It’s Regency Month (and there’s a #giveaway)

George_IV_1821_color

It’s Regency Month at Embracing Romance. OK, but exactly what is the Regency era?

Strictly speaking, it’s the period in the UK between 1811 and 1820, when the Prince of Wales reigned as Regent for his incapacitated father, George III. (The pic above is the selfsame prince when he finally became king.)

But…for the purpose of romance novels (which we’re all about here), a longer period is often defined as the Regency or extended Regency. It can run from as early as 1789 (the year the French Revolution began and definitely my choice as a start date) to as late as 1837, when Queen Victoria came to the throne (which is a little late for me; I tend to think of it as ending in 1830 when George IV died. But really, this is all a matter of opinion).

Why is the Regency so popular?

  • Jane Austen. She wrote during the Regency era and brings it to life for us, even 200 years later. Since Jane’s works are finite, the only way to get more Regency era romance is to write it now.

Pride and Prejudice cover 1830

  • Georgette Heyer. She is credited with inventing the Regency Romance genre. (Her favorite author was Jane Austen.) Ditto re her works being finite, so we have to produce our own new stories.
  • The Regency era was a sort of crossroads between the old world and the new. Horse and carriage was still the fastest method of transport. Light was provided mostly by oil lamps and candles. And yet, things were changing fast. Only a few years later, rail travel became commonplace, as did gas lighting in the streets. The rollicking society of the 18th Century was soon to be replaced by the stuffy (at least on the surface) Victorian era. Lots of interesting stuff was going on during the extended Regency — revolutions, reforms, wars, smuggling, crime, inventions, art, architecture, literary movements, etc. In other words, plenty to write and read about, and much of it is still relevant to readers today.

 

  • One reason I love the Regency (and many people doubtless disagree with me) is that women’s clothing was reasonably comfortable. I simply don’t want to write about 18th Century hoops, hair powder, and wigs, nor do I care for Victorian-era iron cages and bustles. I just imagine wearing those clothes and get all itchy. I prefer what the Bennet sisters wear in the P&P movies – nice, simple clothes. Not too hard to put on, not too hard to get out of either!! BTW, the cover of Pride and Prejudice, above, is from an 1833 edition, when they were already wearing the sort of clothes I don’t like.

 

Well, there you have my definition of the Regency. How about you? What does “Regency” mean to you? What do you like or dislike about the era? What aspects of the Regency do you look forward to in romances?

Because I’m so fond of giveaways, I’ll give a Kindle copy of my Regency romance, To Kiss a Rake (or another of my books, winner’s choice) to one person who comments here.

To Kiss a Rake 200x300

Follow Barbara Monajem:

Barbara Monajem started writing at eight years old. She has wandered from children’s fantasy through mystery to paranormal and historical romance. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

19 Responses

  1. Danielle

    I love the cover!! I love the clothes and backdrop and languages and food and everything of the period, there is a lot of beauty to it.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Danielle. In the book I’m working on, there’s plenty of food — my heroine is writing a cookbook. I’m looking forward to trying out some of her recipes.

  2. Regency is my favorite genre of historical romance. I’m sure Jane Austen has a lot do with my love for it, and Colin Firth, ahem, but I’ve always loved the Regency period. Love, and balls, peerage, grand estates, beautiful empire dresses, and all that goes with it! And that silly Prinny.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Denise. The Regency is great for romance — love, balls, grand estates, etc. are the stuff of fairy tales, except in the case of the Regency they’re in the real world. 🙂

  3. I love how elegant everything was

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Linda. I’ve been reading up on the architecture and decorating of the time, and elegant describes it perfectly. 🙂

  4. Maggi Andersen

    For me, the charm of the Regency never fades, and it was interesting. As you point out, there was so much going on during that brief period in history.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Maggi. For me too, the charm is always there. I guess that’s why I can keep on writing about it.

  5. Kate Sparks

    I agree that it was an interesting period in time.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Kate. Interesting times are often hard for those living in them but make great story fodder. I guess people of the future will be writing about our tumultuous times…

  6. Diana Tidlund

    pve this cover. Thanks for sharing

    • Barbara Monajem

      I’m so glad you love the cover, Diana. Kudos to the artist! 🙂

  7. Awesome cover! Thanks for sharing. As always, great information about my favorite period of history.

    • Barbara Monajem

      I never get tired of compliments about the cover. The artist did a brilliant job!!

  8. Regency is definitely my favorite time period to read. The clothing, manners, balls – love getting lost in it all.

  9. Barbara Monajem

    Yep, I agree. Much as I love other periods, I always seem to return to the Regency.

  10. I think we love the genre so much because we have so much freedom in that world when we’re outside looking in.

    • Barbara Monajem

      LOL, that’s true, Meghan. Many of my heroines struggle with the restrictions of the time, but of course since it’s fiction they succeed in getting what they want and need in the end.

  11. Barbara Monajem

    And the winner is…Denise Holcomb! Denise, I will email you about how to claim your prize. Thanks for all the comments, everyone. 🙂