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

A Feel-Good Fairy Tale for Adults

Why do people love this author so much? Myself included? You hear the same phrases in all her books, her characters appear to be interchangeable from novel to novel and they always end in marriage. And yet you can’t help but love them.

I think it is because Arabella could meet The Nonsuch and his wife, The Marquis and Marchioness of Alverstoke, Mr. and Mrs. Standden, The Marquis and Marchioness of Rotherham any evening at Al Max that make her books so enjoyable. It is a complete world. The world of Georette Heyer. They are not great literature, but fun reads rich in character and the little foibles of every day life. Lite and happy; they are feel-good fairy tales for adults. It is the little things like taking-in a stray dog or child; containing a gaggle of ducklings; trying one’s luck at a gambling hell; or the fear of telling a husband about another large bill that set these stories apart.

Arabella is no exception. The beautiful, feisty daughter of a rector respectfully circumstanced, goes to London for a season. Her fond parents cannot afford a second. Through a series of jests and misunderstandings, Arbella becomes the talk of the town as a great heiress; something she is not.

Although Arabella enjoys her popularity to the fullest; she realizes it makes it impossible for her to accept an offer of marriage from anyone; especially the the nonpareil, Mr Beaumaris, who she is more attracted to than she will admit.

The book includes a wonderful description of a young man losing everything through gaming his first time in London and what a gaming establishment may have been like.

The scenes of Mr. Beaumaris talking over his troubles with the little stray dog Arabella foisted on him are priceless.

The performance by Phyllida Nash is superb. It is a wonderful bedtime listen.
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- Cynthia Franks

Book Details

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