Friday, April 24, 2009

An Honourary Chick

I am delighted once again to be guest blogging at Prairie Chicks Write Romance tomorrow, April 25. I'll be talking about the pros and cons of print publishing and electronic publishing. Certainly not a Regency topic, but one of import for all aspiring authors.

I wonder what Jane Austen would have thought of e-books? I don't really know what she thought of the burgeoning technology of her own time. I don't believe she ever mentioned the new spinning and weaving machines, the scientific discoveries or the coming railways. Imagine living before the advent of's a different world. That's why I love the Regency, and why I write Regency romance.

Do visit me at Prairie Chicks Write Romance tomorrow, and I'll be here next week, more Regency-oriented. (I'm keeping my New Year's resolution--blogging once a week is much better than I did in 2008!)

Till then,


Friday, April 17, 2009

Jane's Fame by Claire Harman

Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World
by Claire Harman

I just discovered this new book about Jane Austen and her work. It was released at the beginning of April and it sounds intriguing.

The only reader review I have seen is positive. I am eager to get a look at this book, both as a writer and a Jane Austen fan. It will be intriguing to see how Ms. Harman explains Jane Austen's continuing renown.

The following blurb is from the publisher; the book is listed at all the Amazon websites and independent booksellers as well.

Award-winning biographer Claire Harman traces the growth of Jane Austen’s fame, the changing status of her work and what it has stood for - or has been made to stand for in English culture - in a wide-ranging study aimed at the general reader. This is a story of personal struggle, family intrigue, accident, advocacy and sometimes surprising neglect as well as a history of changing public tastes and critical practices. Starting with Austen’s own experience as a beginning author (and addressing her difficulties getting published and her determination to succeed), Harman unfolds the history of how her estate was handled by her brother, sister, nieces and nephews, and goes on to explore the eruption of public interest in Austen in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, the making of her into a classic English author in the twentieth century, the critical wars that erupted as a result and, lastly, her powerful influence on contemporary phenomena such as chick-lit, romantic comedy, the heritage industry and film. Part biography and part cultural history, this book does not just tell a fascinating story - it is essential reading for anyone interested in Austen’s life, works and remarkably potent fame.

If you have read the book already, I'd love to hear what you think of it. I'm off to request it at my library right now!

Till next time,


Friday, April 10, 2009

More Regency Reads ~ Non-Fiction this time

There are many non-fiction books about the 'Regency', the Prince Regent, and the Regency World. These titles also appear on my website, but I thought they were worth repeating here. Some good starting points for general history of the period and some original accounts are found in:

Years of Victory 1802-1812 by Arthur Bryant London, Collins, 1945 hc

The Age of Elegance 1812-1822 by Arthur Bryant London, Collins, 1950 hc

The Rise and Fall of a Regency Dandy: The Life and Times of Scrope Berdmore Davies by T.A.J. Burnett ISBN 0-19-285124-1 pbk Oxford University Press

A Residence at the Court of London by Richard Rush ISBN 0-7126-1780-9 pbk Century Hutchinson

Voices from the World of Jane Austen by Malcolm Day ISBN 0-7153-2379-2 hc David & Charles Limited

Captain Gronow: His Reminiscences of Regency and Victorian Life 1810-60 ed. by Christopher Hibbert ISBN 1-85626-013-5 hc Kyle Cathie Limited 1991, many other editions available

Regency Etiquette: The Mirror of Graces (1811) or The English Lady's Costume by a Lady of Distinction ISBN 0-914-46-24-1 pbk R. L. Shep Publications 1997

The Miseries of Human Life by James Beresford originally published 1806, many editions

Our Village by Mary Russell Mitford originally published 1821, many editions

Diary of a Country Parson by James Woodforde many editions

For views of the Regency world by artists of the period, try:

Britain Portrayed: A Regency Album 1780-1830 by John Barr ISBN 0-7123-0174-7, hc, 1989, The British Library

Regency England: The Great Age of the Colour Print by Reay Tannahill, The Folio Society Limited, 1964 hc.

Mrs. Hurst Dancing and Other Scenes from Regency Life 1812-1823 by Gordon Mingay with original watercolours by Diana Sperling. ISBN 0-575-03035-6 hc London, Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1981

Things are a little crazy around here right--and unfortunately there is precious little writing going on. But in a couple of weeks things will settle I hope. I'll be back to work on the 2010 novel and blogging here about Regency gardens, Regency artists, and some costume specifics like shawls.

Till next time,


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Favourite Regency Reads

I have this list posted on my website, but it is rather tucked away. I thought it might be interesting to post it here and find out what your favourite Regency reads are.

These titles are my very personal choices for top Regencies. They are books I return to again and again just to visit with the characters and delight in their wonderful stories. In no particular order:

1. Deirdre and Don Juan by Jo Beverley 1993 Avon Books
2. A Gypsy at Almack's by Chloe Cheshire 1993 Harper Paperbacks
3. Love's Duet by Patricia Veryan 1979 Fawcett Crest
4. Miss Whittier Makes a List by Carla Kelly 1994 Signet Books
5. Frederica by Georgette Heyer Pan Books 1968; many reissues
6. Persuasion by Jane Austen first published 1817; many editions available
7. The Rogue's Lady by Marian Devon 1982 Fawcett
8. Miss Dower's Paragon by Gayle Buck 1993 Signet
9. The Runaways by Barbara Hazard 1997 Signet
10. Lady Elizabeth's Comet by Sheila Simonson 1985 Walker

Let's make it an even dozen:

11. Lydia by Clare Darcy 1973 Signet
12. Lady in Green by Barbara Metzger 1993 Fawcett

As you can see, most of my favourites are older books--sadly out of print now. In my opinion, the quality of traditional Regency romances deteriorated in the late 1990's and early 2000's which helped to lead to their print demise.

Anyway, that's my list of favourites. What are yours? I'm looking for some more books to read :)

Till next time,