Friday, August 9, 2013

Sylvester by Georgette Heyer

Title: Sylvester
Author: Georgette Heyer
 Read by: Richard Armitage!!!
Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks - 2009
Length: Approximately 4 hours, sadly it is abridged
Source: MP3 Audio through Wisconsin Public Library Consortium – Overdrive on my Droid

Sylvester was one of the first Georgette Heyer novels that I read in print a few years ago. I was more than excited to see an audiobook version narrated by Richard Armitage aka Sir Guy of Gisbourne in Robin Hood, John Thornton in the British North & South, and “the hot dwarf” in The Hobbit. Richard Armitage is not only good looking, but he as a wonderful voice that incredibly expressive. He was a wonderful narrator for this audiobook. I could not help by envision him as portraying Sylvester in a movie. Why oh why are Heyer novels not made into any movies? They would be wonderful!

Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, has decided that he needs a wife. He talks to his godmother to find a suitable lady and then visits the estate of the Honorable Phoebe Marlowe to see is she will meet the requirements to be his wife. What he doesn’t realize is that he has meet Phoebe already. He found her insipid and boring and cut her upon their second meeting. What he also doesn’t know is that Phoebe is a budding novelist. She used his rather unusual eyebrows and personal appearance for the villain in her new novel which is about to be published. When Phoebe’s stepmother and father tell her of Sylvester’s interest in her hand, there is no fate that she can believe would be worse for her than marrying him. She runs away with a family friend and much hilarity ensues. Sylvester on the other hand, cannot believe that any woman would scorn his advances. Through circumstances they learn more about each other and realize that first impressions are not all there is to a person.

When I listened to Sylvester, I realized once again that listening (or reading) a Georgette Heyer novel is the closest I will ever get to read another novel by Jane Austen. Heyer has wonderful characters full of wit in a regency setting. This novel with its theme of first impressions and an arrogant male lead had a hint of Pride and Prejudice to it.

 Richard Armitage was the perfect narrator for this novel and I loved the classical music between the sections of the book.

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