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Literature / The Grand Sophy

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The Grand Sophy is a 1950 historical romance novel by Georgette Heyer.

The diplomat Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy has just been sent to South America, so he sends his daughter Sophia to stay with his sister. As soon as Sophia arrives at her aunt's house she sets out to solve the family's various problems, like preventing her cousin Cecilia from marrying a poet and saving her other cousin Hubert from a money-lender. Then, to her dismay, she finds she's falling in love with her oldest cousin Charles.

Contains examples of:

  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Charles and Sophy at the very end.
  • The Ace: Both Charles and Sophy are very brave, excellent riders, crack shots, good organisers (Sophy of parties and Charles of estates) and superlative whips (carriage drivers). Charles is also an outstanding boxer.
  • Beta Couple: Cecilia and Charlbury, among others.
  • The Chessmaster: Sophy, of course.
  • Genre Savvy: Sophy's management of the Augustus/Cecilia/Charlbury triangle relies heavily on her knowledge of how Cecilia perceives the tropes involved.
  • Greedy Jew: Goldhanger, the moneylender.
  • Large and in Charge: Both Charles and Sophy are very tall and fond of organising everybody else’s lives for them
  • Licked by the Dog: Everyone thinks Charles is a domestic tyrant, but Sophy knows better...because every animal in the novel loves and trusts him, of course!
  • Locked in a Room: Subverted: Eugenia and Augustus are locked in a wood, but emerge only extremely annoyed.
  • Love at First Sight: Parodied with Cecilia and Augustus.
  • Love Dodecahedron: The Grand Sophy has a wonderfully convoluted one: Charles is engaged to Eugenia, but falls in love with Sophy, who is in turn admired by Lord Bromford. She pretends to attach Lord Charlbury to herself, in order to make Cecilia, whom Lord Charlbury loves, jealous and in order to detach her from Augustus. Augustus drops his love of Cecilia in favour of being temporarily infatuated with Sophy. Eugenia falls in love with Lord Bromford, and cuts her engagement to Charles, who then can propose to Sophy.
  • Love Epiphany: Charles seems to have one when he sees Sophy self-sacrificially tending to his very ill little sister.
  • Good Parents: How Sophy sees her father, who has taught her intrigue, self-reliance (even how to shoot) and gives her a lot of freedom. Other members of high society look at the same facts and see it as a case of Parental Neglect. The book is ambiguous about his motives.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Sophy shoots a friend in the arm with only the noblest of intentions.