Mar 312015
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Today, when most of us have some kind of furnace or other form of central heating in our homes, a fireplace is a luxury. Often, a luxury we typically enjoy only on special occasions. For our Regency ancestors, during the winter months their fireplace might literally be the difference between life and death. Though the Romans had had a type of central heating which was used to heat their public baths and the homes of the wealthy, the principles were lost for centuries with the fall of the Empire. From the Middle Ages right through the Regency, the only way by which people were able to heat their homes was by a fire in the fireplace, until the second half of the nineteenth century.

As the source of the comfort of both heat and light, the fireplace was the focal point of a room. Over the centuries, a number of objects had been invented to maximize the heat it produced, while consuming the least amount of fuel. Other objects were developed to manage the fire itself, or to take advantage of its power. Some of these items are nearly unknown today and would most likely be overlooked by someone from the twenty-first century. Many of these fireplace furnishings would have been in use with the various fireplaces in a Regency building. In modern times, a grouping of some of these objects has often provided a valuable marker for cultural historians who study household furnishings. And so, some fascinating facts of fireplace furnishings …

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Mar 262015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Romance author, Jane Ashford, shares her first experience with Georgette Heyer as a young woman, an experience with which many of us can relate. She goes on to discuss The Reluctant Widow, one of Heyer’s Regencies which include a bit of mystery and Heyer’s influence on her own work as a romance author.

Please feel free to share your views about this book in comments to this article.

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Mar 172015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Sometime after Friday’s Child was first published, Georgette Heyer received a letter from a woman in Romania who had been held as a political prisoner for more than twelve years. The woman wrote how she had been able to save her own sanity, and that of her fellow inmates, by telling and re-telling the story of Friday’s Child though the course of those twelve long years of imprisonment. From the day she read that letter, Friday’s Child became Heyer’s favorite among all of her novels. Though she was able to support herself and her family with her writing, Heyer never thought her romance novels were particularly important in the scheme of things, until she learned how much her story had meant to those women imprisoned in Romania.

Today, romance author, Vonnie Hughes, shares her views on the delightful tale of a young couple who marry for all the wrong reasons, but grow up and learn to love and respect one another over the course of the story. This is not a typical Regency romance, which may explain why it was so popular with those women in that Romanian prison.

Of course, visitors are encouraged to share their thoughts on this Heyer Regency romance in comments to the article.

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Mar 102015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

In today’s article, romance reader and author, Mimi Matthews, shares her views on one of the most popular of Georgette Heyer’s novels, These Old Shades. It is not a Regency, yet, had it not been her first best-seller, Heyer might never have gone on to write all those Regency novels which remain so popular even today. It is an important milestone in Heyer’s body of work. As Mimi explains, These Old Shades, for all its delightful and witty dialog, is the antithesis of a Regency romance. Do you agree?

Visitors are welcome to share their thoughts on this novel in comments to this article.

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Feb 282015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Today, Emma Kaye, who has written time travel romances set in the Regency, shares with us how she, herself, is able to travel in time by reading Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter. She also explains what she most loves about Regency romances, those special qualities which are not found in romances from any other genre and make reading Regencies such a treat.

Please feel free to share your views about this story, or Regencies in general in comments to this article.

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Feb 242015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Many of you may not recognize the title of this novel as that of one written by Georgette Heyer. The Transformation of Philip Jettan was indeed written by Heyer, though initially published under a pseudonym. When the novel was re-released a few years later, under Heyer’s own name, her new publisher changed the title to Powder and Patch. But that was not all that was changed when the book was republished. Something else went missing. It is very fitting that Susan McDuffie, a writer of historical mysteries, and a talented sleuth, has tracked down the missing bit and provided visitors here with the means by which to view it.

As always, visitors are welcome to share their views about this book in comments to this article.

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Feb 202015
 

Award-winning author Ann Lethbridge first published this blog when she started writing the Gilvrys of Dunross series. She graciously gave the Beau Monde permission to recycle it here.

Being Scotch

Did you think I had made a dreadful mistake? Or did you know I was talking about a drink, not a
person. I do of course mean Scotch whisky (and that too is the correct spelling).

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Feb 142015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Next in order of publication is Georgette Heyer’s Regency, The Corinthian. Romance author, Renée Reynolds, shares how she read this story for the first time and what this story means to her. She also explains how she views Heyer as a Regency romance author in comparison to authors writing today. If you have never read a Heyer Regency before, Reynolds makes it clear why The Corinthian would be a good first choice.

Please feel free to share your thoughts about this delightful novel in comments to this post.

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Feb 092015
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Though seldom used today, gimmel rings had been in use since the late Middle Ages as wedding or betrothal rings. And they continued to be used for that purpose right through the Regency. Long before the Regency began, a variation on this type of ring had become even more complex, these more elaborate versions being most commonly known as puzzle rings.

A basic background of how the bands embodying the bonds of love became nearly as much a puzzle as love itself …

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Jan 312015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Today, romance author, Judith Laik, shares her views on the third of Georgette Heyer’s Regency-set novels, The Spanish Bride. This is a substantive novel for which Heyer did a great deal of research. Laik gives us a peek into the scope of research in which she is engaging in preparation for her upcoming Regency novel and the part which The Spanish Bride plays in that research. In this article, she also compares her feelings about the novel when she read it as a young woman to how she felt when she read it again more recently.

As we will continue to do throughout our celebration of the 80th anniversary of Regency romance, we welcome comments by our visitors.

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Jan 272015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

Almost a century ago, a teenage boy, suffering from hemophilia, was ordered to bed for an extended period of rest. To a bright, eager thirteen year-old, this was a devastating sentence of unutterable boredom. At this time, there were no game consoles, computers, the Internet, or even television. The radio had only recently become available to the public, but the sets were expensive and stations only broadcast a few hours each day. Most of the time, the air waves were silent. Oh, the tedium of it all!

Fortunately, this boy had an older sister who was very fond of him. Like him, she was an avid reader, especially of adventure stories by authors such as Baroness Orczy, Rafael Sabatini and H. Rider Haggard. The children’s father had always encouraged them to read, and there were many books in the house, but after a time, the teenage boy was running out of new stories. His sister decided to write a story for him in the form of a serial, producing multiple new installments for his amusement, which she usually read aloud to him as they were finished. This story was set in the mid-eighteenth century and was filled with much swashbuckling and derring-do. The boy’s name was Boris, and this special gift from his sister, Georgette, would be edited to become her very first published novel, The Black Moth.

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Jan 182015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80
The next "Regency" novel which Georgette Heyer published after Regency Buck was An Infamous Army. But it was a radical departure from her first Regency-set novel. Today, romance author Shannon Donnelly explains how An Infamous Army differs from Regency Buck as well as how it is connected to it, and other historical novels in Heyer’s oeuvre.

We invite our visitors to share their impressions of this important Heyer novel in comments to this post.

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Jan 052015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80

The Beau Monde is pleased to begin our year-long celebration of the 80th anniversary of Regency romance with an article by Alina K. Field on the very first Regency romance novel, Regency Buck. Alina is a Regency romance author herself, as well as a Regency romance reader, and she brings both viewpoints to her discussion of this seminal Regency romance novel.

We invite our visitors to post comments sharing their views on this article and the book which gave us our favorite romance genre.

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Jan 012015
 

Silhouettes of a man and woman in Regency dress against a background of the number 80
Eighty years ago, in 1935, the very first Regency romance novel went to press. That novel, Regency Buck, was written by Georgette Heyer. It was not her first novel. In fact, Heyer had been writing historical fiction for more than fifteen years, and Regency Buck was her seventeenth novel. She had set her stories in a number of different time periods before she chose the scant decade of the Regency for her new book. Though few people, beyond a small number of historians, knew much about that period of time prior to 1935, before the year was out, many readers of historical romance were seeking to return to that so very elegant period in the pages of more Regency novels. Over the course of her career, Heyer would go on to write more than twenty-five novels which were set during the Regency. They sold so well that other authors began doing the same, and thus was born the Regency romance genre.

As most visitors here know, the Beau Monde is the specialty chapter of Romance Writers of America which is dedicated to the Regency. We simply cannot let this important anniversary of our favorite romance genre pass unnoticed. Therefore, throughout 2015, we will be posting articles here, each one written by one of our members, about Heyer’s Regency novels. These articles will be posted in the order in which the novels were originally published. We will also be posting articles about several of Heyer’s other historical novels, since many of our members write historical romances set in periods other than the Regency. These articles about Heyer’s books will not be standard reviews. Rather, they will serve as a point of departure to discuss her work and Regency romance in general. We also hope each article will generate discussions on the topic among our blog visitors as well, and we invite everyone to post comments to the articles with their own thoughts and opinions.

Happy 80th Anniversary, Regency Romance!



The Beau Monde would like to thank Mari Christie (who writes Regencies as Mariana Gabrielle) for our lovely new Regency Turns 80 image. In addition to writing romance, Mari also provides a number of services to authors above and beyond her talents as a designer.

Dec 302014
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

How many Regency novels have you read in which the hero and his cronies share one or more rounds of brandy, drowning their sorrows, or in celebration? And how many times is that brandy served in a snifter, or a balloon? Yet that simply was not possible during the decade of the Regency or for many decades thereafter. It may surprise you to know that the brandy snifter was an American creation introduced near the end of the Victorian era. It did not become common in England until the middle of the twentieth century.

The word "snifter" had entered the English language by the second half of the eighteenth century, but it had other, quite different meanings having nothing to do with drinking vessels. So what was a "snifter" in the Regency decade, and how was brandy most probably served during those years?

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Dec 222014
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote

Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding are on the menu for traditional Christmas dinner in many homes in Great Britain and in parts of the former British empire, even today. They were, of course, a regular part of many British Christmas dinners during the Regency. But just what is Yorkshire pudding, where and when did it originate, and how was it made?

The rise of Yorkshire pudding …

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Dec 082014
 

Sally OrrSally Orr is today’s featured Beau Monde Author

After her graduate education at the University of California Irvine and Caltech, Sally worked for thirty years as a Ph.D. scientist specializing in the discovery of gene function. Several years ago, she joined an English message board, where she posted many, many examples of absolute tomfoolery. As a result, a cyber-friend challenged her to write a novel. Since she’s a hopeless Anglophile, it’s not surprising that her first book is a Regency-era romance. Today she’s writing three novels for Sourcebooks. The first one, The Rake’s Handbook: Including Field Guide, was published on November 4, 2014. The second, When a Rake Falls, will be published on April 7, 2015. She lives with her husband in San Diego, surrounded by too many books and not enough old English cars.Sally Orr book

What do you love best/interests you most about the Regency Era? Continue reading »

Dec 022014
 

Our members’ new releases (along with other new Regency Romance fiction releases) and other Regency related articles are available for download at The Regency Reader – December 2014. If you wish to receive The Regency Reader via email, we ask that you subscribe through MailChimp using this short subscription form.
 

New Releases for December 2014

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