Apr 122015
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Last month I catalogued the different types of fireplace equipment which might have been found alongside Regency fireplaces in all the rooms of a house, except the kitchen. This week, I shall focus on kitchen fireplaces and the many unique devices and gadgets which had been invented to customize those fireplaces for the preparation of food in times past. Though you may not think so, most of these devices were considered the latest thing in labor-saving cooking when they were first introduced, regardless of the fact that a number of them look like instruments of torture, better suited to a dungeon than a kitchen.

And now, the sometimes confounding cooking contraptions with which Regency cooks could contend …

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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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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 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 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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Nov 272014
 

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.

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Nov 102014
 

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.

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Nov 032014
 

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 – November 2014. If you wish to receive The Regency Reader via email, we ask that you subscribe through MailChimp using this short subscription form.
 

A Note from the Editor of the Regency Reader

As of release time, we were having problems with the submission form for the newsletter. Please check with the Beau Monde Website for the link for December’s issue, in case we have to create a new form.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Aileen

 

New Releases for November 2014

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Oct 222014
 

Jane Lark, author of a number of historical romances, spent some time at historic Belton House, near Grantham, in Lincolnshire. This great seventeenth century house played the part of the many-windowed mansion of Rosings Park, Lady Catherine de Burgh’s country estate in the 1995 series of Pride and Prejudice. Today, Jane tells us about her tour of the servants’ areas of the great house.

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Oct 032014
 

Caroline, Princess of Wales, was not a highly visible presence during the Regency. She had long since separated from her husband, the Prince of Wales by the time he became Regent. In the late summer of 1814, Caroline left England and did not return until her husband had become king. In today’s article, award-winning Regency author, Cheryl Bolen, reviews Flora Fraser’s biography of the Prince Regent’s estranged wife.

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Sep 242014
 

Fire is something no one wants to think about today, but it was even more terrifying for those living in the Regency. Today, Regency author, Regina Scott, whose latest release is Ballrooms and Blackmail, tells about the measures that the residents of Regency London took to protect their property. She also tells us about those men who were willing to risk their lives to protect others.

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Sep 192014
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Though I have not yet read a Regency novel in which an orrery has been introduced, these complex and often exquisite objects were very popular during that decade. Many cultured gentlemen, or gentlemen with pretensions to culture, would have had an orrery on display in their library or book room, often alongside a terrestrial globe, usually paired with a celestial globe.

A brief history of the orrery and some personal recollections of these elegant devices …

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Sep 142014
 

In today’s article, Angelyn Schmid tells us about Richard Sharp. No, not the fictional Regency soldier, Richard Sharpe. This Richard Sharp, without the "e," was a real man who lived during the Regency. A man who was very popular with many people across all classes. Once you know more about him, despite the fact that he would prefer you did not, you might like him nearly as well as those who knew him in life.

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Aug 192014
 

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

In her debut novel, Deflowering Daisy, romance author, Kathryn Kane, lets her heroine, Daisy, put her importunate suitor in his place by use of a dog-cart. In today’s article, you can learn more about this very handy Regency vehicle.


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How many times have you been reading a novel set in the Regency and come upon characters who ride in or discuss riding in a dog-cart? I have run across a great many over the years, and the descriptions of these vehicles varied widely. So much so I could never get a clear mental picture of a dog-cart. I decided to do some research to learn more about the appearance, use and construction of dog-carts during the Regency. The more I read about them, the more I realized they were often used rather like the SUV of today.

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Aug 152014
 

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?

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