Friday, May 30, 2008

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Before we say farewell to Regina Scott and her debut week we ask her this question, "Why the Regency period?"

So far, each of my books has been set in the marvelous Regency period in England. What’s so marvelous, you may ask? Oh, let me tell you!

The Regency period, strictly speaking, ran from 1811 to 1820, when George IV was Regent of England. In fact, the mores of the period ran from approximately 1800 to 1830. The real-life heroes and heroines faced the industrial revolution, where technology transformed the fabric of their society even as computers are transforming ours. They watched countries fall to revolution around them, even as we watch other nations struggle with concepts of democracy. Even the clothing of the Regency, so informal compared to the hoops and powdered wigs of the previous period and patterned after the simple frocks of the French countryside, reflected a transition in society just as our jeans and exercise wear do now.

The Regency period invites both writer and reader to play in a world rich in language, historical detail, pomp, and circumstance. Stemming from the legacy of Jane Austen, the time period was popularized in the modern era by Georgette Heyer. Her books are still read decades after her death, an amazing record for an industry where bookstores often give a paperback love story a six-week shelf life.

Building on the model of society developed by Georgette Heyer and scrupulously researched and detailed, stories set in the Regency period take on a shared world flavor similar to some science fiction and fantasy novels. Readers familiar with the period know that when they pick up a story set in the Regency period, they are in for witty dialogue, rich historical detail, and a language that’s all their own. Gentlemen have impeccable manners and little things, like the brush of a hand and the lowering of an eyelash, can spell the difference between pleasure and social ostracism. This is a world populated by licentious rakes, self-important dandies, erudite bluestockings, independent Originals, and gorgeous Incomparables. A gentleman might drive his cattle (horses) through the ton (the better part of London) so that others might consider him an out-and-outer (impressive fellow). A lady might invite her bosom beau (best friend) to her at home (time available to receive callers) so that they might have a nice coze (talk).

All that aside, I’m a sucker for long dresses, dashing gentlemen, and elegant balls. Why wouldn’t I want to write in this period?

Why indeed! Thank you so much for sharing this week with us, Regina. It's been a real pleasure. We wish you the best of luck with LA PETITE FOUR.

And to further entice readers we'd like to share Regina's fantabulous book trailer.


Lisa Schroeder said...

Great week of posts - I can't want to read your book, Regina!

elsiehogarth said...

Regina, love all the Regency tidbits you have given in your blog this week.

Last night, I read La Petite Four and the girls escapades are just great. Can't wait to read more about them and Jaime.

FYI: At B&N: I got the 2nd to last copy and we have already re-ordered more for our "new release"shelves.

PJ Hoover said...

It does seem like such a dreamy period! Hope you had a great launch week!

Donna Maloy said...

I so agree, Regina. A good regency read is a virtual trip to a time when attraction was about much more than hot bodies. Wit and a flair for polite conversation, a sense of style and purpose, and a kind heart were sought-after qualities. Sigh. Can't wait to get my hands on La Petite Four!

Regina Scott said...

Thanks, all! I'm glad to hear your B&N is carrying La Petite Four, Elsie! That's so important! Thanks for ordering more!