Arabella

  • by Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by Phyllida Nash
  • 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Perhaps the most deeply cherished novel among Heyer fans, Arabella is the story of a poor girl who captures the heart of a handsome and wealthy bachelor. When Arabella first arrives in London, she has only one mission: to snare a rich husband. With a mind to beat the competition, she pretends to be a rich heiress and soon finds herself the talk of the town, pursued by the most eligible bachelors in the city. But she has her sights on one man only: the much-hunted Mr Beaumaris. Our feisty heroine puts up a fight and deals the worldly-wise Beaumaris a deft hand in the game of love; at first grudgingly charmed, he soon becomes smitten. However, what will he think of her deceitful charade? Will it ruin her chance to be with the perfect man? Arabella contains some of Heyer's most witty dialogue and romantic banter; with its delightful and laugh-out-loud passages it is no wonder it remains the fan favorite.

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Customer Reviews

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Don't Believe the Synopsis

Maggie's review on Audible UK summed it up perfectly:

"Gold stars all round for finally recording Arabella, unabridged, and by Phyllida Nash. Points off for whoever wrote the bland 'publisher's summary' that manages to make the book sound like the diary of a gold-digger."

The synopsis of this book (as of 10/14) has every aspect of this charming story wrong. Anyone who reads the first chapter will know that Arabella is certainly *not* a gold-digger. And the amusing misunderstanding-leading-to-deception that drives the plot is far more the work of Beaumaris than of Arabella.

I would say it is with the 1949 publication of "Arabella" that Georgette Heyer completely took possession of the Regency romance in a way that defines the genre to this day. "The Grand Sophy," perhaps her most famous work, followed in 1950, with another 15 years of wonderful books before the stories (in my opinion) began to slide in the late '60s.

There is some similarity between the plot and characters of "Arabella" and those of the later "Sylvester," but Arabella is unique. The scenes where Arabella quite innocently foists a mongrel dog (to say nothing of the chimney sweep's "climbing boy") into the care of the suave and "dandy" Beaumaris are priceless. Her father and mother, though relatively minor characters, are wonderful.

For fans of Heyer, this one is not to be missed. These Naxos editions continue to eat my credits for lunch, but I'm not complaining.
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- Carol "Genre fiction, trashy to literary--mystery, action, sci fi, fantasy, and, yes, even romance. Also history. Listener reviews help a lot!"

Delightful !

If you could sum up Arabella in three words, what would they be?

Engaging, witty and fun.


What other book might you compare Arabella to and why?

The Nonsuch also by Heyer. Poor girl, rich boy. Different plot but the same kind of engaging characters.


What does Phyllida Nash bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Listening to this book is a marvelous experience - one you cannot get by just reading it. Ms Nash is one of the best narrators for Heyer's books. She does men voices flawlessly and her mature women voices are also great; however, she made Arabella sound older than her 19 years, consequently, the image of the innocent debutant was hard to take for me. Regardless, I enjoyed it very much and will listen to it again soon. In fact, I just finished it and want to listen to it again - I will use restrain though and wait a little.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

You bet! Unfortunately, it took me two days to finish it.


Any additional comments?

This is a favorite book of mine. I'm so glad that several Heyer books are coming out on audiobook. Hopefully, Pistols for Two and Simon the Coldheart will be coming very soon.

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- Nena

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-01-2014
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks