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Regency England

This period is technically contained in the years 1811-1820 when the Prince of Wales (later George IV) became Prince Regent while George III was incapacitated by mental illness. But the spirit of the period can be extended greatly before and after these borders. Well known from Jane Austen's novels (and the movies adapted from them) as a time of decorum and gentility, this is also the time of the Napoleonic Wars, unprecedented industrial change and quite a bit of naughty behavior.

Biographies

Byron—child of passion, fool of fame by Benita Eisler — Romantic poet and romantic figure for his age, Byron was famously called "mad, bad, and dangerous to know" by Lady Caroline Lamb, who was just one of his many ex-lovers.

Prince of pleasure: the Prince of Wales and the making of the Regency by Saul David — What would this list be without a biography of the Prince Regent himself? Known as a patron of the arts, a spendthrift, and a womanizer, the Regent was a fascinating character.

Maria Fitzherbert: the secret wife of George IV by James Munson — When the Prince of Wales secretly and illegally married Maria Fitzherbert, a beautiful Catholic widow, it became one of the best known secrets in the Polite World of London society.

The unruly queen: the life of Queen Caroline by Flora Fraser — The Prince of Wales married his official wife, Caroline of Brunswick, in an arranged marriage which went terribly awry. Within weeks the couple was living apart and remained separated throughout their marriage.

Wellington: a personal history by Christopher Hibbert — The military hero who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo and later became Prime Minister of England, Wellington was an icon in his own time.

Histories

An elegant madness: high society in Regency England by Venetia Murray — The scandals and social turmoil of the upper classes.

Life in Regency England by White, Reginald James — An overview of the period from the lives of the very rich to the very poor.

Our tempestuous day: a history of regency England by Carolly Erickson — Highlights the key personalities and events of the era.

Novels

Military and Naval Fiction

Master and commander by Patrick O'Brian — establishes the friendship of Captain Aubrey and ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin and begins their adventures during the Napoleonic Wars.

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by Forester, C. S. (Cecil Scott), 1899-1966 — is the beginning book in this classic series following Horatio Hornblower through the ranks of the British Navy.

Sharpe's rifles: Richard Sharpe and the French invasion of Galicia, January 1809 by Bernard Cornwell — the first book about Richard Sharpe-an everyman in the British army during the Napoleonic Wars.

Mysteries

Death on a silver tray: a Beau Brummell mystery by Rosemary Stevens — Beau Brummell was a noted leader of fashion in the Regency world. The author uses this historical figure as her sleuth

Jane and the unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron — Jane Austen takes a break from writing to act as amateur detective in this series

Noted Authoresses of Romance

Dark angel by Mary Balogh — Mary Balogh: Writing since 1985, Balogh is acknowledged as one of the best authors currently writing regencies.

Libby's London merchant; and, Miss Chartley's guided tour by Carla Kelly — Carla Kelly: Another author still publishing regencies, Kelly is known for her unusual characters and settings.

Logic of the heart by Patricia Veryan — Patricia Veryan: An accomplished author of Georgian and Regency novels, Veryan has been delighting readers for years.

Regency Era Films

Horatio Hornblower [videodisc]: The duel by United Productions for Meridian Broadcasting in association with A&E Networks — This miniseries follows the daring adventures of Horatio Hornblower. With fine acting, exciting battle scenes and authentic costumes, it's well worth watching. Horatio's exploits go on in Horatio Hornblower: The Adventure Continues, Horatio Hornblower: The New Adventures: Duty, and Horatio Hornblower: The New Adventures: Loyalty

Master and commander [videodisc] the far side of the world by 20th Century Fox; Miramax Films; Universal Pictures; Samuel Goldwyn Films — The series is brought to film by Peter Weir in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany.

Persuasion [videodisc] by BBC Films; WGBH/Mobil Masterpiece Theatre; Millésime Productions — Although she was persuaded to reject his marriage proposal, Anne Elliot has never stopped loving Captain Wentworth. His return from the Napoleonic Wars brings them together again. This adaptation beautifully renders the subtle nuances of Jane Austen's novel.

Regency house party [videodisc] by Wall to Wall Television Ltd. in association with Thirteen/WNET New York — In this reality show, a group of eligible men and women take up residence in a magnificent English country estate to live as they did two centuries ago — including the social hierarchy, the lavish lifestyle, the backroom intrigues, and the intricate courtship rituals.

Sharpe's gold [videodisc] by Celtic Picture Palace; Carleton UK Productions — Also Sharpe's Battle, Sharpe's Company, Sharpe's Enemy, Sharpe's Regiment, Sharpe's Revenge, Sharpe's Waterloo, Sharpe's Mission and Sharpe's Rifles.

Saint Ives [videodisc] by Miramax Films release — Based on a Robert Louis Stevenson story, this romantic comedy follows the adventures of Jacques St. Ives, a French prisoner of war escaped from his jail in Scotland.

Websites

The Regency Collection — Regency books, recipes and other information about the period