Why I Love Regency Romance  

Posted by Heidi in

Regency romance--it is a book genre that has all but disappeared from the store shelves, whether brick and mortar or the virtual kind. These days, one can only find newly published regencies under the guise of historical romance. Most of my favorite contemporary regency authors (Georgette Heyer being pre-contemporary) such as Barbara Metzger, Joan Smith, Marion Devon, Susan Carroll, Marion Chesney, Carla Kelly, Elizabeth Mansfield and did I mention Barbara Metzger?, have either stopped writing or have moved over to the only "regency" choice available--the thick romance novel that is not so pure. True, they take place during the Regency time period--that twenty or so years near the beginning of the 1800's when Prinny, later King George the IV, ruled England in place of his father, Mad King George the III--and they have some of the same qualities that are so beloved by regency fans, but they just aren't the same. For one thing, the true regency fan tends to be more educated than your average romance reader, she knows her subject (all things Regency) and is more likely than not to be a fan of Jane Austen. Those who read regency-set historicals consists of a much larger audience who enjoy romances set in the past--but don't necessarily know the role Beau Brummel played in the fashion trends of Regency England, don't know the meaning of words such as "ton" (the elite of the elite in society) or "dot" (a young woman's dowery) and would most likely interpret the word "beaver" to mean a water loving animal rather than a hat. Historical figures such as Prinny, Caro Lamb, Lord Nelson, Lord Byron and other famous personages of the day need no introduction or explanation for the true Regency fan. The same goes for the habits, trends, fashions, language, ways of speech and pasttimes of the era. Sadly, as much for the author, I suspect, as well as the reader, so much of this must be left out of the regency-set historical which, to me, is much like leaving the chocolate sauce off of a dish of vanilla ice cream--cool and sweet but just a bit too bland. My novel, Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind, due out in December, is as close to a true Regency Romance as I could get it while keeping in mind the broader audience. It is a clean story that focuses on the romance. It also contains as much regency language, speech, and culture as my editor would allow. Alas, no beavers . . .

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 27, 2008 at Sunday, April 27, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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