Category: Amusements


Birds of a Feather Hate Fall by Regina Scott

The holiday of Thanksgiving as it is known in America was not celebrated in England during the Regency. Nevertheless, large game birds were an important part of the autumn season, for many English gentlemen devoted a great deal of time to shooting them. In today’s article, Regency romance author, Regina Scott, whose most recent book is The Bride Ship, gives us the details the annual autumn practice of shooting birds during the Regency. In between parties, of course.


Vauxhall Vittoria Fete by Ann Lethbridge

Regency romance author, Ann Lethbridge, whose new book, Captured Countess, will be released in December, often writes about Regency fashions at her blog. During the course of her research, she discovered that in the fall of 1813, there were gowns named for a grand fete which had been held that summer at Vauxhall Gardens. The fete was given to celebrate the great victory in Spain which had been won by General, the Marquis of Wellington over the French forces in the Peninsula.

In today’s article, Ann tells us about the grand fete given to celebrate Wellington’s victory at Vittoria. It sounds like quite a crush, at least for some of those in attendance. Perhaps the event might be just the setting for a few scenes in one of your upcoming Regency romances.


Nineteenth Century House Party by Regina Scott

It is August, which means days are getting shorter, summer is coming to a close and soon it will be time for lots of children to go back to the schoolroom, if they are not there already. In today’s article, romance author, Regina Scott, whose boxed set, Timeless:   Historical Romance Through the Ages, is available now, tells us about the country house parties which often took place in the month of August during the Regency. But these parties were not all bucolic pleasure. Once you know about the many requirements for a guest at one of these parties, would you look for an invitation, or would you settle for the hot and smelly metropolis in August?


Victorian Parlour Games:   A Review By Cheryl Bolen

In today’s article, award-winning Regency romance author, Cheryl Bolen, reviews the book Victorian Parlour Games. As Cheryl tells us, despite its title, this book is a very useful reference for Regency authors who are planning to include the playing of games in their stories. Many of the games in this book were played long before the Victorian era and are quite appropriate to a novel set in the Regency.

Once you read Cheryl’s review, the existence of which game in our favorite period surprises you the most?


The Dandy Chargers — 2014 Riding Season

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Thanks to a dedicated group of aficionados known as the Dandy Chargers, the velocipede, which Georgette Heyer fans know as the pedestrian curricle, is not a thing of the past. Each year, the Dandy Chargers don Regency dress and ride their historically accurate "dandy-horses" at various historic estates and other venues in Great Britain. Thus, those who would like to see these vehicles in action as they might have appeared during the Regency have an opportunity to do so at one of the Dandy Chargers’ appearances this year.

The 2014 schedule of the Dandy Chargers fourteenth riding season …


Pianoforte vs. Harpsichord

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

It is during the years of the Regency that the popularity of these two musical instruments intersect, one rising, the other waning. In fact, many of the more affluent homes during this period had both keyboard instruments. But though they are somewhat similar in appearance, they are very different in terms of their construction, their "touch" when being played, and the quality and volume of the sounds which they can produce.

A number of musical instrument makers produced both types of instruments during these years. Many notable composers composed music for both instruments, including Bach, Mozart, Handel, Haydn, Beethoven, and Scarlatti. Yet, by the time the Regency was over, the pianoforte had won out over the harpsichord. The victory was so complete that vast numbers of harpsichords were destroyed all over Europe. In the Paris Conservatory, for example, they were smashed and used as firewood.


Anastasius — The Novel Which Made Byron Weep!

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

With jealousy!   Because he did not write it.

Initially published anonymously in the last year of the Regency, this racy novel telling the tales of a young Greek’s adventurous travels through the Levant was a runaway best seller and remained in print for thirty years. Yet few today even know of its existence. It was originally attributed to Lord Byron, but in the second edition, published the following year, the shy yet cultured man who wrote it admitted his authorship. And practically no one believed him.


Hark the What?   by Regina Scott

Christmas carols and the practice of caroling during the Regency bear little similarity to the traditions with which we are so familiar today. Regency author, Regina Scott, whose new book, The Wife Campaign, was released this month, shares some insights into the caroling practices which were typical during the Regency, as well some history of carols which are still popular in the twenty-first century.

Given the choice, would you prefer Regency or modern-day caroling practices?


Amusements in London:   Exeter ‘Change by Regina Scott

The Regency had places where one could go to see wild and exotic animals. One of the most famous was the Royal Menagerie at the Exeter Exchange. But this London amusement had very little in common with the scientifically-managed zoological parks of modern times. Today, Regency romance author, and Beau Monde past President, Regina Scott, provides us with some details of the Menagerie at the Exeter ‘Change. Do you think you would have enjoyed a visit to the Royal Menagerie?


The Bastard Title:   To Bind or Not to Bind?

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Those of you, who, from the title above, are expecting an article on bondage involving some ennobled aristocrat born on the wrong side of the blanket, click away now, as you are doomed to disappointment if you continue reading. However, for those of you who have surmised that this article will focus on an arcane secret from the history of books, enlightenment, and I hope a small measure of amusement, will be yours if you persevere to the end of this account.

The bastard title, a now slowly vanishing aspect of book making, from its origins through the Regency…


Benjamin Franklin’s Favorite Invention

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

The Glass Armonica.   Franklin always said that of all of his many inventions, this musical instrument, which could produce the pure dulcet tones of an angelic choir, was his very favorite. He got the idea while in London, as a representative of the Pennsylvania Legislature to Parliament in the late 1750s. He attended a concert at which music was played on a set of water-tuned wine glasses. He was captivated by the sound, but having an inventive turn of mind, he sought a more efficient and convenient method by which to produce it

Franklin introduced his invention in England in 1762, less than two years after George III had become king. Though he had originally dubbed it the "glassychord," he later changed the name of this instrument to the "glass armonica." In England it was also known as the "glass harp" or "musical glasses." Like Franklin himself, this instrument was very well received and it is estimated that more than four hundred musical works were composed for it. Over the course of the next seventy years at least five thousand instruments were constructed and played throughout Europe and America. Yet, by the death of George IV, it had almost completely disappeared from the musical scene.


Public Spectacles, Amusements, and Objects Deserving Notice, May by Regina Scott

What did our Regency ancestors do in the month of May? Today, Regina Scott, Regency romance author, and Beau Monde Chapter past president, tells us about some of the various activities which took place during the month of May in Regency England. Not all of them may have been the type of activities to which the ton flocked, but there seems little doubt they amused a great many people across Britain during the merry month of May.


Dandy Chargers Ride — The 2013 Season

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

One of my favorite signs of Spring is the arrival in my email box of the Dandy Chargers annual schedule of appearances. For those of you who may not know, the Dandy Chargers are a group of gentlemen, and ladies, in Britain, who are aficionados of that particularly Regency vehicle, the velocipede. Readers of the works of Georgette Heyer may also know this vehicle as the pedestrian curricle which wreaked such havoc in her novel Frederica. These two-wheeled, pedal-less vehicles were also known as hobby-horses, draisiennes, or dandy-horses, and were very popular for a short period during the Regency.

Each year, the Dandy Chargers make appearances through the spring and summer at various venues across Britain, in full Regency costume, riding their hobby-horses. For those of you who live in Britain, or will be spending time there during the next few months, I offer the 2013 schedule of the Dandy Chargers appearances for your perusal and edification.


Music to Their Ears   By Regina Scott

In today’s article, Regency romance author, and Beau Monde past President, Regina Scott, muses on the importance of music to the young ladies of the Regency. As a musician herself, she can easily empathize with the musical trials and tribulations which might have been experienced by these young women who were expected to be accomplished musicians, among the other skills society required of them once they went on the marriage mart.

Regina also shares information on some of the instruments which were available to these young musicians during the Regency. Which one of them would you choose to play?


The Gentlemanly Sport of Coursing

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Coursing was a field sport popular with many gentlemen during the Regency, though it is not often mentioned in novels set during that time. And when it is part of the story, the details noted are often incorrect. The practices and rules of coursing have changed over the years, such that those which obtained during the Regency were not the same as those observed at other times in the history of the sport.

A bit of coursing history, with details on how it was practised in England during the years of the Regency …


News of the Weird, Regency Edition by Allison Lane

Many modern newspapers carry a column titled News of the Weird.  But weird behavior is not just a modern phenomenon.  Below are some of my favorite Regency oddities:


The Regency Ballroom

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Well, not the whole ballroom, just the sound of the music which was heard there as elegantly attired couples danced the night away. Have you ever wondered what it might have sounded like to attend a ball in Regency England? Not the overly orchestrated dance numbers which embellish films of the Regency era, particularly those from the pen of Jane Austen, such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, or Sense and Sensibility. Would you like to hear the dance music of the Regency as Jane Austen herself might have heard it? Then, you might like to treat yourself to a privately released CD, entitled The Regency Ballroom, from a group of musicians who specialize in historic dance music.

I recently ordered a copy of this CD for myself and I am so pleased with it that I want to let others in on the "secret."


The Now Vanished Ephemeral Art:   Chalking the Regency Ballroom Floor

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

… like chalk-figures drawn on ballroom floors
to be danced out before morning!

William Hazlitt
The Conversation of Authors

And so they would be danced out, never to be seen again. But while they lasted, they enhanced the ballroom decorations for the evening, amused and/or charmed those who would soon dance across the surface of those ballroom floors, even as those same dancers consigned the lovely images to oblivion while they enjoyed themselves.

While researching the details of the grand Carlton House Fête which the Prince Regent hosted in June 1811, I finally stumbled upon the truth of the use of chalk in ballrooms. On the handful of previous occasions on which I had encountered a reference to the practice, it was stated that the doors of the ballroom were chalked. It was not until, during the course of this last round of research, that I finally discovered that those references could all be traced back to one incorrect source. In actual fact, it was the floors of the ballroom which were chalked. As I pursued that very thin line of inquiry, I was eventually able to piece together enough details about this delightfully ephemeral art form to realize that it was a frequent practice for notable Regency balls. And now, the chalk on the floor …


Modern Historical Romance Over the Last Several Decades from Regan’s Romance Reviews Regan

How We Got to Where We Are Today

Modern Historical Romance Over the Last Several Decades.

Or, A Recommended Reading List for the Uninitiated

from Regan’s Romance Reviews

Regan Romance Photo

Sometimes when I talk to fellow readers of historical romance, or even authors, and I mention a name from the past, an author who helped shape the genre, like Kathleen Woodiwiss or Rosemary Rogers, I get a blank stare in return.
Kathleen Woodiwiss's The Flame and the Flower Kathleen Woodiwiss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  It occurred to me that as lovers of a genre it might be helpful to read   some of the classics to see where we’ve come from and to enjoy the greats who have contributed so much to the craft.


I’m not going as far back as IvanhoePride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre.



From reading to read_20120214


I’m not even reaching back to the seminal novels of Georgette Heyer in the early 20th century.


No, I’m starting in the 1970s when the bedroom door was flung open never to close again. And while I may not have included your favorite author, by reading the romances on this list, you’ll have a good idea of our beginnings and what so many wonderful authors have done for the genre.

Think of it as an education in modern historical romance. Where an author has written many novels (some early ones are still writing best sellers today), I tried to use their earliest work that influenced the genre.

So, here’s the list of the historical romances I recommend you read. Each has something to show you. Some may require you to shop online for a used book, though many are available as eBooks. I’m not saying they will all be your favorites, or that they are all mine. And I realize some readers will think I left off one I should have included.

This is a sampling meant to give you a picture of how the genre has developed over time. Most are novels I’ve rated 5 stars, so I promise you won’t be bored.

Included because of its significance…

• Bond of Blood by Roberta Gellis (1965)

Cover of "Devil's Embrace (Devil's Duolog...

The 1970s: The Pioneering Years

• The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss (1972)
• Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers (1974)
• Devil’s Desire by Laurie McBain (1975)

Devil's Desire, 1975 Devil’s Desire  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

• Love’s Tender Fury by Jennifer Wilde (aka Tom Huff) (1976)
• Captive Bride by Johanna Lindsey (1977)
• Caroline by Cynthia Wright (1977)
• This Loving Torment by Valerie Sherwood (1977)
• The Rainbow Season by Lisa Gregory (1979)

The 1980s: The Explosive Years

• Lady Vixen by Shirlee Busbee (1980)
• Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small (1981)
• Devil’s Embrace by Catherine Coulter (1982)

Cover of "Rose of Rapture" Rose of Rapture

• Rose of Rapture by Rebecca Brandewyne (1984)
• Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught (1985)
• The Wind and the Sea by Marsha Canham (1986)
• The Hawk and the Dove by Virginia Henley (1988)
• Capture the Sun by Shirl Henke (1988)
• Edin’s Embrace by Nadine Crenshaw (1989)
• Sweet Savage Eden by Heather Graham (1989)
• Heartstorm by Elizabeth Stuart (1989)


Diana Gabaldon Diana Gabaldon – Outlander                 


The 1990s: The Developing Years

• Dark Fires by Brenda Joyce (1991)
• Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale (1992)
• Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (1992)
• Enchanted by Elizabeth Lowell (1994)
• The Passions of Emma by Penelope Williamson (1997)
• Kilgannon by Kathleen Givens (1999)

Cover of "The Passions of Emma" The Passions of Emma









The Flame and The FlowerThe 2000s: The “Standing On The Shoulders of Giants” Years
• By Possession by Madeline Hunter (2000)
• Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry by Amanda Hughes (2002)
• The Captain of All Pleasures by Kresley Cole (2003)
• Laird of the Mist by Paula Quinn (2007)
• Broken Wing by Judith James (2008)
• My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne (2008)
• The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran (2008)
• Raeliksen by Renee Vincent (2008)

Cover of "The Captain of All Pleasures" The Captain of All Pleasures






Cover of "Sweet Savage Eden (North Americ... Heather Graham

Reposted on The Beau Monde with the kind permission of member and author, Regan Walker, from Regan’s Romance Reviews.

Regan Walker

A blog for lovers of romance novels, particularly historical romance–a forum where we can share great novels and our views about those we have read.

In addition to authors guest blogging, I will share my reviews, my favorite authors and my “best” lists. Come join us!

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