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The new, improved Regencies

What’s the ton?  No, not a ton, as in a ton of coal. The ton (pronounced tawn) in Regency novels. Well, I finally looked it up. It means “high society.” The phrase comes from the French “Beau Monde” (pronounced bow mawnd) meaning “beautiful world”, understood to be the fashionable world, polite society, people with upper class manners, i.e. high society.

Wikipedia states that a directory entitled The Upper Ten Thousand was published in England in 1875. It included members of the aristocracy, the gentry, officers in the British Army and Navy, members of Parliament, Colonial administrators, and members of the Church of England. Apparently there were lots of such lists, but Debrett’s Peerage (1802) and Burke’s Landed Gentry (1838) gained wide acceptance and are still published today.

Debrett’s has devolved into a Who’s Who and etiquette guide and has published books titled: Debrett’s Guide to Entertaining Etiquette, A to Z of Modern Manners and Debrett’s Guide to Civilised Separation.

Burke’s Landed Gentry is available online to paid subscribers.

Now that you know all this, here is a list of some of the newer Regency authors you might try.  Be careful, however, some of these are genre-benders that lean decidedly into the hot romance category.  Move over Georgette Heyer, Marion Chesney and Patricia Veryan.

1.  Johanna Lindsey has written forty-three novels to date.  Though she has been concentrating on contemporary romance recently, her eleven novel Regency series about the Mallory family is still the popular favorite.

2.  Stephanie Laurens has written fifty-three Regency romances and shows no sign of slowing down.  Her books can be sorted into four different series with some overlap and some stand-alones.

3.  Mary Balogh has written over 60 Regencies.  Her characters tend to move from book to book, defying the structure of a series.  They are included in eSequels because they are “almost” sequels and for authors this popular. we tend stretch the definition a bit.

4.  Liz Carlyle has written over 20 Regency romances which fall into at least four family groupings, though there is some overlap.  Carlyle’s Regencies include a touch of mystery and a Scotland Yard inspector, Max de Rohan appears in some of them.

–posted 2/13/2014

Posted February/14/2014

 
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