Friday, September 10, 2010

The Naughty Ton Exposed - The Regency

Poor old George III, head of the losing side of the American Revolution - in case you are having trouble placing him - went mad late in his reign. It was determined that he was unable to rule in 1811. His son, later George IV, was instated as his father's proxy until the old king died in 1820 and George IV became king in his own right..

That period, 1811 - 1820, became known as The Regency and since he was not held in the greatest respect, the people of the day referred to Prince George, in his role as regent, as Prinny. The Regency Period was, by the way, the heyday of authors Sir Walter Scott and Jane Austen.

There are many excellent romance writers who have claimed the Regency Period as their own. Lesley-Anne McLeod, the SRW-Lady-with-Two-Hats is one of them. Have a look at her web page to get a complete list of her titles.

Most of the Regency stories feature heroes who have served England as spies or army officers during the Napoleonic Wars, which started on the Spanish/Portugese Penninsula in 1809, and ended with the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 in Belgium. Most of the heroines are ladies of The Ton - the Top Ten Thousand - aka the nobility.

In this blog, I have picked some of my favourite authors who have written about The Regency Period. I will give you the back cover blurbs that make you buy the book and, if you are properly hooked, the name of the publisher so you can find it in the stores or online.

One of the best known authors writing about the Regency Period is Mary Balogh - also a member of the SRW. I think she has some 70 titles in her back list. The Simply series or the Slightly series are a good place to start. My copy of Slightly Married is dog eared and nearly plumb worn out. It is my favourite of that series and an earlier book, Secret Pearl is one I am rereading just now. It is on its way to being a worn out copy - most of her's are. (Sorry if I am embarrassing you Mary, but truly....)

SLIGHTLY MARRIED

"Like all of the Bedwyn men, Aidan has a reputation for cool arrogance. But this proud nobleman also possesses a loyal, passionate heart - and it is this fierce loyalty that has brought him to Ringwood Manour to honour a dying soldier's request. Having promised to comfort and protect the man's sister, Aidan never expected to find a headstrong, fiercely independent woman who wants no part of his protection...nor did he expect the feelings this beguiling creature would ignite in his guarded heart. When a relative threatens to turn Eve out of her home, Aidan gallantly makes her an offer she can't refuse: to marry him...if oly to save her home. And now, as all London breathlessly awaits the transformation of the new Lady Aidan Bedwyn, the strangest thing happens: With one touch, one searing embrace, Aidan and Eve's "business arrangement" is about to be transformed...into something slightly surprising..."
This is a Dell book, released in April of 2003.

Stephanie Laurens has plenty of books in print, but among my favourite Regency romps are the books of The Bastion series. Seven noblemen, recently returned from the wars, face up to the fact that they must marry and carry on their noble family names. They don't want to be hunted down by the aggressive mothers of young debutantes, just out, and seeking husbands though. Young debutantes would never suit war hardened men who survived alone, behind the lines, during the Napoleonic Wars anyway. They decide to form the Bastion Club - a last bastion against the matchmakers of the Ton.

TO DISTRACTION

"The gentlemen of the Bastion Club have proven their courage while fighting England's enemies, but nothing has prepared them for dealing with that most formidable challenges: the opposite sex

Deverell, Viscount Paignton, is in desperate need of a wife. Unmoved by the matchmaking "herd", he seeks help from his aunt, who directs him to a woman she vows is just perfect for him. Dispatched to a country house party to look the lady over, he discovers her not swanning about among the guests but with her nose buried in a book in the library
Phoebe Malleson is tempted to distraction by Deverell, but marrying isn't part of her plan. Moved by an incident in her past, Phoebe has a secret cause to which she is committed. Unfortunately, telling Deverell to go away doesn't work and he quickly learns her secret. But someone powerful has her cause targeted for destruction - and he in their sights. Phoebe must accept Deverell's help... though the cost to them both might be dear - and deadly."

This series is published by Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers and To Distraction was released in 2006.

Why The Secret Duchess is a favourite of mine I'm not sure, but it's a rereader. Gayle Wilson writes for Harlequin Historicals and Harlequin Intrigue. By 1997, she had ten Harlequin novels on the shelves. She was a RITA Award finalist for her first historical novel - and that's going some!

HIS SECRET DUCHESS

Mary Winters harboured a secret deep in her heart. She'd born the Duke of Vail a child, and was determined that no one - not even the noble love of her life - would ever uncover the truth.
Afire with the passion of youth, Nick Stanton had lain with Mary Winters. Now, scarred by warfare in mind and body, he feared he'd be no fit husband to his beloved - or father to the son now claimed by another man, a man whose one desire was to wreak vengeance on them all!
His Secret Duchess was released in 1997 by Harlequin Historicals.

Another favourite of mine is: To Sir Phillip With Love by Julia Quinn. I am sneaking this one into the Regency period although it is set a couple of years later - nothing drastic - 1823.

TO SIR PHILLIP WITH LOVE

"Dear Miss Bridgerton,
We have been corresponding now for quite some time, and although we have never formally met, I feel as is I know you.
Forgive me if I am too bold, but I am writing to invite you to visit me. It is my hope that we might decide that we will suit, and you will consent to be my wife. Sir Phillip Crane."

"Sir Phillip knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he proposed, figuring she'd be homely and unassuming and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except...she wasn't. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted was to kiss her...and more.

Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn't marry a man she has never met! But then she started thinking...and wondering... and before she knew it, she was in a hired cariage, in the middle of the night, on her way to meet a man she hoped would be her perfect match. Except...he wasn't. Her perfect husband wouldn't be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled...and when he kissed her...the rest of the world simply fell away and she couldn't help but wonder...could this imperfect man be perfect for her?"
You'll probably love her letters to him. Julia Quinn has created a loveable and sprightly Eloise Bridgerton. In fact, he wholefamily sounds pretty interesting. This book, To Sit Phillip With Love, by Julia Quinn, was published by Avon in 2003. There are other Bridgerton books and a number of other interesting titles listed in this book.

Phew! This is a done bloggy.

3 comments:

Heather said...

Don't know why, but I love romances set in the Regency period. Thanks for more details about this time.

connie said...

Heather

Me too. I seem to have a zillion books about that period and I tend to reread them

Aren't the illustrations on th covers awful though?

Lesley-Anne McLeod said...

Thank you very much for the mention, Connie; very nice blog-in-a-hurry! Heather, if you'd like more Regency details visit my blog at http://www.lesleyannemcleod.blogspot.com
My apologies, Prairie Chicks, for the shameless self-promotion!