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Researching the Regency

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I've just recently finished my edits on my first novel, Secrets of the Heart, which is Book One of The Ravensmore Chronicles. I probably won't see it again until I get my galleys. It is an incredibly difficult task when writing a Regency novel to be certain you have all the forms of address correct and the use of titles. I rely heavily on people like Nancy Mayer, who truly is, "A most proper authority on all things Regency." Please follow this link to Nancy's website. Regency Researcher I first discovered Nancy on line when I joined the The Beau Monde specialty chapter of Romance Writers of America  a long, long time ago.

You would think after reading many, many Regency novels through the years that this part of completing a novel would be the least of my concerns. Not so. I'm always learning something new. I also recently discoverd Vic Sanborn's blog, Jane Austen's World

If you are interested in getting your facts straight, and I pray I have, then I highly recommend that you visit these sites and see what these very astute women have to say about the Regency era. Some of the things I've learned over the years that may interest you as you research your own Regency novel  include:

  1. Why was a Regent necessary?  The short answer is that King George III went mad so his son made the decisions since he was no longer able to do so.
  2. What were the years of the Regency? 1811-1820. However, some writers stretch that time period a bit.
  3. What's a pelisse? A long fitted coat. Sometimes fur lined and then evolved into silk with no fur. The pelisse was inspired by military wear. I always thought the women wore a short jacket that was also called a pelisse. Perhaps someone visiting today can clear that up. :)
  4. Who is this guy called, Beau Brummell? He was the fashion icon for the men and quite well known.
  5. How do you tie a cravat? Very carefully. :)



So what have you learned about the Regency? Ask a question and I'll try to answer. This could be very amusing. :)                                                                                                 


  1. I AM OBSESSED with Austen! Loved this post. Thank you so much! wow. Can't wait for your book to come out! WOOHOO!

  2. Hi Bonnie!
    I'm a bit obsessed myself. :) Found out yesterday that I'll get my galleys the end of January. Then I have ten days to make minor corrections. So glad you enjoyed this post. I love learning new things about this time period.

  3. Hi Jillian! Thanks so much for this post! I've referred to Nancy's page many times...the Regency is such a special period, but a tricky one when it comes to research. I need all the help I can get!

    Can't wait to read your book! I hope you can relax and enjoy the holiday season before you get those galleys...

  4. Susie!
    I'm so glad to see you. The Regency is a real challenge related to research. I think most of us need all the help we can get. I work hard to make certain I get facts right, and I dread making a glaring mistake. I discovered though that if I allow my self to get too bogged down in facts that I paralyze my creativity. It's a fragile balance.