Monday, October 13, 2008

Regency People




First, if you are wondering where to buy The Lady Flees Her Lord, I have to tell you that the book should be in stores any day now. Sometimes it takes a while to get them into the stores, so it will be there by the end of the month. As soon as I get word it is out there, I will send out the newsletter. I have a Prinny story all ready to go, and can't wait to get it to you.



I thought it might be fun to start a new regular feature on some of the wonderful real characters who people the Regency. People my characters might run into during the course of a book.

These will only be little snippets, not detailed research, after all there are hundreds of books in the library which can do a far better job than I. I will not restrict myself to the Regency of 1811 - 1820, because that is an event rather than an era or a sense of life and style.

I wanted to start with George Prince of Wales, because it is he who gives us our Regency era, however.

I think I am a bit of an odd duck, because I have a lot of sympathy for the George, as anyone who has read my newsletters will know. He really was a product of the Georgian era, a lusty, self indulgent time with some of the remnants of the Stuarts well entrenched in society.

This picture of him is by Gainsborough in 1782. He is twenty in this picture. He desperately wanted to join the army as did his favorite brother Frederick, the Duke of York. His father would not let him leave the country, or actually do anything at all in government. He had no responsibilities. Is it any wonder that later on he was indecisive, and self indulgent.

He was not as arrogant as he is painted, he said of his appearance around this time that he is inclined to be fat, although he thought his eyes were fine. One of his gentlemen, Lake, is very aware that because he was so sheltered growing up, he is far too eager to please and to make friends, which means he is easily imposed upon and encouraged to do outrageous things.

He is also constantly criticized by his father, who's favorite son is Frederick. Not an easy thing for a young man to endure. Therefore, he rebels. He becomes friends with a wild bunch, Chesterfield, St. Leger, and Windham ~ the latter are two rakes "whom all good men despise".

Meanwhile, his father refuses him permission to go to balls, and let us face it there is very little else to do at this time, as well as gives him long list of things he is not allowed to do, and to make matters worse gives him nothing worthwhile to do.

Can you imagine us treating our children like that?

In 1782, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire says he is striking to look at, but not perfect, inclined to be fat, of pleasing height, reasonably intelligent, but because he has been kept in too strict confinement, ogling women have given him the impression his is much sought after by the opposite sex. So this is the teenage young adulthood of this prince. It is completely unlike the experience of anyone else, even his brothers. And I for one feel sorry for him. Although I do not excuse his antics.

Well, that is all for today, and I think we will visit Prinny again before we move on to some of the other characters of his time.