About Regency England

A Game of Pleasure is set in England during the Regency period. Although technically the years between 1811-1820, romance writers tend to stretch the years from between 1788 when the possibility of the Prince of Wales becoming Regent was first raised to 1830 when he died after a ten-year reign as George IV.

Although England was at war with France for much of the time (ending with Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in 1815) the action was abroad, and the average Englishman's life was relatively stable.

But great changes were taking place -- industrialization had its birth here, as did modern medicine and the middle class. It was a romantic age of great poets, classic architecture, Empire gowns and art for all. It was a time of excess in food, drink, vice  and outrageous behavior and yet the rising tide of morality pushed toward reform and the values which would characterize Queen Victoria's reign.

Jane Austen's works typify what life was like during the period. Jane was a contemporary novelist writing about the kinds of people she knew and the places she was familiar with. The focus of Jane's heroes and heroines is duty, family, the importance of marrying well but ultimately all rely on personal inclination to be their guide in shaping their future.

In the mid-20th Century, writer Georgette Heyer decided to write historical novels in the tradition of Jane Austen and the modern Regency Romance was born.  Ms. Heyer was so meticulous in her research that other authors began using her books to glean facts of the period. Although an era where nothing much happened, modern Regency writers (and readers) know a lot about this interesting period of history.

I don't pretend to be an expert on the Regency (or much of anything, for that matter :) ) and so direct you instead to investigate for yourself. Many good reference books and sites exist to learn more about the period. My favorite reference is Emily Hendrickson's self-published The Regency Reference Book which is available from her on her website: http://emilyhendrickson.net/regency/regency-reference-book/.