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The Unknown Ajax af Georgette Heyer
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The Unknown Ajax (original 1959; udgave 2005)

af Georgette Heyer (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,3865110,238 (4.04)242
Lord Darracott rules his barony with a firm hand. But when a tragic accident kills his eldest son, he must summon the next heir apparent--the unknown offspring of the uncle whom the family is never permitted to mention.
Medlem:JuliaMay
Titel:The Unknown Ajax
Forfattere:Georgette Heyer (Forfatter)
Info:Arrow (2005), Edition: New Ed, 352 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Unknown Ajax af Georgette Heyer (1959)

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» Se også 242 omtaler

Engelsk (50)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (51)
Viser 1-5 af 51 (næste | vis alle)
Rating stands. This is a slow slog at the beginning and I was absolutely second guessing my prior rating because I couldn't remember anything. However, it picked up the pace, almost imperceptibly, until it the final hectic chapters. I think Hugo might, perhaps, tie with Freddy as a favorite... though he's really hard to read for the first half of the book. It would make a good film, though. Here's wishing they would! ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
I like Hugo & his sneaky sense of humor. The climactic scene is so wonderful but not possible to discuss without spoilers... ( )
  leslie.98 | Nov 17, 2020 |
Real Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: A past dispute...
When the irascible Lord Darracott's eldest son dies unexpectedly, the noble family must accept their estranged Yorkshire cousin as heir apparent. They are convinced he will prove to be a sadly vulgar person, but nothing could have prepared the beleaguered family for the arrival of Major Hugo Darracott.

A present deception...
His clever and beautiful cousin Anthea is sure there's more to the gentle giant than Hugo's innocent blue eyes and broad Yorkshire brogue would lead one to believe. But even she doesn't guess what he's capable of, until a family crisis arises and only Hugo can preserve the family's honor, leading everybody on a merry chase in the process.

My Review: Here is a charming late (1959) work by Regency writer Miss Georgette Heyer (1902-1974), whom I shall not dismiss by calling her a "romance writer." There is very little of romance literature in this work; it is, rather, an historical novel with two characters whose marital future is in no real doubt from the get-go.

Spirited, determined Miss Anthea Darracott is to marry her newly introduced cousin Hugh Darracott, called Hugo. His, well, nigh-on-as-nasty-as-bastardy common birth to a Yorkshire mill lass appalls and disgusts their mutual grandfather. Sadly, Hugo's stint on the Peninsula in the Napoleonic Wars did not result in his convenient death. As he is alive and has sold out his commission, Lord Darracott must needs attend at last to the distasteful yet needful task of acknowledging the man as his heir. The law says Hugo's the heir by virtue of being born to a son, long dead, whose birth preceded the living son Matthew's birth. Not one soul among the Darracotts is happy about this, least of all Hugo.

Until he meets Anthea.

A spoiled Corinthian, a gaumless follower of the Beau, a stripling with dreams dashed and hopes thwarted; an Earl's daughter, a ninnyhammer, and a faded gentlewoman; a damned nasty old baron, a staff of hicks, and a starchy Calvinistic revenuer round out the dramatis personae. Miss Heyer's reliable clockwork plot moves the pieces into proper alignment for our surprisingly dark doings to eventuate as inevitably as sunrise and sunset, given the people she's placed in our path. In the end, all is sorted, and there is no one more pleased than a reader whose purpose in taking this trip was to restfully go down a well-loved and intimately known river of lovely words:

  1. thatchgallows

  2. sackless hodgobbin

  3. whopstraw

  4. knaggy

  5. stiff-rumped


A quick resort to From Old Books will acquaint you with these and many more delicious underknown and woefully unused English-language words. Except "sackless hodgobbin," which appears here for the only time I can find in the entire online world. An academic published a paper on Heyer's impeccable research in Schwa, a linguistics journal, beginning on page 57. She confesses herself overmatched by this beautifully obvious, dolefully obscure phrase. Now, you whopstraws, go forth and discover the original citation for it!

Heyer presents us with a few beautiful drawing-room farces among her scenes, but possibly the funniest moments (to my mind) were between Vincent the Corinthian and Claud the gaumless's respective valets. Crimpleshaw and Polyphant (respectively) are engaged in a vicious, take-no-prisoners battle for dominance in the servants' hall. Hugo's arrival, valetless, ignites a major set-to in their long-running war. Crimpleshaw wins the first skirmish by using his secret formula for blacking to give Hugo's (excellent quality) boots a whole new level of gloss. Polyphant's riposte, an attempt to provide perfect neck-cloth tying, is rebuffed by Hugo; then, horror of horrors, the first true test of the line, provision of a valet to Hugo, goes to Crimpleshaw by dint of having a nephew in need of a position!

Intolerable. The insult must be answered!

And so it goes, a side-show that was beautifully woven in to the main narrative of Lord Darracott's humbling at the hands of his maligned, unloved, and insulted grandson Hugo, yet in a way that provokes no smallest scintilla of opprobrium in the sensitive reader's breast. It is a come-uppance and a liberation; it is not, for all that, a set-down or slight. It is the ideal ending to the story Miss Heyer chose to adorn her plot with.

Make no mistake: It is the same plot. The dresses are different and the hero is called something new, but it's a Heyer Regency. Read it or don't; those of us susceptible to her gorgeously bedizened orreries aren't going to be affected. Read it, say I, for the simple and genuine pleasure of following a master craftsperson as she sets the pieces of her construction before you prior to throwing a cloth over them and voilà off with the cloth to reveal a perfect Georgian manor house.

Come in, you great whopstraws, the door's letting in the cold of reality! Stop awhile by the fire. It will warm you in places you'd forgot were cold. ( )
5 stem richardderus | Feb 16, 2019 |
Quite entertaining, but there were some parts that seemed a bit slow/drawn out to me. Also, the Yorkshire accent took some definite getting used to. Happen I just don't have a real ear (or would that be eye?) for accents, but it could also be how it was presented. By the end of the book I was becoming conversant, at least. ( )
  shadrachanki | Jun 8, 2018 |
I really liked Hugh as a character. He was so secure as a person that all the obnoxious stuff his grandfather did just slid off his back and didn't deter him from doing what was important. Who wouldn't fall in love with someone like that?? ( )
  tjsjohanna | May 16, 2018 |
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Georgette Heyerprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Daniel PhilpottFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Lord Darracott rules his barony with a firm hand. But when a tragic accident kills his eldest son, he must summon the next heir apparent--the unknown offspring of the uncle whom the family is never permitted to mention.

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