Hi Everyone! Me again! Aren’t you glad you’ve been safe from me all week?! 😉 You should – it’s been a sulky one. Enough of that though, because we’ve got the wonderful Joanna Chambers visiting with us again, and this time with her author hat on! Yes! Her debut book will be out with Carina Press soon! All of you who love historicals, you’ll like this. And those of who don’t treat it as your go-to genre? Learning is fun! Cuz knowledge is power! 😛
Let’s hear it for Regency Romance!
Thanks for having me over again, Lime! Today I want to talk about my unashamed love of that sometimes-maligned animal: the Regency romance.
My debut novel The Lady’s Secret is released by Carina Press on 7th November (buy it here!) and yes, it’s a Regency romance! I know some readers get fed up with the dominance of this period in the historical romance genre but I’m out and proud as a lover of the Regency.
So what was it all about? Well, in 1811 Prince George, took over the reign of his father King George III. His father was still alive but incapacitated by ‘madness’ (which it was later suggested, but never proven, may have been porphyria. Accordingly, Prince George did not rule as his father’s heir and king during this period, but as his proxy. As regent. Hence ‘Regency’.
This situation continued until George III’s death in 1820 when Prince George became George IV. Technically therefore, the actual Regency lasted only 9 years. However the term ‘Regency’ is used with reference to anywhere from the late 18th century until 1837 when Victoria became Queen and the Victorian period began. My own (very personal) take is that the ‘Regency period proper’ begins with the commencement of the Napoleonic Wars in 1803 until George IV’s death in 1830.
The Regency is a hugely fascinating time in British history, book-ended by two very different worlds. Prior to the Regency, we have the world of the late 18th century. A time of immense aristocratic privilege, with the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle classes beginning to happen. After the Regency, we have the Victorian period. The age of steam and invention. When the dominance of the aristocracy began to wane and the power of the industrialist middle class rose. And wedged in the middle of these two very different worlds, was the Regency, a time when all the tensions of money and class and industrialisation were brewing, against a backdrop of war and political unrest.
So no. It wasn’t all just about going to Almacks to dance and Gunther’s for ices! And that’s not the Regency you’ll see in The Lady’s Secret. In fact, my hero and heroine come from quite different sides of the tracks. Nathan is an earl and Georgy is a failed-actress-turned-stagehand who masquerades as a man to gain a position as his valet. So while you get to see the world of the aristocrats (so familiar to romance readers!) you also get to see other worlds: the world of servant class, and the world of the theatre.
What about you? Do you love the Regency period? Hate it? And what’s your favourite Regency romance?
Joanna Chambers has been blogging about romance as Tumperkin since 2007 at http://tumperkin.blogspot.com. Her first novel, The Lady’s Secret, is released by Carina Press on 7th November. You can find an excerpt here.
Isn’t that interesting? I didn’t know. (I should though, shouldn’t I.) Ms. Chambers has also very kindly offered up a copy of her debut novel to one lucky commenter. So go on and answer her questions!
I DO love the Regency Period. It’s the etiquette of courting that draws me in. I am a sucker for Jane Austen: so a no-brainier – PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.
I love reading books set during the Regency period but to ask me to pick just one book would be impossible. Instead let me share 5 of my favorite authors with you because I love all their books!
In alphabetical order they are: Nicole Cornick, Lorraine Heath, Caroline Linden, Kasey Michaels and Tracy Anne Warren
All of these authors teach me something new about this fascinating era in English history and draw me into their stories with fascinating characters and challenging situations for their characters.
I love your having characters from two different levels of society in A Lady’s Secret and can’t wait to read it!
I can’t say off-hand what my favorite Regency historical is my favorite. I know I’ve probably read some but I don’t know which ones they are! 😉 I really enjoy historical romance novels even though my current go-to genre is paranormal/UF. I’m a big history buff! 😉
Your description of the Regency as a wedge period between the late 17th century and the Victorian industrial age is quite provocative — and I mean that in the best of ways! As in: provokes me toward all sorts of ideas, both fictional and historical …
One of the things that always draws me back to Regencies in romance is the potential to go either completely high-aristocratic, or to play with the dissolving class distinctions and the chaos they threaten us with. There’s room for light, sweet froth and for darker, more uncertain morals. Sounds like your book is more on the latter side. 🙂
Ooooh. A cross-dressing Regency. I have a huge passion for romances where the woman masquerades as a man. I will never get sick of the Regency period – in fact, I get quite upset when things like gas lighting and steam engines start appearing in the the 20s, 30s books of Lisa Kleypas. This looks like an awesome read, Joanna ( she says, trotting off to find her e-reader….) Good luck with your launch, hope it’s a smash!
Hi, Joanna! I love reading about the Regency period and never get tired of it. As far as picking out some favorite books, I can’t remember which ones they were since I have read so many, and enjoyed them all. As far as favorite authors goes, some of them are Anna Anna Campbell, Nicola Cornick, Nicole Jordan, Beverley Kendall, Kasey Michaels, and Tracy Anne Warren.
Your debut, The Lady’s Secret sounds like a winner. I love stories where women pretend to be a man for whatever reason.
I love to read regency romance, but as with other genres, I can never pick a favorite! (Partly because my memory for book &/or author names is so abysmal. Partly because I’d have narrow it down to only one!)
I liked the interview. I especially liked learning what and when the regency really was. I may have known it before – but that memory thing again! :p I just thought ‘early 1800s’ and left it at that. So thanks for teaching me something today, Joanna! 🙂
Hello everyone! Wow – what interesting comments.
Mary – I think I’ve read P&P at least 8 times and I know I’ll go back to it again. Though funnily enough, one of the things I love most about Austen is how almost modern she sounds in terms of her intimacy and humour.
Jeanne – oooh! A couple of new-to-me authors in there – it’s my lucky day!
myrandaroyann – I read pretty all the romance genres, actually. Funnily enough, I had a real break from historicals when I was doing the edits for TSL – it was all too much! But I’m back in the saddle again now….
Olivia – yes, so true. There’s so much fodder in there to work with. Liz Carlyle is an author I think is fantastic at showing all levels of society in a very rich way.
Sarah – thank you! It was great fun letting my heroine try out life as a man.
Cathy – oh you’ve reminded me about Anna Campbell – I want to read her latest!
rissatoo – early 1800s is as good a rule as any! And you’re welcome!
Hi Joanna! Thanks so much for being a guest at my blog! Loved your post about the Regency period. I’m also fascinated and excited by your debut book! I’ve only read a few “cross dressing heroines” stories, and have been impressed – the one that comes to mind is by Eloisa James – one of her Duchesses books.
Congratulations on the upcoming release!
I skimmed your description of the book itself because I hate finding out any plot points in advance (and I’ve pre-ordered your book because I love your blog) but as I went down the comments my eye was caught by the words “cross-dressing heroine”. Excellent! I love them. And that reminds of a cross-dressing historical which I love and re-read – Lady Rogue by Suzanne Enoch.
But as for my favorite Regency romance, I have to choose any of the wonderful books by Joanna Bourne, including The Black Hawk (just released).
Good luck with your release! I see it’s getting good reviews (which I’m not reading until I’ve read the book…).
I’ve recently gone on quite a binge of the traditional regencies, the Signets and such. Carla Kelly, Emily Hendrickson, and many more but some of my favorites are those that put a little twist on the traditional. The Nabob’s Widow by Elsie Lee (all hero’s POV), Pembroke Park by Michelle Martin about 2 ladies falling in love, Kidnap Confusion by Judith Nelson. I am looking forward to cross dressing and servant’s lives.
Lime – I can’t wait to hear what you think. Thanks for guesting me here today!
HJ – you are very kind! I have The Black Hawk on my Kindle and can’t wait to start it!
Amy – oh, lots of great reccs! I’m sure I’ve read a good review of Pembroke Park before…
I love the Regency time period. One of my all time favorite books is Pride and Prejudice. The plot structure alone is a thing of brilliance.
I am super excited to read _The Lady’s Secret_ . Love the idea of your heroine as a valet. Fantastic!
Darn, I am probably going to embarass myself and pick a book that isn’t Regency. Ok here goes. I like Sabrina Jeffries and Lisa Kleypas. I think they are considered regency period. I love historicals and I read all different time periods.
I love historical romance & the Regency period is probably my favourite. I’m not quite sure why actually! just that there’s something fascinating about the whole era & the English peerage & aristocracy then.
I don’t have one particular favourite but almost anything Lisa Kleypas tops my list!
I’ve got to be a downer and say that I’m not a fan of the Regency Era. It is a time of great change (Lucy Worsley’s three-part documentary was fascinating), but I find the social–particularly for women–and technological limitations frustrating! No telephones? No trains? No women college graduates? Ahhhh!
Plus, I came to the romance genre via Victorian gothic romances and authors like Henry James and Edith Wharton, so my cues come from them rather than Jane Austen. 😉
I love the Regency period for historical romances. I don’t know if this is because I am so used to it because I have read so many books from this era, or it is just the era itself. I believe that many things were just beginning during this time period (or at least they were added to various Regency period books that I have read) including separate baths with piped water, I believe trains were just starting?, etc. But for the most part they still traveled by carriage or horseback, attended balls, etc.
This book sounds great. I would love the chance to win a copy of it. Thank you so much for sharing with us. 🙂
Catherine Coulter was one of the first historical romance writers that I read! Elizabeth Thorton and Mary Balogh too.!
I do like Candice Hern , Mary Jo Putney , Joan Wolf and Jo Beverly .
I like the talk about The Ton, the balls, marriages of convenience, the difference between the social classes, Gentleman Jack’s for boxing, hunts,weekend getaways in the country, going to plays, courtesans, corinthians!!
I like a lot of historical romances. That includes Regency romances. But honesty, whether the time period is Regency or not isn’t that important to me. The characters really make the book for me. Regency or not, some of my favorite historicals are books by Julia Quinn, Julie Anne Long, Sherry Thomas, Elizabeth Hoyt, Courtney Milan and Kate Noble. Thanks for visiting.
anami – thank you!
Yay, Jen B!
Linda – Kleypas is always a good bet. I recently read The Devil in Winter for the first time – how did I miss it?
Evangeline – boo, hiss! Lol! Actually, that’s what I like about the Regency – the constraints and the position that puts heroines in. Not that the Victorian period was much better…
June – yes – it was a time when the world was teetering on the brink of so much. Steam power, electricity, etc.
Laurie – oh, Balogh – one of my very favourite authors! I’m surprised no-one has mentioned Heyer though!
LSU – More great names! And yes, I also love other periods of history. Love the Georgian world Elizabeth Hoyt writes about and the Victorian one that Courtney Milan and Sherry Thomas evoke so well!
I started out reading romances that were rather heavily slanted towards Regencies. I find my tastes a bit more expanded now, but I do have a soft spot for them!