Regency period sourcebooks and histories


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Regency period sourcebooks and histories

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Set 20, 2007, 2:13 am

A fellow-LibraryThinger mentioned to me that she had bought Georgette Heyer's Regency World by Jennifer Kloester. I had never heard of it, so naturally I checked it out in LibraryThing, and started thinking: What are the good non-fiction books on the Regency period? I still haven't read The Spanish Bride because I started it once and decided I wouldn't really enjoy it without knowing more about the Napoleonic wars.

Out 3, 2007, 8:37 am

Hello there! I just started reading Georgette Heyer last month. I read False Colours, which I liked, and Cotillion, which I loved, and now I'm reading The Spanish Bride. I haven't read any non-fiction on the Napoleonic wars, but I have read a few of the Aubrey and Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian.

The Peninsular War by Michael Glover seems to be a decent introduction, judging by the reviews on Amazon.

I'd also like a better knowledge of the whole period; so being the kind of person who likes to start at the beginning of things, I've started reading Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser. I have Vive la Revolution by Mark Steel on order and I'm going to read that next - it's a humourous history of the French Revolution.

Out 8, 2007, 10:38 pm

Lucky Akiyama! To be able to discover Heyer again for the first time! Do let us know what you think of The Spanish Bride...I did try to read it but found it too tedious.

Is the Steel book any good? Humor is good, but accuracy is important for me when reading history....

Editado: Out 10, 2007, 8:25 am

I've finished Vive la Revolution. I'd say it's good as an introduction to the French Revolution to someone like myself who knew nothing to start with. It was an enjoyable, quick read. It rather skims over events without going into detail, as a TV documentary might, but there is a good "further reading" section at the back.

However, you should know that the author is a socialist. In one way, this is good, in that you get a different perspective on the Revolution. In another way, you might say the book is biased towards the revolutionaries. Also, I suppose whether you find Mark Steel amusing or not will depend on how similar your political sympathies, age and nationality are to his. Personally, I find he's very funny in newspaper columns and 30 minute radio programmes, but he's a bit wearing over the course of a 300 page book.

I'm now reading another history book for people with short attention spans - Horatio Nelson and His Victory by Philip Reeve. It's an illustrated paperback childrens book which I imagine is aimed at 10-14 year olds. It's the first "Dead Famous" book I've read and I'm impressed. IMO it's a little better written and illustrated than the "Horrible Histories" books, of which I've read several. Nelson is a good choice for this kind of book - he certainly led an interesting life! Again, I knew nothing about him before reading this.

Jan 12, 2008, 7:01 am

General Period sourcebook:
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool

More specific Heyer Regency sourcebook:
Georgette Heyer's Regency World by Jennifer Kloester

Jan 12, 2008, 8:57 am

There's also High Society by Venetia Murray which is pretty good.


The Regency Underworld for a look at the dirtier side of life.

Beau Brummel The Ultimate Dandy by Ian Kelly is a a rather good biography as well although obviously it's Brummel rather than period focussed.

Editado: Out 30, 2009, 4:20 pm

I found Georgette Heyer's Regency World to be very inaccurate in the military department... which Heyer's novels are decidedly not.

Nov 4, 2009, 8:55 pm

I felt that Spanish Bride was really a source book for the rest of the Regency books - there is the story of course of Harry and Juana, but it's really about the Pennisular War, and if you can get through it, thinking of it as history, you'll have all the background you need to follow the references to the war in the other books. (and I enjoyed it for itself as well, although it isn't quite as light hearted as the others).

Nov 13, 2009, 6:31 am

Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners by Josephine Ross

Examines the manners of Regncy society by having a look at the correspondence between Jane Austen and one of her nieces as well as Austen's work. A must read for anyone writing (fan)fic in that era.

Editado: Nov 13, 2009, 6:33 am

And to anyone interested in the Peninsular War:

Oman's Wellington's Army is invaluable.

Dez 4, 2009, 2:08 pm

I just went ahead and bought a copy of Georgette Heyer's Regency World on Ebay. Even with S+H it was definitely cheaper than on Amazon.

Dez 23, 2009, 1:37 pm

I am now reading Georgette Heyer's Regency World, and enjoying it a lot. You were right, aprillee and aquascum, it really is an excellent source of period information.

Dez 23, 2009, 4:09 pm

I have that one, too. I think a lot of people talk about The Regency Companion which is out of print and really expensive. I have a lot of books just about different aspects of life in the 18th and 19th centuries in England, just because I really like that period of history. Haven't read them yet, but I like to know they're there :-)

Dez 23, 2009, 4:11 pm

Thank you, aarti. I agree with you, that is a fascinating period!

Maio 24, 2015, 11:30 am

On-line you can read a scannned copy of Patersons Roads which gives you the details of the coach routes, distances, size of towns etc

I have an original : 0

Editado: Jun 16, 2017, 6:17 pm

I don't know where else to put this, but I'm currently reading a biography of Jane Digby, born in 1807 (A Scandalous Life by Mary Lovell). Here's what she has to say about Almack's:
"Despite the high standards they set for patrons of Almack's, it would be fair to say that the private lives of most of the Patronesses would not stand close examination, for with one exception they all had famous affaires with highly ranked partners ranging from the Prince Regent himself to several Prime Ministers; however, they maintained a discreet appearance of respectability - a pivot, as it were, between the open licentiousness of the Regency and the rapidly approaching hypocrisy of Victorian morality."