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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Time of Change - the Regency era

 
 
 
The internet is over-burdened with writers marketing their wares. And I’m adding to the general plethora out there. But hear me out.
 
I’ve been writing Regencies for eighteen years now and getting them published. Now my three main publishers have closed their doors, I have joined the endless queue of self-published authors. So many of us out here jostling for position like mid-field marathoners. The chances are you’ll never hear my plea. But I’m chucking this out there in the anorexic hope that you just might read this. Perhaps you have nothing better to do.
 
I hope you’re one of the many readers who like historicals, and in particular, the Regency era. It was such a short period in Britain’s history, but has given rise to many things such as the development of canals (as trade with its trading partners hotted up with the imprisonment of Napoleon, freeing up trade routes and resulting in large numbers of goods that needed to be transported all over England), the Royal Astronomical Society was founded, the early prototype of the bicycle, the development of the railway system, the Act of Union with Ireland in 1801 etc. All this is from the British point of view. Elsewhere, in the USA, Whitney came up with the principle of manufacturing interchangeable parts as pertaining to firearms. The statue of the Venus de Milo was discovered in Greece (1820) and so it goes on.
 
So in spite of many Regencies persuading you that it was all about Almacks and dukes, the Regency era was actually a time on the cusp of great changes, not just in Britain but all over the world. Minds were opening up, no longer relying on the dogma of ages past.
In 1814 The Times adopted steam printing. By this method it could now print 1,100 sheets every hour, not 200 as before—a fivefold increase in production capability and demand.  This development brought about the rise of the wildly popular fashionable novels.
The Regency is also noted for its achievements in the fine arts and architecture (Nash springs to mind, and remember that striped wallpaper known as ‘Regency’?) This era encompassed a time of great social, political, and economic change that shaped and altered the societal structure of Britain as a whole. Remember that in London alone, the population increased from just under a million in 1801 to one and a quarter million by 1820.
One of the reasons that the arts flourished during this era was because of the patronage of ‘Prinny’, the fat and at times ridiculous Prince of Wales. We might laugh at him, but it’s thanks to him that the development of British architecture flourished, even if his schemes often left the common people paying for his over-the-top designs.
 
The Regency era opened up the market for many authors including Sir Walter Scott, Maria Edgeworth, Mary Shelley (who incorporated the general mistrust of science during the earlier part of the Regency era), John Keats and William Blake. Then there were the playwrights and artists…the list goes on and on to confirm how minds began open to new possibilities during that time.
Oh yes, there was a lot more to the Regency period than those autocratic dukes and the patronesses at Almacks!
My latest Regency historical is a re-release called Mr. Monfort’s Marriage wherein a chivalrous businessman who is not overly fond of the aristocracy finds himself married to an earl’s daughter. She teaches him about noblesse oblige, courage and joie de vivre, and he teaches her…all sorts of things!
 
Mr. Monfort’s Marriage:
My Amazon bookpage is here:

6 comments:

  1. You obviously know a lot about the Regency period. I wish you luck with your books.

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  2. Good luck with the books. I wish we had some Regency elegance in our lives now.

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  3. It's always nice to find another Regency author -- an interesting article. Thank you. I always feel one of the great things about Georgette Heyer was how she incorporated such historical events into her novels.

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  4. Yes, I agree Heather. Like the balloon ascensions for example.

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  5. Yes, it was an interesting time. I've written more in the late Georgian era though they are classed as Regencies, and the difference between the two periods is certainly fascinating. So much was changing with the growth of industries, the improvement of roads. Life must have seemed superfast to the Regency populace after the slowness of the previous century. Rather like the internet highway has made our lives this century a zillion times speedier than the last.

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  6. You might be qualified for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

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