Richard Armitage reads another Georgette Heyer audiobook for Naxos Audiobooks.
Following the success of his recording of Heyer's Sylvester, Naxos Audiobooks released another audiobook read by him, Venetia, in April 2010.
Like Sylvester, Venetia is one of Heyer's popular Regency romances and was published in 1958, the year after Sylvester.
The heroine is Venetia Lanyon. She's an orphan who, in the absence of her older brother, has the care of her family's estate in Yorkshire and her invalid younger brother. Venetia is beautiful, engaging, forthright and sensible, and still unmarried at twenty-five - she has never known love, even though she has two uninspiring suitors. In spite of having lived her whole life quietly in the country, Venetia proves more than a match for Lord Damerel, a notorious libertine with a scandalous past who owns the property adjoining Venetia’s family estate.
Charismatic though not handsome, Damerel is rather older than Venetia, but after an accidental first meeting during one of his rare visits to the north of England, they form an unlikely friendship which eventually blossoms into love.
Venetia has all the outward appearance of the "innocent beauty redeems rake" plot but in the hands of Georgette Heyer, it becomes much more. The ending is never in doubt, but the journey to the conclusion of Venetia and Damerel's story is full of Heyer's trademark wit, humour and irony, with an underlying emotional depth and sensuality that makes for a satisfying, believable romance.
Like Richard's recording of Sylvester, this is an abridged audiobook on 4CDs. It can be ordered at Amazon UK, Amazon USA and Amazon Canada. It's also available from The Book Depository, which sends orders all over the world post-free.
The audiobook was nominated for an Audie award. It was one of the finalists in the Audiobook Adaptation category of the 2011 awards of the Audio Publishers Association in America.
The Naxos Audiobooks website has an excerpt from this recording, as well as an interview with Richard about his preparation for recording audiobooks and the challenges of reading Heyer.
More information about Georgette Heyer can be found on the Sylvester page.
Extract from Venetia
Wikipedia entry for Georgette Heyer
The Romantic Novels of Georgette Heyer, an article at the BBC's H2G2 website
An Appreciation of Georgette Heyer, an article at the Historical Novels Society's website
Georgette-Heyer.com, a general website about Heyer and her novels
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