• These Old Shades

  • The Alastair-Audley Series, Book 1
  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Sarah Nichols
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (77 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Society believes the worst of Justin Alastair, the notorious Duke of Avon. When he encounters a young boy, Léon, who is running from his abusive brother, Avon employs the boy as his page, parading him around parties and other society events in full view of his bitter rival, the Comte de Saint-Vire.

But the truth is soon uncovered: Léon is in fact a girl named Léonie and is actually the legitimate child of the Comte and his wife. While Avon is intent on his plan to reveal the Comte’s duplicity and ruin him publicly, he is charmed by Léonie’s kindness, falls in love, and becomes a changed man.

First published in 1926 to great commercial success, These Old Shades showcases Heyer at her romantic best and remains a charming and entertaining listen for all fans of historical romances.

Public Domain (P)2022 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about These Old Shades

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Heyer's best book!!!!!

I've read this many times over the years, and it is still a terrific book.

1 person found this helpful

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Much better edition

This is one of my favorite books made delightful by the performance of the reader. I couldn’t get through the earlier audio book because the narration was so nasal and poorly done. I was very happy to find this newer, unabridged version.

1 person found this helpful

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A Jaded Duke and a Charming Young Lady Take Paris

Set during the height of the Georgian period in the glittering scenes of Paris, the French court, and French and English Countryside, this rascally historical romp captivates from start to finish. A devilish, haughty duke thinks he has found the key to revenge on his enemy, but turns out the impish young person he takes up out of the gutters of Paris is his redemption.

It has been years since I read These Old Shades so it was a delightful reunion with Avon, Leonie, Rupert, Fanny and the rest- not forgetting the sinister Comte de Saint Vire. Originally written as a sequel to The Black Moth for the duke and anti-hero of that piece to get his own story, These Old Shades flourished into a slightly different tale to fabulous results.

Vivacious Leon/Leonie captures everyone's heart even a tired, jaded man who in his middle years thinks his chances of his life taking an alternate path are impossible. In fact, those who know him, even know him well, would agree, until Leonie enters her 'Monsigneur's' life. She beguiles him and then beguiles his friends and family with her blend of innocence and earthy worldly wisdom. Later, she captivates Paris society even while the plot thickens around her secret past and the connection to the Saint Vire family.

Sparkling plot and characters, fabulous and witty dialogue, and the lush setting come together amazingly.

I listened to the Blackstone edition with Sarah Nichols narration work. I thought she did this cast of characters so well. Clever with Leonie's personality and French accent as well as giving distinct vocal personality to the rest. She caught the tone and pace perfectly.

All in all, this revisit to an old favorite was absolutely fabulous and I envy those who still have it to read/listen to for the first time.

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Great from the start

This is one of those books that catches you at the opening and keeps you hanging in there the entire book. It is so good I listened to it in a day. I can see why the story has endured for nearly 100 years.

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Always good

Enjoyable as always with one of the best female characters written in Heyer and a reformed villain. Such fun.

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Need more of Georgette Heyer

The narrator was great and easy to listen too.
I definitely like her style of books. They're very clean. I don't have to worry about any hot scenes happening in the book. Since I play my audiobooks out in the open.

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Enjoyable audio of a Heyer classic

The book is a famous Georgette Heyer title, set in the mid-1700s France and England, the revenge quest of the cynical Duke of Avon (nicknamed Satanas) and his love story with Leon/Leonie, the young imp-like girl masquerading as a boy, Intrigue, kidnapping, the Versailles court, Paris, England form the colourful background to the relationship devloping between these two unique characters. I think this audio version captures te spirit of the book and Heyer's characterisations. I enjoyed it a lot more than the previous audio edition.

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An assault on Georgette Heyer’s genius — not enjoyable.

The reader’s overuse of sloppy accents makes this like listening to nails on a blackboard. No distinction among characters’ voices and words so distorted the plot and personalities are utterly obscured. AND Amazon has 4-star reviews —which sold me on it— but now says mine is the first review.

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  • v j jenkins
  • 09-05-22

Wonderful

Very well read, the narrator shows a good range of voices. It's a long time since I read this book and whilst it was never one of my favourites I would put the audible narration a close second to The Talisman Ring

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  • Tibby
  • 09-01-22

much better narrator

At last it is possible to listen to this superb book without cringing too often or having ones ears blasted off by a shouting narrator. I have said all along that it should have been a female narrator. Thank you for listening. Hopefully we will now get a few more books changed too. This lady made a reasonably good job of it in my view although there were some problems I feel.
Overall I was at last happy listening to this book.

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  • Jenni
  • 06-27-22

A super story but spoiled by mispronunciations

So much of this novel depends on the French context that every attempt should have been made to get the pronunciation right. unfortunately time and time again the pronunciation jarred. The important word ' Monseigneur' was mispronounced every time - as were many others. It should have been read by someone with a better knowledge of both the pronunciation and cadence of the French language,

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  • Nell
  • 06-07-22

Refreshing

I have read many of Georgette Heyer‘s books more than once since the late 1950s-their appeal is the knowledge that love conquers all and there is always a happy ending.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-22

Love all her work!

I read Georgette Heyer over and over again. Love her style of writing and can never have enough of it. Perfect companion on dark and light days.