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A few weeks ago, as I was browsing the Romance shelves at one of my local Barnes & Noble stores, I spied a few copies of Georgette Heyer's Regency World, which I immediately scooped up. I could have used it for some of my Jane Austen-related research, since it includes quite a lot of useful information about the customs, manners, fashions, and practices of the time period.

If you are a fan of (a) Georgette Heyer's books; (b) Jane Austen's novels; (c) Regency romances; (d) the Regency era for any reason; and/or (e) all of the above, this book is for you. If you are planning on writing a Regency novel, I daresay this is a resource you will be exceeding glad to have in your arsenal.

There are chapters about society; housing (town vs. country); how men lived and were expected to behave; what women were taught and what sort conduct was expected of them (including what constituted an auspicious marriage); information about the Seasons in London (Big and Little), including information on Almack's and a separate chapter about the "pleasure haunts" of London (scandalous!); the fashionable resorts; the modes of transportation of the time; clothing of the time period; shopping, with a focus on particular haberdashers of note; food (Good Lord, what they ate . . . ); "Sport" for men, which includes talk of boxing, racing, gambling and even (one hesitates to mention such an illegality) duelling; business and the military; and the royal family. There are useful appendices including common Regency terms, newspapers, books mentioned in Heyer's novels, plus three more appendices that provide a timeline, a list of further Regency resources and information on Heyer's novels.

The book contains absolutely charming pen and ink illustrations by Graeme Tavendale, many of which are his adaptations of the sketches of Regency artists such as George Cruikshank, John Nash, Hugh Thomson and more. While not all of them are absolutely necessary, they are all delightful additions to the package as a whole, and are in some cases indispensable to understanding the text (as with the illustrations of certain conveyances, such as a barouche, a phaeton, etc.).

Highly recommended for Regency fans of all ilks.

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 23rd, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about you today - I'm reading the new Jane Austen biography coming out from Houghton Mifflin. I got an ecopy from NetGalley :)
Mar. 23rd, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
New Austen bio? Do tell! Is it good so far? *rushes off to see what it is*
Mar. 23rd, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
It's for YA (grade 7 and up) which is why I chose it; I needed a biography for my YA lit class. So far it's pretty good, interesting, and it has pics of some of her letters. It's called Jane Austen: A Life Revealed, but Catharine Reef. I don't think it's been released yet.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
I love one click on amazon. Just ordered it. I love he books, most especially The Spanish Bride and The Grand Sophy, and and,...
Mar. 24th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
This isn't a Heyer book, of course, but it's so cool to have all that background information in one volume.
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)
That looks like so much fun! I'm going to go look for it right now.

Did you ever see the "Regency House Party" series on PBS? It was kind of awesome.
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC)
I missed that series when it was on. I will have to look for it online or on DVD one of these days!
Mar. 24th, 2011 09:15 am (UTC)
I love this book! It's one of the ones on my go-to research shelves and has been since early in my drafting of the first Kat novel.
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
I saw that it came out first in the U.K. (with a different cover). Lucky girl!
Mar. 24th, 2011 12:42 pm (UTC)
Kloester will be speaking at the IASPR conference in NYC this June: http://iaspr.org/conferences/new-york-2011/speaker-biographies-and-workshop-summaries/
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
Sounds like there are quite a lot of interesting presentations at that conference!
Mar. 24th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
Ha! A friend of mine was just thinking about running a Regency game, so I am gleefully passing this along to her.
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
"Running a Regency game" - do tell!
Mar. 24th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
She is thinking of running a role-playing game through hand written letters (!) and was debating if she wanted to use a Regency setting or a Victorian one. =)
Mar. 24th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
Man, that sounds so cool!
Mar. 25th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
Doesn't it though? I really hope she ends up doing it because if it takes off, I bet it would be a lot of fun.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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