Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Book Review: Georgette Heyer's Regency World

I was lucky and thrilled to review Jennifer Kloester's new book, Georgette Heyer's Regency World:  The definitive guide for all fans of Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, and the glittering Regency periodThis book is a A MUST HAVE for writer's of Regency!!!  For reader's if you wanted to learn more about the Regency world and how Heyer's books, Austen's books, and any other of the classic writer's during that time period--up and including your favorite authors of today--and characters that fall into it, this is a fantastic resource!and characters that fall into it, this is a fantastic resource!

Book Blurb:

Immerse yourself in the resplendent glow of Regency England and the world of Georgette Heyer…

From the fascinating slang, the elegant fashions, the precise ways the bon ton ate, drank, danced, and flirted, to the shocking real life scandals of the day, Georgette Heyer’s Regency World takes you behind the scenes of Heyer’s captivating novels.

As much fun to read as Heyer’s own novels, beautifully illustrated, and meticulously researched, Jennifer Kloester’s essential guide brings the world of the Regency to life for Heyer fans and Jane Austen fans alike.

Product ISBN: 9781402241369

Price: $14.99
Publication Date: August 2010

My Review:
I was in near delirium with delight and excitement as I read this book--in one day!  (Or should I say night, since my husband kept rolling over and groaning for me to please turn out the light!)
I own several Regency world guide books, but this one went more in depth on particular topics like clothing, shopping, food, men, carriages, entertainments, finances, slang... Pretty much everything you could ever want to know! 
Ms. Kloester, huzzah, for a job well done!  The research was top-notch, not only into the Regency world itself, but for the breadth and depth she went into studying Heyer's work.  Heyer is the wonderful author of 26 Regency historicals,  who also happened to be fanatical about her research, but in her books, the information graced the pages with such ease and skill, you don't realize that you are reading more than just a story--you're unknowingly getting a history lesson on culture as well.  Ms. Kloester brings those characters into her guide book, giving you an inside look not only at Heyer's book but how they correlated to Regency living. The clever thing about that is, I have not yet had the chance to read all of Heyer's books, and now I know several more than I need to purchase! 
I'm including a table of contents here that I pulled from the publisher's site, because I do believe this will show you exactly what I mean when I say you HAVE to have this book:
Chapter 1: Up and Down the Social Ladder 1

Regency Society • The Social Ladder • Royalty • The Aristocracy • The Gentry • The New Middle Class, Nabobs and ‘Cits’ • Further Down the Ladder • The Bottom of the Ladder • Climbing the Social Ladder

Chapter 2: At Home in Town and Country 21
Mayfair • The London House • On the Fringe: Hans Town and Russell Square • More Modest Dwellings • Domestic Staff • Great Estates and Country Living

Chapter 3: A Man’s World 45
Upper-class Regency Men • A Bachelor’s Life • Marriage • Bucks, Beaus and Dandies

Chapter 4: The Gentle Sex 63
The Regency Woman • All the Accomplishments • Making a Come-out • Mothers, Wives, Widows and Daughters • On the Marriage Mart • To Gretna Green • A Brilliant Match or a Disastrous Alliance • Other Options

Chapter 5: On the Town 85
The Season and the Little Season • Almack’s • The Patronesses • The Best Circles • Rules and Etiquette • Scandal! • Dancing • The Theatre • In the Parks

Chapter 6: The Pleasure Haunts of London 117
Carlton House • Clubs, Pubs and Pleasure • The Bow-window Set • Vauxhall Gardens • Ladies of the Night, Brothels and Gambling Hells • Convivial Evenings • Around the Town

Chapter 7: The Fashionable Resorts 139
Brighton • The Best Address and Other Accommodations • On the Promenade and Other Entertainments • Bath • The Upper and Lower Assembly Rooms • The Pump Room • Taking the Cure • Other Diversions

Chapter 8: Getting About 161
All Kinds of Carriages • On Drivers and Driving • Public Transport • On the Road • Long-distance Travel • Turnpikes, Toll-gates and Tickets

Chapter 9: What to Wear 181
Men’s Fashion from Head to Toe • The Intricacies of the Neckcloth • Women’s Fashion from Hats to Hose • Hairstyles • Seals, Fobs, Snuff-boxes and Quizzing Glasses • Jewellery • Ageing Gracefully • General Fashion Glossary

Chapter 10: Shopping 223
Shopping in London • London Shops • Daily Needs • Lock’s for Hats • Milliners, Tailors, Modistes and Mantua Makers • Hoby’s for Boots • Fribourg & Treyer’s for Snuff • Linen Drapers • Jewellers • Cosmetics

Chapter 11: Eat, Drink and Be Merry 243
Food, Removes, Repasts and a Light Nuncheon • Meals and Menus • What’s for Dessert? Gunter’s • Drinking by Day and by Night

Chapter 12: The Sporting Life 253
Boxing at the Fives Court, Prizefights and Pets of the Fancy • Cocks and Dogs • Revel-routs and Boxing the Watch • On the Strut to Tattersall’s • Hunting, Horse Racing, Curricle Racing and Wagers • Gambling, Vowels and Debts of Honour • Duelling

Chapter 13: Business and the Military 273
The Postal Service • The City • The Stock Exchange • Banking • Money Talk • The Military • The Peninsular War • The Peace • The Hundred Days • Military Men

Chapter 14: Who’s Who in the Regency 289
The Royal Family • Influential Men • The Beau and the Dandies

Appendix 1: A Glossary of Cant and Common Regency Phrases 313
Appendix 2: Newspapers and Magazines 327
Appendix 3: Books in Heyer 333
Appendix 4: Timeline 341
Appendix 5: Reading about the Regency and Where Next? 353
Appendix 6: Georgette Heyer’s Regency Novels 357

*Note:  This book was orginially published in 2005 in the UK, and by Random House in 2008. 
About the author (from the publisher):
During the extensive study and research of Georgette Heyer's work for her Ph.D thesis, Jennifer Kloester had access to Heyer's private papers, and other information made available the generosity of Geogette Heyer's son and, as a result, has discovered a wealth of new material on a writer who is known to have been an immensely private person.  Kloester lives in Victoria, Australia.


Tricia Schneider said...

I am so excited this book is now available! It seems I've been waiting forever. Georgette Heyer is one of my favorite authors and I love the Regency era. Thanks for posting this review! You've reminded me to go buy the book!

Audra said...

Oh, I seriously, seriously want this book.