- Series: Thorndike Clean Reads
- Hardcover: 576 pages
- Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (September 21, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1410440311
- ISBN-13: 978-1410440310
- Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (280 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,070,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Venetia (Thorndike Clean Reads) Hardcover – Large Print, October 12, 2011
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This new audio version of Venetia is a complete delight. Phyllida Nash has already recorded a number of Ms Heyer's works, so I was pleased when I learnt that she was to narrate this, as I knew my favourite story would be in safe hands. She has a deep, mellifluous speaking voice which allows her to voice the male roles comfortably, and her narrative is well paced and beautifully nuanced. Ms Nash has a deft touch with the humour in the story, and is a narrator who 'acts' by which I mean if the text says that a character yawns, they yawn, or if they say something 'with a laugh', then the laugh is present in a naturalistic manner. All the characters are well differentiated by use of a variety of tone and accent so that there is never any confusion as to who is speaking. The two principals are just as expertly portrayed, with Damerel being particularly well characterised and sounding exactly as he should authoritative, knowledgeable and rather sexy. I've been waiting for an unabridged audio version of Venetia to come along for years, and while the wait has been frustrating, it has also undoubtedly been worth it. Regardless of whether you re a fan of this particular story, a Heyer fan in general, or if you've never read or listened to one of her books before, this is an audio experience that s sure to enchant. --Carol Sissons, Romantic Historical Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
Heyer published 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 Ronald Rougier, a barrister, and they had one son, Richard.
Phyllida Nash has appeared in numerous sound productions, including over fifty plays for BBC Radio 4, as well as "Book at Bedtime", two series of "Up the Garden Path", and many classic serials. Her career spans stage, television, and radio, having played parts as diverse as Portia in "Julius Caesar" and Poppy Dicky in "Rookery Nook". Phyllida also produced the book "Unexplained Laughter" as a play for BBC television, which starred Diana Rigg and Elaine Page. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
This one was interesting in the premise which seemed to be “how can someone so perfect for me be so bad in everyone’s judgment?” or bad boy meets good girl or even opposites (in social standing) attract. This author needs no accolades from anyone. She has stood the test of time in her popularity.
Our leading lady, Venetia Layton, 25, well-educated, beautiful and accomplished has been given the Power of Attorney to manage her older brother’s, Conway’s estate, Undershaw, while he helps fight Napoleon. Residing with her is a younger brother, Aubrey, who has a diseased hip and thus limps, but is a brilliant scholar and is studying with a local vicar to enter Cambridge. These siblings lost their mother some 15 years ago and their father more recently. After being widowed the father refused to allow his daughter a season in London despite an aunt and uncle offering to sponsor her. He also allowed no mention of his wife nor any outsider “to cross his threshold” so no man may court Venetia. However two neighborhood gentlemen manage to be allowed entrance and have been doing just that, with no success. Edward Yardley, the older of the two, was approved of by her father before his death and assumes he will in the end marry Venetia despite her saying, “No”, over and over again. While Oswald Denny, the son of one of Venetia’s few friends, is a young pup who wants to play handsome swain and hero but fails.
While blackberry picking in a dowdy dress on a neighboring estate, The Priory, Venetia abruptly meets Lord Demeral, age 38, who has the reputation of a rake and is rarely at his estate. He thinks she is a maidservant and ripe for the picking. She disarms him with her quotations and her lack of feminine hysterics at his compromising behavior. But Venetia is very different and it is this behavior which won my heart and that of our main man. She does not jump to conclusions. She judges one for how they treat her and her brother. And she would rather judge by present day behaviors than gossip about a person’s past. She doesn’t baby her brother and she recognizes the positive parts various servants play in the family’s lives.
Jasper Dameral has many past indiscretions, which he does not in the least try to hide. He races horses, bets on them, holds orgies and does not manage his finances well. But he also makes sure he follows accepted proprieties and has a chaperone in place when Venetia must visit her brother who has met with an accident near the Baron’s estate and was taken there for treatment and the recovery time. Dameral and Venetia find themselves following in love but each also knows the reasons it cannot be. Dameral even makes a promise to Venetia’s Uncle Hendred that he will not offer for her.
Venetia has been isolated, but when Conway’s bride accompanied by her mother moves in to become Undershaw’s mistress, she is now replaced as that. She is subsequently offered a chance to have a season in London by Aunt and Uncle Hendred and it is while there that she discovers what might just be the “tie-breaker” in the deal relatives and society have put in place with the rules and regulations such live under.
This was one story in which I was rooting for the roué – gasp…horrors! But what is they say about a reformed rakes make the best husbands?
Into Venetia's world enters the Dark Baron, Lord Damerel, the mostly absent neighbor who has the worst reputation imaginable. When she encounters him in his berry patch where she has gone to pick some berries, he grabs her and kisses her thinking she is a country wench. She's furious and their ensuing conversation takes him quite by surprise, because verbally she can give as good as she gets. From that time on, they form a lovely friendship in which she refers to him as "my dear friend" and he refers to her as "his delight." Such romantic speaking coming from Ms. Heyer whose stories usually refrain from barely giving a hint of any love language until the last five pages or so.
There are complications to their budding love. He knows he isn't worthy, her few friends and neighbors know he's not worthy, she has very unexpected visitors who come to live at her home and who attempt to take over her life. She has some local suitors whose lives are thrown into comical disarray when they realize she could be forming a tendre for the Dark Baron. Lastly, she faces a very unexpected shock towards the last part of the book when she becomes aware of a secret that has been kept from her all her life by people she loved and trusted. As a reader who was invested in her life, I felt she was betrayed and should be angry and upset. However, in Venetia's own positive and indomitable manner, she used the information to serve as the key that would open the door she needed to deal with Damerel. Sweet story.