!
Beaumaris : I’ll be fine, I can dress myself!
Painswick : But your coat, sir! WHO WILL PRESS YOUR COAT??
Beaumaris : Sigh. I’m sure they can do that at the posting-house!
Painswick : NO THEY CAN’T. THEY’LL RUIN IT!
Beaumaris : I honestly don’t really care about my coat right now.
Painswick : *alright, that settles it, he’s nuts!* SIR. *gulps* Please let me come with you!!!
Beaumaris : Ugh, I’ll be fine I tell you! Take a holiday, go have fun!
Painswick : Take A HOLIDAY when I know you’ll be all alone having to dress yourself???
Beaumaris : I CAN dress myself!!
Painswick : And what about your boots? Will they be nicely polished?? Shirt collars starched enough? WHAT IF YOU GET MUD ON YOUR BREECHES??!?! I NEED TO COME WITH YOU!
Beaumaris : I already told you I WILL NOT BE REQUIRING YOUR SERVICES FOR THIS JOURNEY.
Painswick : I…I think I’m going to die.

***

Funny, witty, charming and wholly entertaining, Arabella is a wonderful Heyer romance you don’t want to miss. I was tempted to lower my rating a bit because at times the story seemed to drag, and I wasn’t that interested in Bertram’s antics which took up quite a lot of the last half of the book, but it’s just such a brilliant classic and so very Heyer that I can’t bring myself to give it less than a 5. I would strongly recommend starting with this one as a first Heyer read, especially as I had the feeling I’d already met a few of the characters in some other of her novels, and that feeling of déjà-vu sometimes slightly spoiled the fun I would otherwise have had meeting them for the first time.

Also, I was disappointed that, although Arabella’s family is strongly featured in the first few chapters, we never see them again after she leaves for London. I was really hoping for a reunion scene with them and Mr. Beaumaris!

But anyways, those are only slight complaints, I really did love this novel and would definitely read it again. And this is a Heyer Regency romance, so you know that…

…they lived happily after after <3

Buddy-read with Lori :D I apologize for the SUPER LATE, COMPLETELY OVERDUE REVIEW!! We read it AGES ago!!! ...more
3

Mar 31, 2014

Until the ending sequence, the book was 4 stars for me. So many bits and pieces of the book reminded me of Pride and Prejudice in a good way. I was delighted to relive the joy of reading P&P. I love a damsel that's not easily taken in by the hero or faints at the first sight of him. Arabella, though inexperienced and quite innocent, had a sharp mind and acute self-awareness. She guarded her heart well (for good reasons) against the hero's advances. On the other hand, the hero, Mr. Beaumaris, Until the ending sequence, the book was 4 stars for me. So many bits and pieces of the book reminded me of Pride and Prejudice in a good way. I was delighted to relive the joy of reading P&P. I love a damsel that's not easily taken in by the hero or faints at the first sight of him. Arabella, though inexperienced and quite innocent, had a sharp mind and acute self-awareness. She guarded her heart well (for good reasons) against the hero's advances. On the other hand, the hero, Mr. Beaumaris, was the most swoon-worthy character I've read in a long time. He had first rate mind and taste, a sharp tongue and elegant address, and superior ability to manipulate the fashionable crowd. Of course his prominent family and wealth also helped to sustain his healthy ego. He's like a more playful version of Mr. Darcy, smoother and a little less responsible, but underneath the proud person was the same heart of gold. He and Arabella made a good match in the game of courtship. Watching them out maneuver and second guess each other was the most entertaining part of the book.

Then came the event toward the end. It totally ruined it for me. Arabella, collected and sensible throughout the whole book, suddenly became silly beyond measure. The scheme she cooked up in her head was so against commonsense and inconsistent with her intellectual level, that I found the whole thing quite idiotic. I can't help but feeling disappointed since there are Georgette Heyer books with much better crafted ending, like The Grand Sophy, Venetia, and Frederica.

3.5 stars.
...more
5

Jul 16, 2016

Arabella has been waiting for me to get to it for quite some time. I don’t know if I should be kicking myself for not reading it earlier or be happy for enjoying it this much now. If there ever was a book whose blurb doesn’t do its job then Arabella is that book.

I loved the way Heyer introduced Arabella Tallant’s lovely family, the way they live, how much her parents love each other and their children, the way the impoverished Vicar educated his sons and daughters and so much more, but I didn’t Arabella has been waiting for me to get to it for quite some time. I don’t know if I should be kicking myself for not reading it earlier or be happy for enjoying it this much now. If there ever was a book whose blurb doesn’t do its job then Arabella is that book.

I loved the way Heyer introduced Arabella Tallant’s lovely family, the way they live, how much her parents love each other and their children, the way the impoverished Vicar educated his sons and daughters and so much more, but I didn’t like knowing that she will do something 'impetuos'. The moment she says she is an heiress she knows she made a mistake, but the story went too fast for her to do anything about it.
It is hilarious to see how all those fortune-hunting families are devastated when the Nonpareil gives all his attention to Arabella.

I loved both protagonists. Robert Beaumaris’s way of dealing with Arabella is lovely. The flow of the story is perfect. When the realization hits, you are neither surprised nor angry for waiting too long. It is simply perfect. They actually spend enough time together, getting to know each other better, with a lot of surprises along the way.

I was afraid her brother will hijack the story at one point, but although he did get more than enough pages of his own, in the end it all flawlessly connected with the main story and made sense.
There are so many things I loved in this book.

Arabella is even comforted by an urchin. Now, that encounter is one of the best moments in the story. Up until that moment Robert Beaumaris was amusing himself and falling in love without noticing, but this gave him the perfect opportunity to really see how extraordinarily unbent Arabella is when it comes to justice.

And to make it even better there is Ulysses. The way the dog and Robert Beaumaris adopted each other and the way Robert consulted the animal was beyond lovely. ...more
5

Nov 12, 2015

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Well, this book was just so much fun to read!! I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. It is well paced and ridiculously diverting. Of course, it has a lot of the ingredients found in Georgette Heyer's (brain candy) regencies, such as a debutante seeking an advantageous marriage, a swoon-worthy hero, trials and tribulations, and a misguided sibling. Blend well and you have a very appealing regency novel. Arabella Tallant arrives in London, fresh from a country vicarage and is shocked by Well, this book was just so much fun to read!! I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. It is well paced and ridiculously diverting. Of course, it has a lot of the ingredients found in Georgette Heyer's (brain candy) regencies, such as a debutante seeking an advantageous marriage, a swoon-worthy hero, trials and tribulations, and a misguided sibling. Blend well and you have a very appealing regency novel. Arabella Tallant arrives in London, fresh from a country vicarage and is shocked by the selfishness of the rich and fashionable. Arabella, also referred to as the "little Tallant", draws our swoon-worthy hero into the rescue of more than one unfortunate creature and this is exactly what makes her so engaging. Mr. Beaumaris, the devilishly handsome Nonpareil, agrees to assist her and bears the resulting disruptions in his life very well. (May I just say here, that should a film adaptation of Arabella be in the works, Richard Armitage would make an excellent Robert Beaumaris!!) Having said that, I adored Arabella, who is not a milksop but rather a kindhearted soul with enough gumption to tackle any injustice she might encounter. Mr. Beaumaris is a trendsetter with pleasing address who I believe loved the ethereal Arabella from the start. Yes, this novel has a hint of Austen's Pride and Prejudice but not enough to diminish my pleasure in reading it. It will be difficult to find a hero I can like better than Robert Beaumaris in Georgette Heyer's novels but I will keep reading them to find out. This story captured my heart because I really liked both hero and heroine for their abundant redeeming qualities. A very worthwhile read!!!

March 31, 2016 reread
Georgette Heyer's wit is dazzling! This is just as yummy the second time around!
Buddy read with my friend, Anne!
...more
3

Jun 18, 2015

There was a big joke played on me by the powers above, I think, because I picked up this novel without having the slightest of clues that this was Heyer's homage to "Pride and Prejudice." And it wasn't until I was about 70% into the story that I stopped giggling at Beaumaris' amusing conversations with the mongrel Ulysses long enough for the déjà vu to sink in. Wait a tad! I have read this before, haven't I? But by then it was too late: I had already been rereading Austen P&P in parallel for There was a big joke played on me by the powers above, I think, because I picked up this novel without having the slightest of clues that this was Heyer's homage to "Pride and Prejudice." And it wasn't until I was about 70% into the story that I stopped giggling at Beaumaris' amusing conversations with the mongrel Ulysses long enough for the déjà vu to sink in. Wait a tad! I have read this before, haven't I? But by then it was too late: I had already been rereading Austen P&P in parallel for days.

I liked the calm, very simple plotline at the start of the book that brought in the small-town atmosphere of Austen's plots, away from the ton setting that seems like a rule for Regencies. I liked how the Tallant family had a "we're a clan and we support each other even if one amongst us isn't especially sharp" mentality, and act like a real family that's not either dysfunctional or comically messed up for the sake of the leading member, who then gets to be the sensible head amongst them. For Arabella Tallant, our heroine, is not exactly like that.

It's when the plot moved to London that I started to lose interest, at first because of the implausibilities Heyer uses to cause the hero and heroine to meet, and later because of the turns towards the silly that the plot took. Like when Beaumaris and she meet, it's in a circumstance that, frankly, is way too convenient and so contrived that one is tempted to excuse Beaumaris' conviction that the "accident" was staged outside his door in order for the hopeful chit to ensnare him for a husband. Yes, in short, the man is justified in his belief seeing how the accident's circumstances are too convenient to have been a product of chance, and is therefore justified in thinking her a gold-digger. And she makes things worse by lying that no, she isn't one, au contraire, m'sieur, it is she the one sought after by fortune hunters. I can understand she did it out of pride, but it was nonetheless immensurably stupid, for she didn't even stop to think she was going to be presented in society, so whatever false image she created of herself was bound to explode in her face, and besides, if she was wounded by such a remark, could she not have explained her circumstances and even called the man out on his poor manners? That's what Lizzy did with Darcy, who wasn't remotely as justified in his prejudiced first assessment of her like Beaumaris was in his of Arabella. Instead, she has to complicate things by becoming a fraud, and it's only because Beaumaris finds it amusing and decides to play the Big Joke of the Decade on the foolish aristocrats and fops of the ton by lending credibility to her lies, thus protecting her with his reputation, that she's not exposed or ridiculed or humiliated. She got off easy, if you ask me. And her brother as well, thanks to Beaumaris acting the chevalier and paying off the boy's gambling debts and rescuing the silly chit.

I realise this was meant as a comedy, but the easy way all is solved, the lack of consequences, and his flippant attitude about the situation weren't making a positive impression on me. And I'm starting to suspect that such immature lassies appear with frequency in Heyer's novels, particularly because she seems to repeat the formula of sensible and hot older male + silly chit = Regency romance plot a time too many. I barely read 4 or 5 of her novels, and the pattern is already very evident.

The subplot with the stray dog was a funny addition, but I am not sure it was enough to compensate for the plot's deficiencies. With this novel, I came to the conclusion that Heyer's greatest weakness is in characterisation, which is shallow in general but is more keenly noticeable in her women. She also plays fast and loose with plausibility and believability, but that doesn't always bother me because by the very nature and style of her writing, that is: comedic, generally, the story depends on those twists and turns and coincidences at precise points to work and move forward. ...more
4

Aug 08, 2013

I'm on a spree when it comes to Heyer: I went by the library today and picked up five new-to-me Heyer novels. Happyfuntimes. I particularly needed something light yesterday, so Arabella was perfect. I'll confess I wasn't too impressed by the start, and there was a whiff of Pride and Prejudice-ness about it that put me off a bit, but both protagonists grew on me.

I had major embarrassment squick at first, with the silly trick Arabella pulls, but as the novel developed and her kindly nature became I'm on a spree when it comes to Heyer: I went by the library today and picked up five new-to-me Heyer novels. Happyfuntimes. I particularly needed something light yesterday, so Arabella was perfect. I'll confess I wasn't too impressed by the start, and there was a whiff of Pride and Prejudice-ness about it that put me off a bit, but both protagonists grew on me.

I had major embarrassment squick at first, with the silly trick Arabella pulls, but as the novel developed and her kindly nature became clearer, I was ready to forgive her -- and her silly mistake was, of course, pretty justified. I took an instant dislike to Robert Beaumaris, but his behaviour over Jemmy and especially Ulysses won me over. Some of the best giggly bits were Robert's 'conversations' with Ulysses.

In the end, having fallen for both protagonists, I was more than satisfied by the end. Especially because Robert doesn't quite melt into a puddle of goo! I'm a little disappointed Arabella doesn't convince him to do something about Leaky Peg, though... That would make for an amusing scene.

Why I ever disdained reading Georgette Heyer's work, I don't know. ...more
5

Jul 08, 2018

I haven't read this in years and I absolutely loved it! The Tallant family are a delight. It was chapter three before Arabella left for London and I must confess I would have liked it to be a couple of more. I loved the family dynamic here and would have liked to have spent more time with them.
It is definitely one of her more witty books. I laughed out loud more than once. The cant in this is brilliant and some of the names that Heyer comes up with are priceless. Leaky Peg and Quartern Sue are I haven't read this in years and I absolutely loved it! The Tallant family are a delight. It was chapter three before Arabella left for London and I must confess I would have liked it to be a couple of more. I loved the family dynamic here and would have liked to have spent more time with them.
It is definitely one of her more witty books. I laughed out loud more than once. The cant in this is brilliant and some of the names that Heyer comes up with are priceless. Leaky Peg and Quartern Sue are inspired. We have some wonderful fops and dandies in this book.
One thought though, if people did carry on this way in the Regency period then the arrogance and snobbery is breathtaking. Even, in the beginning, Beaumaris is unbearable but the love of a good woman conquers all.
A wonderful read that I'd highly recommend. ...more
4

Oct 05, 2015

Arabella is the daughter of a country vicar and brought up to be more interested in erudition and kindness than in gossip or fashion. When the time came for her to marry, she was sent off to London to a rich godmother to net a rich man so she could help her brothers and sisters. En route, she is forced to take refuge at a house when her carriage breaks down, and she meets two men, one of them Mr. Beaumaris, who was convinced that Arabella is pursuing him for his wealth. She overhears him saying Arabella is the daughter of a country vicar and brought up to be more interested in erudition and kindness than in gossip or fashion. When the time came for her to marry, she was sent off to London to a rich godmother to net a rich man so she could help her brothers and sisters. En route, she is forced to take refuge at a house when her carriage breaks down, and she meets two men, one of them Mr. Beaumaris, who was convinced that Arabella is pursuing him for his wealth. She overhears him saying so to his friend and immediately convinces them that she is wealthy beyond belief. This quickly spreads all over London, and our heroine has to face the repercussions while falling in love with Beaumaris for real.

I really enjoyed this novel. Arabella is innocent but no fool. She refuses to take advantage of her pretensions. Beaumaris is not the 'bored of life' man that is such a cliché in these novels. He is a trendsetter and is enchanted by Arabella's kindness to everyone, irrespective of their circumstances. The two become friends and gradually fall in love with each other. It was very believable too. The supporting characters were interesting as well. Overall, a great fun read!
...more
5

Jan 21, 2011

2017 Review - 5 Stars
Breaking from my usual method of leaving reviews and stars untouched and bumping this up to 5 stars because I absolutely love this book. I've worn out my copy re-reading it. It is comfortable and lovely and I still swoon happily over Arabella and Mr. Beaumaris. Never mind this book's imperfections, it is lovely. 17-year-old Amy just wasn't ready for the genius that is Heyer.

2011 Review - 3 Stars
Before going into detail about Arabella , I really should mention the book's 2017 Review - 5 Stars
Breaking from my usual method of leaving reviews and stars untouched and bumping this up to 5 stars because I absolutely love this book. I've worn out my copy re-reading it. It is comfortable and lovely and I still swoon happily over Arabella and Mr. Beaumaris. Never mind this book's imperfections, it is lovely. 17-year-old Amy just wasn't ready for the genius that is Heyer.

2011 Review - 3 Stars
Before going into detail about Arabella , I really should mention the book's author, because it was seeing her picture that first intrigued me into picking up the book. The black and white picture provided by goodreads represents a pretty woman of undeterminable age, unremarkable. Fashionable, maybe of the thirties, wearing a funky WW hat with a feather and fur coat, almost post-flapper. I pictured a character more dramatic and romantic, probably single. Her name seemed to be popping up everywhere, though, so with a bored burst of desperation, I got it from the library.
Arabella is the eldest daughter of a genteel parson and his wife. When a wealthy godmother offers to chaperone her for a season in London, it seems like the perfect opportunity for her to make an advantageous marriage that will make the fortunes of her eight siblings. A carriage accident throws her in the path of the extremely wealthy and arrogant Robert Beaumaris, most sought-after marriage catch in society. After accidently overhearing his disgusted opinion that she is nothing more than a fortune hunter who had contrived a way to find him even in the country, "Bella" impetuously decided to put him in his place by pretending to be an heiress of immense wealth. Things don't go quite as planned....suddenly almost all of fashionable London believes her to be a fabulously wealthy young woman, with fops and rakes, and fortune hunters alike begging for her hand, Bella starts to wonder if she has lost her only chance of happiness in one impetuous moment....
My thoughts went something like that.....
delightfully amusing
a good romp
WHAT THE HECK???
really, quite amusing...
And all that by page 70!
I struggled through most of the book with a mixture of incredulity and intense amusment. The plot was forseeable and was so much like Pride and Prejudice, I kept thinking of my brother's comment after watching the P and P movie:
"Clearly, she didn't have much interation with guys."
In Heyer's defense, though, the characters were the best part of the book. In fact, they were really well done. Arabella could be sickeningly perfect at times, and utterly ridiculous by the end, but you loved her anyway. In fact, she reminded me of Bella from Our Mutual Friend. I espeically liked how she took the information about a season in London. It was believable. She wasn't perfect; she didn't take the information like a little saint, but was believably excited. And conscientious about her attire. She didn't fret over being the belle of the Season, but neither did she sucumb to some horrible evil of society. It was a good balance.
Her part of the romance, though, was slightly unlikely. While I could believe that Mr. Beaumaris fell in love with her for her character, she is repeatedly struck my how handsome he is....and little else. Her opinion of his character doesn't seem to improve much until maybe the very end, and I mean the very end. His actions pretty much saved her from going down in literature as eternally stupid, though I think she was made to sensible at the beginning to find her actions completely believable.
Robert Beaumaris was....amusing. In fact, I think I could have grown attached to his character if it weren't for two hints that he might have kept a mistress at some point. That alone ruined him for me. He was overly rich, spoiled and petted by society, and a great, great deal like Mr. Darcy. But not quite enough. I found his exploits amusing, though the author comparing his falling in love to a hunter stalking his prey was somewhat....disturbing. But over all, he was good enough, though perhaps a little romanticized.
Ms. Heyer, especially at the beginning, seems very fond of....adorning adjetives. There aren't hands, they're "graceful hands". The flowerly language seems to taper off by the end.
I liked Arabella's brother Bertram, who really was well done. It would have been quite easy to dislike his character, but Ms. Heyer does him just enough justice to make enjoyable.
Perhaps the best character, though, is Beaumaris's grandmother. What a character! Really, it is a pity she only got one scene. Between scorning female company, declaring her numerous children to be idiots, and startling even her grandson with her language, she was pretty much the best character xD

Like I said before, my two words for this book are incredulous and amused. Far fetched plot? Yeah. But it was kind of cute too xD Though I struggled with giving it two or three stars, I think I will try and find more by this author. ...more
5

Jul 11, 2012

My all time favorite Georgette Heyer novel is Frederica. That said, I re-read Arabella, my Mom's ATFGHN, and I have to agree this is wonderful. The H/h interact a great deal and it's wonderful fun to read. In some of GH's books, the H/h don't actually have much face-time (Sprig Muslin, Charity Girl, just for instance).

Arabella is a gentlemanly Yorkshire vicar's beautiful eldest daughter being sent by her practical mother to London in the hopes of making an eligible match. Mr. Beaumaris is a My all time favorite Georgette Heyer novel is Frederica. That said, I re-read Arabella, my Mom's ATFGHN, and I have to agree this is wonderful. The H/h interact a great deal and it's wonderful fun to read. In some of GH's books, the H/h don't actually have much face-time (Sprig Muslin, Charity Girl, just for instance).

Arabella is a gentlemanly Yorkshire vicar's beautiful eldest daughter being sent by her practical mother to London in the hopes of making an eligible match. Mr. Beaumaris is a much-hunted bachelor cynical about every woman who 'happens' his way, including Arabella, whose old-fashioned travel carriage broke down near the gentleman's hunting box during a rain storm. He declaims to his friend when they were alone that such excuses are a dime a dozen; ambitious women are always flinging themselves at him and his money. Arabella overhears this and lets him know, that she, too, hopes to have a Season in London free of the slavering money-grubbers after her wealth. As her father would remind her, pride goeth before the fall.

Beaumaris is amused, not taken in by her airs (because she is utterly naive in other ways) and he convinces his friend she is what she says, a great heiress from the North. This sets in motion her very eventful and successful Season in Town. From amused, Mr. Beaumaris becomes grudgingly charmed, then smitten, then responsible for a number of her good deeds and a brother who's had a run of bad luck. (His new dependents include a climbing boy, a mongrel who enslaves most of his staff including his very temperamental French chef, and if Arabella had had her way, a helpful whore named Leaky Peg.) He does all this in his now earnest pursuit of Arabella, who keeps him at arm's length rather than let her heart be broken by the inveterate flirt.

All the while, however, he's playing a teasing, cat-and-mouse game with her, at first to amuse himself with her discomfort as things get Out Of Hand, then hoping she'll trust him enough to 'fess up to her deception. He waits and watches her, untangles the messes with humor, aplomb and forbearance. His conversations with the dog about his difficulties with her are endearing and v. funny. Arabella is a great gal, full of spunk and honorable instincts, aghast at what a moment of impetuous pride has done. She feel honor-bound to refuse all offers of marriage, even Mr. Beaumaris' because of her fib.

And he must somehow bring things about. A wonderful, lovely, heartfelt and funny read. (But I still love Frederica a bit more.)
...more
4

Mar 20, 2013

This is why I love goodreads: I never heard of Georgette Heyer until I joined (I know, shame on me!!) but it's so great that I have read so many authors that I never heard of otherwise. This book has been on my TBR list for awhile now (so many books, so little time) but I finally read it. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed it, too. I liked Arabella & Mr. Beaumaris the most; some parts reminded me a little of Pride & Prejudice. I kinda lost a little interest when the chapters focused on This is why I love goodreads: I never heard of Georgette Heyer until I joined (I know, shame on me!!) but it's so great that I have read so many authors that I never heard of otherwise. This book has been on my TBR list for awhile now (so many books, so little time) but I finally read it. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed it, too. I liked Arabella & Mr. Beaumaris the most; some parts reminded me a little of Pride & Prejudice. I kinda lost a little interest when the chapters focused on Bertram but I forgive those portions because the rest of it was cute. I liked the antics, the misunderstandings, and, of course, Ulysses:) I will definitely check out more of Georgette Heyer's books. I liked her style (even if I did have to look up some words in the dictionary), her humor, I love the Regency period, and I loved that it was "clean". ...more
5

Oct 12, 2013

Arabella Tallant is the eldest daughter of eight children. Her father is a penniless clergyman and when her godmother invites her to stay in London, the entire family starts to think that there can be a chance to secure a great future for both Arabella and her siblings. Arabella’s mother, in fact, wishes for her daughter a marriage with a rich husband. She does not imagine, though, what her daughter is capable of. During her journey, her carriage breaks and she decides to ask for help. Arabella Tallant is the eldest daughter of eight children. Her father is a penniless clergyman and when her godmother invites her to stay in London, the entire family starts to think that there can be a chance to secure a great future for both Arabella and her siblings. Arabella’s mother, in fact, wishes for her daughter a marriage with a rich husband. She does not imagine, though, what her daughter is capable of. During her journey, her carriage breaks and she decides to ask for help. Therefore, she meets Robert Beaumaris, a dedicated bachelor who thinks she is just another girl in need of a wealthy man. Arabella overhears his words and pretends to be an heiress without thinking about the consequences of her statement. Soon she becomes the rage of London and every fortune hunter pursues her. The only problem is that she is attracted by the only man she cannot conquer.

To be honest, I do not like lies, I cannot stand people who lie and I cannot handle embarrassing situations. All of this in real life. But when we talk about books, these are my favourite ingredients for an unforgettable story! Maybe we do not realize how important some choices are, but when we make a decision, we have the opportunity to change completely our life. That is exactly what happens to Arabella. Her little, innocent lie allows her to live the most beautiful of all the adventures: love.

Arabella knows nothing about men, London society and all the rules that seem to be essential for the respectable people she meets. She does not understand when she has to hold her tongue, and yet she easily becomes part of that world. She is beautiful, charming and makes everybody fall in love with her (even if all her suitors want to marry her because of her supposed fortune). Among all these qualities, she possesses a trait that is incredibly attractive to one of her suitor: her naivety. This will be the most important thing that will bring the richer and most suitable man of the city to flirt with her and to fall head over heels for her.

I loved Arabella. When she goes to London for the first time in her life she has a purpose, that is to grant her mother’s wish by marrying someone rich and wealthy. She is ready to do that for her family’s sake but she says that she will marry only for love. That proves her optimism and this is what conquered me, Arabella is strong and determined to make both her mother and her happy and satisfied. The only moments in which she is not sure about her actions and her behaviour are the ones she spends with Mr. Beaumaris. After a difficult start, their relationship becomes softer and they start to enjoy each other’s company. Particularly, Mr. Beaumaris finds her likeable because she is so different from the other women he met before. To all appearances, he is disagreeable and unfriendly but he is not. He is loving, thoughtful and finds himself in the strangest circumstances only to please Arabella. I had so much fun reading about his chats with Ulysses (a very special mongrel) which becomes his confidant during the story.

The only thing I liked less was the moments concerning Bertram, Arabella’s brother. He likes gambling and loses more or less anything. And it was sometimes annoying to read about all his misadventures, despite his sister and his friend Mr. Scunthorpe had warned him of the danger of falling into debts. Eventually, it is clear the reason why Georgette Heyer describes Bertram’s mishaps in depth because anything has a special meaning, but I would have preferred less attention towards this character.

This is one of those stories in which everything is uncertain until the very end and you have to keep reading until the last pages to know if everybody is going to have their happy ending! I can tell without a doubt that “Arabella” is a wonderful book I highly recommend to everyone, because Georgette Heyer’s novels are always beautiful and worth reading!
...more
4

Oct 25, 2012

4.5 stars. Read it several times over several decades. Really enjoyed it. Light and heartwarming, with somewhat serious reflections on vanity, injustice, and London society, mainly. Loved getting the hero's perspective via fireside chats with his scruffy mutt. Among Heyer's memorable characters are Leaky Peg, Old Grimsby, Jemmy, and others.

Recently I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Phyllida Nash. She is the wrong reader for this book. Her voice is too elderly. Not light and young. I 4.5 stars. Read it several times over several decades. Really enjoyed it. Light and heartwarming, with somewhat serious reflections on vanity, injustice, and London society, mainly. Loved getting the hero's perspective via fireside chats with his scruffy mutt. Among Heyer's memorable characters are Leaky Peg, Old Grimsby, Jemmy, and others.

Recently I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Phyllida Nash. She is the wrong reader for this book. Her voice is too elderly. Not light and young. I recommend reading it instead. ...more
5

Nov 17, 2014

I've given this an A for narration and A- for content at AudioGals, so I'm bumping up to 5 stars.

Arabella is one of my favourite Heyer Regencies, so I was delighted when I learned that Naxos was bringing out a new audio version with Phyllida Nash narrating. Ms Nash earned an A from me for her superb narration of Venetia, so I had high expectations. I’m pleased to report that she doesn’t disappoint.

Arabella Tallant is the eldest daughter of the large family of a country vicar. When her Godmother I've given this an A for narration and A- for content at AudioGals, so I'm bumping up to 5 stars.

Arabella is one of my favourite Heyer Regencies, so I was delighted when I learned that Naxos was bringing out a new audio version with Phyllida Nash narrating. Ms Nash earned an A from me for her superb narration of Venetia, so I had high expectations. I’m pleased to report that she doesn’t disappoint.

Arabella Tallant is the eldest daughter of the large family of a country vicar. When her Godmother offers to bring her out and give her a London season, Arabella’s mother is delighted, and hopeful that Arabella’s beauty will attract a wealthy suitor. The young lady in question is naturally excited at the prospect, and determined to fulfil her mother’s wishes by finding a husband of means who will be able to offer financial assistance to her family.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

...more
5

Apr 18, 2008

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was wonderful! Surprise surprise, haha. Despite the heroine being beautiful in that... birdlike... ethereal way that instantly makes me feel like a hippopotamus, I really liked her, for the same reason the hero falls in love with her: she actually cares about other people and animals, and doesn't stop to think about the consequences when she sees injustice, just rushes in and saves the day (with Beaumaris' obliging help afterwards, of course). I get so tired of the well, helping ONE person This was wonderful! Surprise surprise, haha. Despite the heroine being beautiful in that... birdlike... ethereal way that instantly makes me feel like a hippopotamus, I really liked her, for the same reason the hero falls in love with her: she actually cares about other people and animals, and doesn't stop to think about the consequences when she sees injustice, just rushes in and saves the day (with Beaumaris' obliging help afterwards, of course). I get so tired of the well, helping ONE person isn't going to change the situation so why bother! attitude that's so fashionable now. This book and Fires of Pompeii came at just the right time for me, I think. ...more
4

Jul 09, 2019

"Arabella" follows a heroine of the same name who is essentially a country bumpkin who grew up in a Vicarage among many brothers and sisters with a moderate fortune. Only when her rich godmother invites her to come stay with her in London does she first venture beyond the bounds of Yorkshire.

On her way there, however, he carriage breaks down outside the hunting lodge of London's best catch and favourite quarry of Society's ladies of marriageable age Mr Beaumaris, who assumes her plight of want "Arabella" follows a heroine of the same name who is essentially a country bumpkin who grew up in a Vicarage among many brothers and sisters with a moderate fortune. Only when her rich godmother invites her to come stay with her in London does she first venture beyond the bounds of Yorkshire.

On her way there, however, he carriage breaks down outside the hunting lodge of London's best catch and favourite quarry of Society's ladies of marriageable age Mr Beaumaris, who assumes her plight of want of a means of transportation is simply a ruse to get near him. When Arabella overhears this, she contrives to tell him she is an heiress and quite sympathetic to his particular plight. Despite not believing her story for a minute, he finds her amusing and proceeds to spread this ruse around London, thereby - and by repeatedly bestowing his attentions upon her - making her the most sought after lady in London...

Arabella so far has been my least favorite Heyer heroine, simply because her main quality (in her love interest's eyes) seems to be her naiveté and country-bred ignorance of the big city and its customs. While I enjoyed that Arabella often flew in the face of propriety and followed her good heart to save an orphan or a stray dog, I cannot claim to be a fan of a relationship dynamic that is mainly characterized by one partner finding the other adorable beyond belief.

This also leads to me not really liking Beaumaris as a love interest. While Heyer's heroines almost always distinguish themselves by not entirely following the rules of society, in this particular case it seemed almost the entire reason for Beaumaris' regard for her, which I felt was quite unjust. Even when she fights tooth and nail to save an orphan boy, he seems more impressed with her doing so to flaunt societal norms rather than linger on her charitable nature and fundamentally good character that must have been the whole reason for her actions in the first place. Additionally, he plays some very unkind games with her at the end that - while she apparently found them charming - I honestly can't get behind. If you claim to love someone you shouldn't desire them to be in any state of prolonged distress, particularly if you know exactly how to relieve them of it, instead of using it to prove a point.

However, I must say I did quite enjoy the various charitable acts she forced Beaumaris to perform. Especially since this led to his relationship with Ulysses and the conversations between them I certainly wouldn't have wanted to miss.

Regardless of the main characters not always being my favourites, I still really enjoyed this novel and laughed out loud several times - which has now brought me firmly to the conclusion that I definitely should remain indoors anytime I pick up a Heyer novel so as not to entirely embarrass myself.

I love the adventures the characters get up to, the witty banter and dialogue and the dry humour all around. As I said, not my favourite, but the bar for Heyer is understandably fairly high after all. ...more
4

Jan 04, 2015

***Spoilers Ahead!***

Arabella is in the ranks of my second-favorite Georgette Heyer novels—lacking the sustained hilarity or gripping scenes of faves like The Unknown Ajax or Frederica, but delightful nonetheless. The title character is an adorable, if immature, girl who is simultaneously fun-loving and possessed of a strong conscience. The hero is more mature but like the heroine, torn between his love of amusement and his conscience. Both characters must fight their weaknesses and trust their ***Spoilers Ahead!***

Arabella is in the ranks of my second-favorite Georgette Heyer novels—lacking the sustained hilarity or gripping scenes of faves like The Unknown Ajax or Frederica, but delightful nonetheless. The title character is an adorable, if immature, girl who is simultaneously fun-loving and possessed of a strong conscience. The hero is more mature but like the heroine, torn between his love of amusement and his conscience. Both characters must fight their weaknesses and trust their strengths in order to find love. In connection with this observation, I’d say that one of the things that most impresses me about Georgette Heyer’s work in general is how much the characters’ own flaws set the plot in motion and drive it to its conclusion. Events are not wished on the protagonists, they bring them upon themselves.

Any fan of Georgette Heyer knows that the greatest pleasure in reading her work often comes from the secondary characters. Arabella gives fairly short shrift to many of the secondary characters, but one of them, Ulysses, is the cause of most of the best scenes in the book. Through the hero’s conversations with this dog Heyer reveals his (the hero’s) true nature and gives the book its heart and soul; the scenes are also irresistibly funny! A cameo appearance featuring the real-life “Poodle” Byng is also hilarious; but I would have enjoyed having more colorful depictions of members of the haut ton. And I felt that the rest of the heroine’s family dropped off the map a little too abruptly, never to return. (Yes, I realize they were a few hundred miles away, but there could have been correspondence or a visit or something.)

Perhaps I feel a minor dissatisfaction with Arabella because I’m not convinced that the hero and heroine will live happily ever after. In any case, these minor critiques do not detract from the fact that nobody has ever written Regency romance as well as Georgette Heyer does, and Arabella is a delicious case in point. ...more
4

Apr 13, 2013

You know it's really not fair to my husband for me to keep reading these books w fabulous heroes like Mr. Beaumaris. My husband is a great guy really, but I am sure I sometimes get this far away look when I wish he would pull up in a carriage and solve all my problems and wear a top hat, know etiquette intimately, and well, you get the point. But he does do the dishes for me, and let me sleep in on Saturday morning, so there you go.

So yes, our hero was mega swoon-worthy. The book was a lot of You know it's really not fair to my husband for me to keep reading these books w fabulous heroes like Mr. Beaumaris. My husband is a great guy really, but I am sure I sometimes get this far away look when I wish he would pull up in a carriage and solve all my problems and wear a top hat, know etiquette intimately, and well, you get the point. But he does do the dishes for me, and let me sleep in on Saturday morning, so there you go.

So yes, our hero was mega swoon-worthy. The book was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed it. I was a little sad when it ended.

The only thing distracting for me was when she had the dowager duchess saying "ain't" over and over. But I did read that by the time Heyer wrote this book, she had many copy-cats and plagiarizers. So she threw in some fake made-up slang just to throw off these fools. Then she could catch them in the act when they used the same words in their books. Clever! The gave a couple examples of words in Arabella but I've already forgotten what they were.

Anyway, very enjoyable!! ...more
4

Jul 31, 2014


I'm re-reading all of Georgette Heyer's Regency romances and loving them as much as I did in my early teens. It's amazing how much these books still hold their charm for me after nearly fifty years.

Arabella isn't one of my favourites, but only because Robert Beaumaris didn't tug at my heart-strings as some others have.

Still a great read and the conversations Beaumaris had with Ulysses were priceless!

5

Jan 12, 2018

Man, Georgette Heyer writes some of the best -- unintentional or otherwise -- schemers in historical romance! I can see why Arabellais considered a favorite of her works. And I definitely get the appeal of Mr. Beaumaris. Just the way he attacks the whole situation...and how he treats Ulysses! Be still, my heart! Did I also mention she writes some of the best love interests? ;) Man, Georgette Heyer writes some of the best -- unintentional or otherwise -- schemers in historical romance! I can see why Arabella is considered a favorite of her works. And I definitely get the appeal of Mr. Beaumaris. Just the way he attacks the whole situation...and how he treats Ulysses! Be still, my heart! Did I also mention she writes some of the best love interests? ;) ...more
2

Nov 30, 2009

The only parts I really liked were where the hero has very involved talks with his ugly dog.

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