Monday, January 22, 2007

Regency Entertainment


What did those Regency folk do for entertainment. There was no TV. Music played a big part in people's lives then as it does now, but there were no cd's or radios or ipods. They had to make their own music. They would use everything from a tin whistle to full scale orchestras and of course their own voices.

In my forthcoming book "No Regrets" my hero and heroine attend a musicale evening at a Parisian drawing room. While they have a professional opera singer, the guests are also expected to entertain.

Young ladies would often play the pianoforte or the harp.


Reading was an option, often a family would sit together in the drawing room beside the fire and one member would read while the others sewed, or simply listened. Reading was an art, unless one wished to put the listeners to sleep and sneak out for a quick slap and tickle with the eager swain.

Big country houses would be expected to provide all kinds of entertainment, from billiards, shown here, to amateur theatricals, where all the guest would take a part. These were private performances, and considered a little risque, since actors and actresses were considered a little on the low side, definitely not haute monde or ton.





But there is no doubt that the theatre, both in London and the cities around the country, were relied on for entertainment for all walks of life in the Regency. Below is a picture of Drury Lane Theatre. It still exists today. As does Covent Garden. Pantomime and other more vulgar forms of entertainment were also popular.






Card parties were another form of entertainment that took place at home, and not just in those gentlemen's clubs we are always so fond of talking about. All members of society played cards, and not always for high stakes.


But best of all were the balls and parties. Dancing. And the men always danced. Or at least most of them did. Can you imagine a world where nearly all men enjoyed dancing. It sounds like heaven to me.




Until next time, Happy Rambles.