The Dark Days of Georgian Britain – a Guest Post by James Hobson

I am delighted to have James Hobson, author and former history teacher, as guest writer at Regency Explorer. In his book, “Dark Days of Georgian Britain. Rethinking the Regency”, James explores the lives of the powerless and the challenges they faced. He writes about corruption in government and elections, “bread or blood” rioting, the political discontent felt and the revolutionaries involved. It’s a treat for me to present James’s work about a little discussed field of research:

Rethinking the Regency: A description of terrible times and the people who had the courage to fight back

If you write a book with the expression “Dark Days” in the title, then it might be a good idea to reassure people that the book is not as bleak as it sounds. Well, I am afraid I can’t.

People seem to have forgotten, or do not know, that the period around the Napoleonic wars was one of the most appalling in British history. When there is a “worst year in British history competition”, 1816 is the latest year to be mentioned, and all the other competitors – like 1648 or 1347- are periods of epidemic disease or fratricidal civil war.

At first it made me angry that nobody had written very much about this aspect of the Regency and then it made me very happy. Continue reading

Attractive, Distinctive, One Size: The Military Uniform in the Late 18th Century

The uniform dress for the army became the norm in the mid-17th century. Styles and decoration depended on status and image of the troop, and the wearer of the uniform. In contrast to today’s camouflage, uniforms of the 18th and 19th centuries displayed bright and contrasting colours. The idea was to make it easier to distinguish units in battle, and to enable commanders to spot their troops on battlefields that often were obscured by smoke from cannons.

Uniforms for lower ranks

In the 18th century, uniforms for the lower ranks were often mass-produced. Uniforms usually had standard sizes and designs to make it easier to replace them on campaign. In Britain, troops were equipped with new uniforms once a year.

from left to right: infantry soldier (France, 1780); 95th rifles uniform (British, Peninsular Wars era)

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Enjoy November: New Releases About the Georgian Age

Elegant Etiquette in the Nineteenth Century by Mallory James“Balloon Madness” or “Dark Days of Georgian Britain”? Getting inspired by “Jane Austen Celebrates: Holidays and Occasions Regency Style or exploring “Travel and the British Country House“? November brings about 40 new releases about the Georgian Age. There is a strong focus on science and philosophy.

Read on and get inspired to find your perfect non-fiction read.

New releases about the Georgian Age scheduled for November

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This is to the hero: Emma Hamilton`s ways to celebrate Horatio Nelson

It’s 1798. Admiral Horatio Nelson is on a mission to support the Neapolitan monarchy in Naples. He has already made a remarkable carreer, even if his greatest success is still to come. He is also marked by war: He has lost an arm and suffers from coughing spells. In Naples, he stays with the British Ambassador Sir William Hamilton, and his wife lovely Emma Hamilton.

A man on a mission falls in love

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Enjoy “Regency TV”

What to watch on TV after “Poldark“, “Love and Friendship” and “Victoria”? Shows and documentaries for Regency Enthusiasts are rare. But don’t despair: You can easily compile your own TV programme thanks to the internet. The World Wide Web has everything your heart desires, from the Napoleonic Wars to Georgian Era antiques.

Here are some suggestions and links for you: Continue reading

Cultivated Roses – a New Craze Begins

In this post:

  • A lady’s rose
  • the East India connection
  • Amateurs – a class of its own
  • The Chinese key to heaven

The rose is the national flower of England. It is, however, not the rose we know today that became the symbol of the country. The English rose – rosa gallica officinalis –was, roughly said, a wild rose. It was very popular in British gardens of the 18th century, as its fruits could be used as tea, marmalade, or as medicine (thus the alternative name apothecary’s rose).

It was only from the mid-18th century that natural philosophers and gardeners began to experiment with new varieties of roses that had been introduced from other countries. By the end of the 18th century, cultivated roses had spread throughout Europe, and with it a new enthusiasm for this beautiful flower.
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Enjoy October: New Non-Fiction Releases about the Georgian Age

Would you love to learn more about Jane Austen’s transatlantic sister ? Do you have a special interest in masculinity, militarism and eighteenth-century culture? Would you like to know which is Peter Ackroyd’s latest work? Or can’t you get enough of the birth of the Industrial Revolution during 1700 – 1825?

Here are the latest non-fiction releases for you, all scheduled for October: Continue reading

Queen Caroline’s Scandals in Italy

Caroline of Brunswick (1768 –1821) had the misfortune of being unhappily married to George, Prince of Wales. The Prince refused to communicate with her, and permitted her to see her daughter only once a week. Being freezed out of Carlton House, Caroline set off for a long trip throughout Europe in 1814.

What seems to be a reasonable thing to do today was the beginning of a long lists of scandals in the eyes of her contemporaries. Her husband, trying to find reasons to divorce her, sent agents to spy on her, and her every movement was reported back to England.

Here is a list of the main scandals Caroline was accused of: Continue reading

My Historical Romance titled “Von tadellosem Ruf” is now available!

A merry romance set in Regency-England …

It is an unforeseen blow for Lady Linfield when her nephew Robert Rothleigh, the black sheep of the family, inherits the title of Lord Cavenham. Robert is infamous for having caused anything from gossip to scandal, and Lady Linfield had always wished him as far away as possible.

Immediate action is required to save the family’s standing and clear Robert’s reputation when he becomes the head of the family:

  • a marriage to a suitable wife of high moral standards,
  • the settlement of his debts,
  • and a handsome apanage.

All this Lady Linfield will take care of. But what if the chosen bride, Georgina Standon, has different ideas about her future? And will Robert comply for the first time in his life?

Soon, Georgina and Robert are embroiled in a swirl of incidents and misconception. The theft of a valuable necklace and an abduction put additional obstructions in their way towards a happy ending.

… for readers enjoying the novels of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer

Read an excerpt here.

„Von tadellosem Ruf“ is available in major Online-Shops in print and as e-book (ISBN: 9783744854313). The novel is written in German.

When Less is Truly More: Designing a Cover for a Novel

Looks matter: It’s the cover that makes a potential reader stop and browse a book in a store. As writing and editing my historical romance is finished, the next challenge is to design a compelling cover. No easy task!

I started with jotting down ideas. The cover should:

  • indicate the historical period, i.e. the late 18th century
  • provide the reader with some ideas about the story
  • match the genre of romantic love story
  • have a serene and elegant air

So many wishes, but could they be combined in one cover? Continue reading