©1965 Georgette Heyer; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
"A writer of great wit and style... I've read her books to ragged shreds." (Kate Fenton, Daily Telegraph)
"One of Georgette Heyer's more adorable heroines." (Saturday Review)
I remember Frederica being one of my favourite Georgette Heyer books when I was an avid fan many years ago. I am so glad that I listened to the friend who told me they made excellent audio listening. She was right. I knew how accurate Georgette Heyer was on Regency matters but had forgotten (or not realised so long ago) just how funny the books were - particularly Frederica. The book is beautifully read. What a tonic it was to listen to the exploits of the different members of the Merriville family - not forgetting the dog!
I highly recommend Frederica - particularly if you are looking for some light relief in these days of so much doom and gloom. It is also a great companion for a long drive or a tedious journey.
I have purchased every available unabridged Georgette Heyer audiobook, and have read most of her novels.
Frederica was one of my top 5 Heyer novels prior to listening, and I absolutely adore Clifford Norgate's narration. His character voices are brilliant, especially in his capturing of Alverstoke's dry humour (which had me laughing out loud in parts) and in Felix's mischievous plaguing of his Marquis cousin.
I really hope Clifford Norgate will narrate other Heyer novels.
The story is humourous, believable, and romantic. One I keep coming back to listen to and enjoy again and again.
Once I got used to Clifford Norgate sounding like a pantomine dame whenever he tried to do a female voice, it was good. Some of the voices sounded the same, but you can't beat a Georgette Heyer story for peaceful listening.
I really enjoyed listening to this story. Its an excellent length, the characters have got time to develop and come alive. The reader was good, didnt detract from the story as some narrators do. Georgette Heyer is one of my all-time favourite authors and I think this audio version does her story justice.
Great listen and enjoyable, what a fabulous reader who makes the novel so much more fun than reading myself. Would certainly recommend this book and the reader for more of her novels please.
Really enjoyable; a most entertaining story, witty, romantic, excellent historical detail and very well read.
I would certainly recommend this book.
This is a witty, humorous and highly entertaining story ruined by the narration. Alverstoke sounds as if he is in his sixties. Frederica has always been one of my favourite Heyer's, but I can hardly bear to listen to this version. To be fair, most of the other characters are fine, but having a hero who sounds old enough to be the heroine's father is inappropriate. He is supposed to be in his thirties.
This is one of my all time favourite Heyer books. So on one level I'm always going to enjoy it. What I really found difficult though was the characterisation of Alverstoke. He's supposed to be in his late thirties but in this he sounds about 60. Much older then he should and for me I found it really distracted from the book itself. There were quite a few of the other characterizations that I found grating. For that reason if I want to revisit the story I shall take the trouble to read it myself!
It's comparable to any of the other Heyer books. Romance and excellent characterization perfectly blended with humour and story telling.
I love the humour. There are several moments in the book which are truly hysterical. However, I particularly rate Frederica because I think the romance between the protagonists is viable, which isn't always the case with Heyer. This is why the vocal characterization bothered me so much. Rather then be able to enjoy it I was constantly battling with it.
Clifford Norgate has a good voice. I'm just not sure this was the best book for him to narrate.
I would warn them that they MAY not enjoy all the 'voices' but the story is one of my favourites.
I was very irritated with the voice Clifford Norgate gave Caris..... very pathetic all the time! and I don't think of her AS pathetic, just very young...AND he made Alverstoke sound ancient!!! he is only in his late thirties, not in his seventies!!
The narration was good at most other times..... thankfully Frederica was portrayed very well and almost everyone else.
Can't give more than 3 stars for narration, but 5 for the story!!
Such a shame. This is one of Heyer's high comedy books, and Mr Norgate is extremely professional with excellent delivery and when reading the straight text as the narrator is faultless. The problem is with the characterisations. Jessamy and Felix are feisty young boys, but not bit parts. They are integral to the story, as is Frederica herself. None of their voices work for me, the boys didn't sound young so much as wet. One review mentioned 'pantomime dames'. For me they sometimes brought to mind Brian Wilde's ineffectual Mr Barraclough in Porridge. I agree with the previous review that said his Alverstoke was too old, but as it was a dead ringer for William Mervyn in The Railway Children at least it was avuncular. This is one of my favourite Heyers so if Phyllida Nash, Sarah Woodward, Daniel Philpott etc record it I'll buy a fresh version.
Frederica is one of Georgette Heyers best, and translates wonderfully into audio. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio version of one of my long time favorites. Narrator Clifford Norgate does a wonderful job making these charactors come to life. Thank you Audible for making books by this author available. Please keep them coming.
Wonderful audio book presentation - the reader is exceptionally good, handling the variety of characters with charm and animation. I adore Georgette Heyer novels, and this one, while possibly not the most traditionally romantic (ie the heroine while very charming, is a little prosaic) has a wonderful richness of plot and characterisation. Spend the money and experience the pleasure.
This was my very first Georgette Heyer book and first romance novel ever. I prefer historical books, usually ones closely based on factual people and events. I took a chance on this is and it paid off. Heyer is a master of the Regency period with well-developed characters and attention to detail on clothing, houses, furniture, carriages - EVERYTHING. No one can describe the intricacies of a gentleman's cravat better! Since the narrator can either make or break an audiobook, Clifford Norgate is excellent. I was so impressed by this book that, in less than 90 days, I BOUGHT EVERY GEORGETTE HEYER AUDIOBOOK AVAILABLE ON AUDIBLE.COM - ALL 23!!! Not all are as good as this one but all are better than any others in the genre, short of Jane Austin. My favorites are the mystery stories "Behold, Here's Poison" and "The Unfinished Clue", along with "Fredrica", "Beth Tangle", "Black Sheep", and "Royal Escape". "Infamous Army" had too much military minutiae which bogged the whole story down, while "The Nonesuch" is just weak overall compared to the other books.
"Favorite Heyer Audible!"
I have listened now to many, many of Georgette Heyer's titles, but this remains my favorite. Clifford Norgate does an excellent job of staying in his many character's voices. Richard Armitage and Anne Flosnick are other favorites, but Norgate's execution of this story is priceless. Let's face it this story is filled with such wit that it is a gem of a tale for a talented narrator. I am listening to it for the 2nd time and find myself chuckling all the time. It's excellent. Don't miss it!
"not run-of-the mill chick lit"
This is a delightful mixture of light Austen-like comedy of manners with a dash of P.G. Wodehouse mania. There is no bodice ripping, violence, or sex (but no gritty social realism or insight either,of course) -- just "happily ever after" written (and read) well enough for the listener to suspend disbelief.
Heyer's books have stood the test of time, while I don't think most chick lit will. If you are in need of distraction, may Heyer be as pleasant a discovery to you as she was to me. I think if you are new to this author (I am a relative newcomer but have zoomed though five novels in the last stress-filled month), then I think either "Frederica" or "Cotilion" is worth a chance download. (But warning, this stuff can be addictive -- when tired or tested, I keep thinking that I will download "just one more...")
"One of My Favorites"
For anyone who likes historical romance, you have to give Georgette Heyer a try. Her books are so well written and so accurate to the period, they are easy to get caught up in and hard to put down.
Of Heyer's books, Frederica and the Grand Sophy are my favorites. The story is fast paced. The characters are well developed and likable. Frederica is a wonderfully strong heroine. The duologue between Alverstoke and Frederica is excellent and funny. This book is a wonderful mix of romance and comedy.
One other note to the reader/listener, most know, but some do not: these books were written in the 1920s and 1930s so you are not going to get the overt sexual references that you read in most romance books, if that is what you are looking for in a romance novel, Heyer may not be for you, but if you like historical romance, you should try one of her books
"Fun novel, well read"
This was my first Georgette Heyer novel, so I can't say whether it's one of her finest, but I enjoyed the story, and the reader was definitely one of the better ones I've heard. His voices for the different characters were distinctive without being too stylized, and he did particularly well with the female characters--often a weak spot for male narrators. The character of Frederica, especially, sounded convincingly natural.
I was disappointed to find that Clifford Norgate did not record more of Heyer's novels; I would gladly have purchased them.
"Georgette Heyer at her best!"
This has always been my favorite of all of Heyer's books, and when I finally had a chance to revist the book in audio, it was just as wonderful a book as I remembered. Kids, misbehaving dog, longsuffering & reluctant guardian, pork jelly, not to mention excellent narration, make this a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
"I hate to be a hater...but the narration is..."
HORRIBLE. The narrator reads the book tolerably well, but his voicing of the characters is beyond what I can stand to listen to. His deep, blustering characterization of the Marquis brings to mind an old, fat, bellowing man! I just could not picture him as the hero of this story or that ANYONE would be attracted to him or that he could be at the top of the Ton! I could even get beyond the occasional cockney accent that would slip in during the narrator's reading of Frederica, but, without the hero of the story (in my mind), this book fell flat and became just background noise for me. I found myself replaying parts over and over again as I would find my mind wondering. I love Georgette Heyer, but I will avoid this narrator in the future!
As one reviewer said "smartly hilarious," which is true for the Nonesuch and Friday's Child. I prefer those because i love Eve Matheson's voice and I generally prefer femail narrators for Heyer, but this was great and worth listening to a second time.
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