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Discussão18th-19th Century Britain

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Maio 21, 2008, 2:28 pm

Hello all... I am new the Regency novels. I have a Georgette Heyer (Cotillion) that I plan on reading after I've finished what I am working on right now.

I desperately need recommendations on where to get started! I love everything historical fiction, so I am not picky in the slightest. Thanks ahead of time!

Maio 24, 2008, 10:33 am

I'm going to guess from your post that you haven't read "the biggies" such as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice- any Jane Austen, in fact, is a good beginning. Also, Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights from the Brontes.
Gothic novels were very popular in this time period so try authors such as Mrs. Radcliffe or Horace Walpole.

Maio 24, 2008, 4:43 pm

I have read Pride and Prejudice and have all of Austen's work, as well as all of the Bronte sisters' work on my TBR pile. But thank you for the others you recommended as well! I love dabbling into new historical fiction genres.

Editado: Maio 26, 2008, 3:03 pm

Add to that list Elizabeth Gaskell.

Pamela Aidan has written a fine trilogy based on Pride and Prejudice from Darcy's point of view.

You might enjoy Jude Morgan's Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets. Or Life Mask by Emma Donoghue.

Maio 26, 2008, 3:24 pm

If you haven't read any Thomas Hardy try 'Return of the Native' It's beautiful, very slow and expressive and SO sad. Really evokes an England that maybe never really was but you will remember the characters for ever - they are so real and the best thing about Hardy is that all his characters are rounded - nobody is either good or bad but all are truly human.

Set 18, 2008, 8:01 pm

I'd recommend George Eliot's Middlemarch (a bit later than Regency, but still good!), as well as most of what everyone else has mentioned. Heyer is awesome, and Cotillion is one of my favorites - enjoy!

Set 19, 2008, 7:25 am

I am currently on a Georgette Heyer's bige, and I love it! You cannot go wrong with any of her books.

Out 18, 2008, 10:32 pm

Georgette Heyer's novels are all fun -- some are more light romances and some, like An Infamous Army or The Spanish Bride have a great deal of history included.

Nov 21, 2008, 7:52 pm

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Nov 21, 2008, 7:57 pm

As the other members have said, Georgette Heyer is simply wonderful..
Pride and Prejudice..has been my first introduction to Jane Austen as well..
Among her works, I liked Persuasion as well..
I would recommend Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd as well..

Nov 22, 2008, 3:53 am

When you say "Regency", do you mean novels written during the Regency, or novels SET during the Regency? As a style--a sort of cutting loose from the Augustan classicism of the 18th century--the Regency really began in the late 1700's and ran to roughly 1820 or so, but I'm not sure of the actual dates of the Regency itself (when George III went mad and his son, George IV, was substitute king and then real king). I dunno what your stance on nonfiction is, but I LOVE An Elegant Madness by Venetia Murray. It deals with society in regency England. There are chapters on Dandies, Mistresses and Morals, and my personal favorite, the country house party. There are lots of great quotes and diary/letter excerpts as well. One describes how during a country visit (there were no trains, so visits tended to stretch on for some weeks) everyone decided to put on a play, and even put out a newspaper. This sort of cozy cheery fun sounds fantastic to me. But I digress...

I love Georgette Heyer as well. Particularly the novels with a bit of adventure/mystery thrown in--The Quiet Gentleman, The Talisman Ring and The Reluctant Widow are particular favorites, not to mention her best work (IMO) These Old Shades. Reluctant Widow and These Old Shades have recently been re-released in a nice large paperback format (quality paperbacks, not the kind you can buy in a drugstore).

If you enjoy fantasy, Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is a fantastic pastiche of Regency times, written in the dry, half-brittle style of Jane Austen. It's not wizards and dragons and spells, it's two Austenesque magicians set loose in Regency London with all the social climbers and parties and learned societies that entails. And really, you HAVE to read Pride and Prejudice. Or if it intimidates you, try Northanger Abbey, which isn't quite as dense...though the characters aren't anywhere as memorable as P&P.

There's also a relatively book entitled The Broad Highway by Jeffrey Farnol that's an adventure story set in Regency times. I think Farnol was born in the late 19th century, but it's got lots of highwaymen and un-winnable babes and that sort of thing.

My last recommendation is a little far out, but if you enjoy reading old British authors... Tobias Smollett was a mid-18th century author, not very famous today, but a lot of critics think he wrote books just as good as Henry Fielding's Tom Jones. The book I'd recommend is Humphry Clinker, which is told through a series of letters (sorta like The Woman in White or The Moonstone) and relates the traveling about England of a very eccentric man, Matthew Bramble, his spinster sister, their orphaned niece and nephew, and a servant or two. They're well-off, and meet this grizzly old Scottish veteran of the French-Indian Wars who is really just off-the-wall.

Hope this helps!

Nov 22, 2008, 9:54 pm

If you've never read it, The Scarlet Pimpernel is a very fun read. The several movie versions are fun, too -- my favorite is the old one with Leslie Howard.