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Main | Reading List, Week of June 10, 2012 »

Like Reading Georgette Heyer? You Will Love Georgette Heyer’s Regency World

By Hayley Hunkin

If you love reading romance novels set in the Regency era, a style made most famous by Georgette Heyer, you will love Jennifer Kloester’s guide to the era – “Georgette Heyer’s Regency World”. This is not a novel, but unlike many reference books is extremely easy to read and you can get lost in the wonder of the pages as easily as you can get caught up in Georgette Heyer’s lovable characters.

Jennifer Kloester has a PhD in Georgette Heyer’s work and has picked up her style of writing, so anyone who loves reading Georgette Heyer’s regency romance novels will find the guide is in a familiar style.

One of the best features is the references to particular characters from Georgette Heyer’s novels. Instead of simply explaining what men or women wore in London in those days, Jennifer Kloester refers to what particular characters wore in different novels.

Georgette Heyer’s Regency World explores every aspect of the era and style of romance that people now know as “regency”, from what people wore, to what they drove, from the places mentioned in the books, to the slang or cant language used.

The first chapter explains that although the regency was literally only nine years, the regency romances refer to a genre that spans the period of English history between 1780 and 1830, as the man who would become King George IV – the Prince Regent largely shaped the mores and norms of high society in those years.

The following chapters of Georgette Heyer’s Regency World explore the homelife, in town and country, the fashions, the fashionable places to visit in town and in the country, and what people ate. The first appendix, which is a glossary of cant terms with explanations, is extraordinarily fun to read.

You can get lost in the beauty of the regency world as you learn more about the expected patterns of behaviour. This is just a wonderful addition to your library of Georgette Heyer or regency romances, because it makes every detail clear. It is nice to know, for instance, that when the male characters complained of having to wear “chapeau-bras” at Almacks, that they had to carry a soft hat.  

In the version published by Arrow books, the delightful pen and ink illustrations by Graeme Tavendell will bring the words to life. These drawings make sense of the characters, fashions, and trends described in Georgette Heyer’s novels.

If you are a fan of Georgette Heyer’s regency romances, you will definitely want to have Jennifer Kloester’s Georgette Heyer’s Regency World on your bookshelf. It is a brilliant companion piece that helps to bring the wonder of the regency era to life.

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