Several months ago, I wrote a post on Clare Darcy, the second Regency author I read. Georgina was the first book I read by Ms. Darcy. It kept me up reading long after I should have been in bed, even though I had no idea why a lady shouldn’t “stand up” (dance) with one man more than once, what was wrong with a young lady just “out” shouldn’t wear “colors” what a bandbox was, or why rooms were called saloons. I only knew that the story caught my imagination and the time period my heart.
Georgina isn’t a particularly unique story. She finds her latest suitor a dead bore and turns him down. Her aristocratic grandmother is annoyed and ships Georgina off to distant relatives in Ireland. Instead of falling for an eligible gentleman there, she falls head over ears (really? Ears, not heels?) for an Irishman with a scandalous past.
Who can deny the romance of that scenario? I’m not even enamored of Irish heroes, but, in Georgina, Mr. Shannon was enough to make me understand Georgina’s subsequent actions.
I have since gotten my hands on the rest of Ms. Darcy’s books and find all them, to greater and lesser extent, delightful reads. Georgina, however, is the only one I have reread, though I may remedy that one day. One reason why I reread it twenty years after the first read was that I wanted to see if it held up the test of time, maturity, and a lot more knowledge of the time period, the Regency era.
It did and then some.
Although I love these sweet Regencies now called Traditional Regencies, mine are more in the style of Patricia Veryan—swashbuckling adventures. The romance, however, will always hold center stage in this time period that lends itself most highly to romance.
Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of four Regency romances with three more coming out in the future. You can find excerpts from her first Regencies at http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com
Naomi here, with a couple of Regency novels to add to your Christmas reading list.
I’ve long been a fan of inspirational romance novels, but I must admit Regency Romance is a rather new addition to my romance collection. The Lady of Milkweed Manor was the first inspirational Regency novel I ever read, followed closely by The Silent Governess. Both are by the same author, Julie Klassen. And while these novels don’t have some of the overt romance that some other Regency stories do, they both do a good job of combining mystery, history, and yes, a touch of romance.
Here’s the description for The Lady of Milkweed Manor:
Even a proper vicar’s daughter can make a mistake…and now Charlotte Lamb must pay a high price for her fall. To avoid the prying eyes of all who know her, she hides herself away in London’s forbidding “Milkweed Manor,” a place of mystery and lore, of old secrets and new birth.
But once there, she comes face to face with a suitor from her past–a man who now hides secrets of his own. Both are determined, with God’s help, to protect those they love. But neither can imagine the depth of sacrifice that will be required.
Scandal, ruin, secrecy, mystery. It’s all very “Regency,” even down to the details of a rich lord taking advantage of a naive young miss. Julie Klassen’s third book, The Silent Governess, is much the same way, and it went on to win some rather prestigious inspirational romance awards. Here’s more about that book:
Believing herself guilty of a crime, Olivia Keene flees her home, eventually stumbling upon a grand estate where an elaborate celebration is in progress. But all is not as joyous as it seems.
Lord Bradley has just learned a terrible secret, which, if exposed, will change his life forever. When he glimpses a figure on the grounds, he fears a spy or thief has overheard his devastating news. He is stunned to discover the intruder is a scrap of a woman with her throat badly injured. Fearing she will spread his secret, he gives the girl a post and confines her to his estate. As Olivia and Lord Bradley’s secrets catch up with them, will their hidden pasts ruin their hope of finding love?
So there you have it, another inspirational Regency filled with secrecy, mystery, class strife, and a bit of love. Both of these stories create a perfect place for inspirational romance and Regency novels to meet. If you’re interested in learning more about this author, we did an interview with Julie Klassen almost two years ago.
Since I won’t be blogging again before Christmas, I hope you all have a very merry one, filled with family, food, and lots of time for reading! 😀
I have been reading Regency romances since I picked up my first one in ninth grade, by accident. Since then, I’ve been buying Regency romances at the bookstore, through reader mail subscriptions, and more recently through garage sales, Goodwill/Salvation Army/thrift stores, and eBay or online used bookstores. I’ve acquired so many paperbacks that I’m not entirely sure where I’ve gotten them from by now, but they’re all waiting on my bookshelves for me to pick them up to read.
The most recent book I read was Fallen Angel by Charlotte Louise Dolan. I was on the Traditional Regency Romance Aficionados group on Goodreads.com (not very active, but a neat group) when someone mentioned some books by Charlotte Louise Dolan. Several people recommended Fallen Angel, and I looked through my catalog. Sure enough, I had bought it at some garage sale years ago and it was on my shelf.
I started reading it and was hooked from page one. Here’s the back cover blurb:
Man of Mystery — It was simple for Miss Verity Jolliffe to find out a great deal about Gabriel Rainsford, Lord Sherington. His good looks and wealth were evident His arrogance and ruthlessness were legendary. — Still, a question remained. What could Sherington see in a modest young lady like her, when he had the voluptuous Eleanor Lowndes as his mistress, and the most beautiful belles of the town eager to be his bride? Did he want her as a plaything for his jaded desires? Or as a wife in a mockery of a marriage? Or as a means of revenge on all womankind? But whatever he wanted, Verity feared that one thing was certain. Caught in his spell, she would find it heartbreakingly hard to say no….
Camy here: Okay, I admit the blurb is rather melodramatic and it doesn’t really tell what’s going on in the story. The writer’s style sometimes reminded me of Carla Kelly, but her humor reminded me of Georgette Heyer.
The hero is a bit ruthless, but it’s because he has been unwanted by everyone in his family since he was a child, and he has stopped caring about anyone to protect his own scarred heart. However, his lack of feeling sometimes makes him completely clueless as to women and how to treat them, which turns out to be really funny at times. It reminds me a bit of how Christian Western historical romance author Mary Conneally’s heroes are manly but clueless when faced with a strong woman.
What was really interesting was the heroine’s concept of love. It was so Christlike that I was surprised to see it in a book published in the secular market. She has her own flaws, but it only makes her more endearing and sympathetic. She is also strong and sensible, one of my favorite types of heroines.
What’s even better is that this book has been released as an ebook by the author. You can also try to get it from Paperbackswap or some similar book trading website. I immediately bought the ebook version since I loved the book so much, and my paperback version was looking a little ratty (I posted my paperback copy on Paperbackswap and it was picked up right away).
I hope you try this book and enjoy it as much as I did!
I didn’t grow up reading a lot of Regency books. It wasn’t until I was nearly twenty that I discovered the era and fell in love with it as a story setting. As I studied the authors that I fell in love with, I discovered a whole list of traditional Regency writers that inspired the authors I knew.
My list of books to look up is long, but I will be forever thankful to the friend who pointed me to Marion Chesney.
Her A House for the Season series was recommended to me and I pass that recommendation on to you.
The first book in the series is The Miser of Mayfair. It isn’t your typical set-up.
The setting for the series is a home in London, available to rent but plagued with bad luck. This makes the rent ridiculously low, something Mr. Roderick Sinclair needs desperately if he’s going to take his ward to London for the Season.
The ward, Fiona, is not your typical heroine either. It’s very possible that she is a good bit more than she initially appears to be. Which is a good thing, because if she’s going to make a good match, she has an enormous amount of obstacles to overcome. Not the least of which is a lack of funds, connections, or proper wardrobe.
Enter the wily butler, Rainbird, who plots with Fiona to make her and the beleaguered staff of Number 67 Clarges Street a success.
For me, the book was a refreshing look at the Regency world. The style, plot, and story structure are very different than books I see published today, but that only adds to the story’s charm for me.
Unless you’re lucky enough to find an old copy in a bookstore, The Miser of Mayfairis only available through a Kindle reader. If you’re looking for a fun, easy read while you travel this month, give it a try. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can even borrow it for free.
Have you read The Miser of Mayfair or one of Marion Chesney’s other Regencies? What did you think?
“If you get… me out of this … Lord…” No, she was not supposed to bargain with God. “Please God?”
The shrub tore a little further. Only Honore’s arms and hands clung to the earth. Only two thread roots still clung to thin soil. So, apparently God did not please. -A Reluctant Courtship
We have all been there, begging God to get us out of some trouble, something horrid we wrought upon ourselves. Laurie Alice Eakes showcases a fallen woman, Honore Bainbridge, whose past mistakes make her shunned in society and threaten to steal her chance at true love.
This is the gripping tale, the concluding story of the Daughters of Bainbridge House Series, A Reluctant Courtship. The rich message that God’s forgiveness is real, even when we don’t feel it, is meshed with this suspenseful romance.
When we meet Honore this time, she’s literally hanging on to a cliff, trying to save her life. The memories of her past sins wash before her eyes. A part of her heart tires of the shame, causing her to wonder if it would be easier for everyone if she just let go.
Now, Honore’s crime was heavy for the 1800’s. She’s been caught kissing two bad men, a traitor and a murder. Everyone ostracizes her, yet God still gives her a caring chaperone as a friend. God never leaves or forsakes us, even when we think He has.
No one wanted to marry Honore, any longer. If her escapades with a handsome rake during her first Season hadn’t been bad enough, getting caught kissing another gentleman in her brother-in-law’s organgery—and then that man turning out to be a murder—sent Miss Honore Bainbridge flying beyond the bounds of acceptability. -A Reluctant Courtship
Everyone has those moments of discouragement when we know we aren’t good enough. The taunts are unforgettable.
You’re not good enough. You are worthless. No good, just like your father.
Even the hero, who has questions of his own character, judges poor Honore (Pot and kettle syndrome).
“Such beauty and courage shouldn’t be connected with a morally suspect character.” -A Reluctant Courtship
Neighbors and peers judge Honore.
Not a yard away, the Devenish ladies tittered behind fans or gloved fingers.
“Little more than she deserves,” was followed by “Worst misalliance yet.” -A Reluctant Courtship
So, she loved a few bad men. Who hasn’t? But in the 1800’s, connections in the war weary England meant everything. With her earthly protector (her father) gone, Honore has to withstand shunning and evil gossip, even at church. At one point, Honore internalizes the guilt.
I make so many mistakes I think God no longer listens to me. -A Reluctant Courtship
But Laurie Alice doesn’t leave Honore or the reader without hope.
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God -Romans 3:23
She allows the saving grace of Jesus Christ to touch Honore.
You are not alone. God promised to never forsake us, and His promises are true.
Your willfulness does not stop God from loving you. -A Reluctant Courtship
Finally, Honore allows God’s hope to shine through her.
“I do not deserve Your help, but I am asking for it anyway. This time I am simply going to believe You are here with me.” -A Reluctant Courtship
When Honore surrenders to the fact she is forgiven by the One Person that matters, she is able to focus on doing what she does best, throwing her whole heart into saving the hero. Hopefully, she’ll live long enough to know the love of a good man.
I asked Laurie Alice, what she wants the reader to take away. Her message is clear:
No matter what you have done, no matter how many mistakes you have made, God’s love reigns supreme and He loves you regardless. Nothing is beyond redemption.
May everyone be blessed with this understanding.
For a chance to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card today, answer the question below in the comment section. If you answer the question, your name will also be entered into our Regency Grand Prize giveaway in honor of the release of A Reluctant Courtship. The giveaway includes a tea cup, a package of tea, a box of chocolates and a $10 gift card (to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble).
Today’s question: Have you ever made mistakes you think are beyond God’s redemption? If you can, we would be blessed to learn how the Lord worked in your life.
To celebrate the release of A Reluctant Courtship, we’re running a special two week long contest. Starting today through Monday, October 28, we’ll feature thought-provoking questions at the end of each post and giving away a $10 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) to one person who answers that day’s question. Your name will also be entered into our Regency Grand Prize giveaway.
The Grand Prize will include:
A tea cup
A box of tea
A box of chocolates
A $10.00 Amazon or Barnes and Noble
Before we get to today’s question, let me tell you more about A Reluctant Courtship, and why I enjoyed reading it so much.
Honore Bainbridge has been courted by two men, one of whom turned out to be a traitor, the other a murderer. Banished to her family’s country estate, where she will hopefully stay out of trouble, she finally meets the man she is sure is exactly right for her: Lord Ashmoor. Tall, dark, and handsome–what more could a girl ask for? But he too is under suspicion because of his American upbringing and accusations that he has helped French and American prisoners escape from Dartmoor Prison. For his part, Lord Ashmoor needs a wife beyond reproach, which Honore certainly is not. Amid a political climate that is far from friendly, Honore determines to help Ashmoor prove his innocence–if she can do so and stay alive.
From the rocky cliffs of Devonshire, England, comes the exciting conclusion to the lush Daughters of Bainbridge House series. Award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes thrusts her readers into high drama from the very first sentence and keeps them on their toes until the final page.
A Flight of Fancy has generated recommendations from places such as Booklist, which said: “Eakes seamlessly blends romance and intrigue, faith and history.”
I’d have to agree with Booklist about how wonderfully Eakes blended romance, suspense, history, and faith in A Reluctant Courtship. I also loved how Honore struggled as a woman who had made past mistakes and ruined her reputation, but with God’s help, she was able to overcome those mistakes and restore her good name by the end of the novel.
Today’s question: When you hear the words “Regency romance” what comes into your head?
Remember to leave your answer in the comment section below to be eligible for both today’s gift card as well as a chance to win the grand prize. Then come back Thursday for Laurie Alice Eakes’s post on what it’s like to write a Regency novel plus another chance to win.
Hi everyone! My name is Camy Tang and I’m so excited to join this Regency Reflections blog! I have been reading Regency romances since I was a Freshman in high school–my first one was Regency Miss by Alix Melbourne, and I absolutely loved it. I recently re-read it a few months ago and it’s still as exciting as when I first read it.
My first Regency romance comes out next year from Zondervan/Thomas Nelson. I don’t have a title yet, but I’ll be writing under a pseudonym, Camille Elliot. I’m very excited and a little nervous about my first Regency romance. Although I’ve been reading them for years and I even bought Regency research books to read just for fun, I never attempted to write one until this year.
It’s about Alethea Sutherton, an earl’s daughter who has been neglected by her father, betrayed by her brother, and evicted from her home by her cousin, and so she doesn’t trust men in general. However, while living with her aunt in Bath, she suddenly finds that there is someone trying to steal her violin, which was a bequest from a neighboring widow who was like a mother to her.
Alethea is very gifted on the violin, which was considered unladylike and unfeminine to play for women in the early 19th century, and so for an Englishwomen to play it was considered almost scandalous. However, to discover who is after her violin and why, she must enlist the help of a nobleman considered an expert on the violin, Lord Dommick, who is in Bath to repair his reputation for the sake of his sister and mother. For him to associate with a violin-playing scandal on two legs is not his idea of how to go about doing that.
I always knew I wanted to write about a musician heroine and hero, but didn’t choose the violin until my research revealed how Regency society considered it so distasteful for women to play it, whereas men were not so constrained. There were a handful of professional violin playing women on the continent, but they were the exception to the rule, and there were no Englishwomen who played the violin.
Things changed in the late 19th century with the rise of the middle class. At that point, despite the fact Victorians in general were a slightly more prudish bunch, the objections to women playing the violin had been dropped and so more women learned the violin in England.
My heroine, of course, is bucking the system like any good heroine would do. 🙂 The hero is not quite sure what to make of her, but by the end he will be properly schooled in the art of love and music.
I’m looking forward to blogging about my favorite subjects, Regency romances and Regency readers!
Do we. as regency readers, fully understand how, and from where, the wealth of the average wealthy nobleman arose? Mostly, from farming. Yes, there were those who had ships, investments, mines, you name it, but farming the family land was the most common way to wealth that I am aware of. Some lords were good managers of their estates, but even the good managers needed stewards, especially when they owned multiple agricultural estates and spent much time in London.
Picture an estate of as large as 11,000 acres. For the owners to have any leisure-time, they needed to employ a ‘right-hand man’ to look after the management of the estate. The man in question was the agent or land steward.
Duties: The estate had a number of heads of departments, such as the head gardener, head gamekeeper, etc. The agent was responsible for all of these departments, paying the wages of the workmen and keeping regular logs and accounts of work done. He kept a detailed set of books recording repairs to buildings, fences or roads, as well as information regarding game, livestock and crops. He was also in charge of collecting the rent from the estate’s tenants, and for this reason he could be an unpopular figure.
The agent spent a lot of his time touring the estate on horseback, dealing with tenants and estate workers face to face. He was required to keep a terrier, a book recording the boundaries and tenancies of the land, which included the rent roll. A good agent needed a head for figures, meticulous record-keeping skills, an all-round knowledge of farm work and land maintenance, and an aptitude for dealing with people. That the job could be dangerous is clear from records of assaults on agents by tenants, and at least one steward murdered on an estate.
A steward’s house near the main gate of an estate.
The most important position on an estate was the steward, who was the chief administrator and, in earlier times, the lord of the manor’s deputy. The steward wielded considerable executive authority. He transacted all the legal and other business of the manor estate, kept the court rolls, etc.
The steward was usually resident on the Estate. The steward was responsible for finding tenants for farms, negotiating leases, recommending and supervising improvements, and collecting and disbursing estate revenues. His influence certainly also extended into the domestic realm of the estate.
Those of us who write, or read regencies, can easily see how the dishonest steward often crops up as a plot element in our fiction. They can be made into a convenient villain.
For the most part, however, they were honest men, working for a living, surely taking pride in the nurturing of the property.
Have you ever read a regency with a lordly hero disguised as a steward? Any regencies with wicked stewards? Please respond in the comments. Thanks, Susan
Congratulations, Merry! You won last week’s prize. Check your email this week for details on selecting your book.
Today and Wednesday we’re talking about film editions of Pride and Prejudice. I suppose having a film (or motion picture) edition comes with being recognized as a classic book. Nearly every classic I can think of has a film adaptation somewhere. My favorite film version of Pride and Prejudice is hands down the 2005 adaptation starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden.
So why is the 2005 adaptation my favorite?
The artistic elements of the film put this one over the top for me. The beautiful music. The scene in the rain where Darcy first proposes to Elizabeth. The scene with Elizabeth swinging all by herself and that beautiful piano music in the background. The gorgeous scenery of Lizzie walking through a field reading a book while the sun shines behind her. Those are all things that give this film an extra layer of life. Is the Hollywood adaptation the same as what I’d imagined in my own mind when first reading Pride and Prejudice? Probably not, but it created a rich and complex images and emotions that related easily to my senses.
Then there’s the music. Oh the music! It’s my favorite movie soundtrack EVER. I own the CD. I own the advanced piano book. I played one of the pieces for my cousin’s wedding three years ago. And even while writing this blog post, I had to go dig out the book and spend a half hour replaying some of my favorite pieces (like “Dawn” and “Georgianna”). I’ve sat through weddings where the prelude and postlude music was all P&P 2005. If you’re interested in some of the facts about the soundtrack, it was written by the Italian composer Dario Marianelli in a classical style modeled after Beethoven’s early piano sonatas. The movie soundtrack is preformed by the pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the English Chamber Orchestra.
What’s different about the 2005 version compared to other adaptations?
In 1995, BBC produced a television version of P&P (one which many enthusiasts love and adore). The BBC version has a longer run time and follows the plot of the book more strictly. The 2005 motion picture focuses mainly on Elizabeth and Darcy, taking out a lot of the scenes revolving around other characters (like some of Elizabeth’s travels with minor characters and Lydia’s elopement). The 2005 version runs just over two hours, while the longer BBC 1995 version follows the subplots of the book more carefully and runs significantly longer.
Another large difference between the novel and the 2005 film is the setting. The script writer and the director shifted the movie forward by about 20 years, setting it during the 1790s. The director wanted the 2005 version to differ visually from the 1995 version (and apparently he also had a rather large distaste for empire waist gowns). In moving the setting earlier, he was also able to create a bigger distinction between the wealthy and the poor with clothing and the appearance of Longbourn as a working farm.
The more romantic 2005 portrayal of Elizabeth and Darcy’s story still remains bit controversial among Austen enthusiasts. Many Austen lovers prefer the 1995 BBC adaptation because it is indeed more true to the original novel. The 2005 version received rather harsh criticism for the final scene, which portrays Elizabeth and Darcy at Pemberly after they are married, but has little to do with Jane Austen’s original novel. The ending was removed in the UK version of the film for a few months before being put back in.
I much prefer the 2005 version over the 1995. I feel that the 2005 version has a lot of romantic and emotional appeal (which I love both in novels and films). I feel that it does a good job of capturing the attention of a more modern audience while still portraying all the important themes of Pride and Prejudice that have made it such a distinguished and time honored novel.
And just in case you were wondering, my favorite scene is the first time Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, with all that rain coming down and the near tears in Elizabeth’s eyes. My favorite musical score is the theme “Dawn,” but I prefer it with just the piano rather than the full orchestra.
So what about you? Which film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice do you prefer? Do you have a favorite musical score or scene from either of the adaptations? Please share it in the comments below.
Photo credits: The 2005 motion picture version of Pride and Prejudice was produced by Working Title Films. It is believed low resolution screenshots used for the purpose of discussing a film and its contents fall under the fair use provision of the U.S. copyright law.
Comment on any post this week for your chance to win a DVD copy of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries. Winner will be announced Monday, September 2 and must have a US posting address.
Researching this subject taught me a new term and concept: Jane Austen para-literature. Oh my. This is a huge topic. I am only able to skirt around it, since to cover this topic completely would take years. The incredible array of sequels and retellings of the Austen ouvre is astounding. I, dear reader am a veritable babe in the woods when it comes to such reading opportunities. I have read a few spin-offs, no sequels, and no retellings of Jane Austen’s novels.
Is there a name for the phenomenon of the fact that a movie is never/rarely anywhere near as good as the book? Extrapolating that thought further tells me there could never be a sequel book as good as the original Pride and Prejudice.
Creative or knowledgeable people: Please come up with a name for the above phenomenon. Mention it in the comments.
Inveterate Austen sequel/prequel readers: Have you read any great ones? If so, please leave the titles in the comments.
READ ON! Much good information coming your way in this post.
From the first link listed above, Ted Adams has a wonderful, comprehensive article slicing and dicing the terminology of Austen para-literature. I have used material from this article below. He said it so well.
“The adaptations, completions, sequels, pastiches and other attempts to tap into the Jane Austen industry … devolve from a most noble sentiment: We have read the six published novels and we want more. We want more and different insights into both the novels and into the type of person that Jane Austen was.
Adaptations are transformations into another medium, e.g., stage, screen and television.
Completions are the finishing off of a novel fragment. Jane Austen’s two fragments, The Watsons and Sanditon have been attempted a number of times.
Sequels are a continuation of the action. To my knowledge, nobody has written a “prequel”, which would be a description of what occurred before the action started.
Pastiches are work written in the style of Jane Austen. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor is a pastiche. Its premise is that it is a notebook that Jane Austen kept concerning events during a period for which we do not have documentation.
Certainly no Jane Austen pastiche will ever be as good as the original, but that is to be expected. Mind you, when the standard is one of the best writers in the English language, to fall short of the mark is no disgrace. To write with wit, economy, great insight and develop complex and interesting characters is no mean feat. After all, we read Jane Austen with great pleasure 200 years later because she compares well not only with her contemporaries but also with ours and everybody who has come in between.
Personally, I enjoy pastiches for much the same reason that I sometimes enjoy Jane Austen criticism. Even when a pastiche fails or fall short, it can be interesting to try understand how or why it comes up short. And in the meantime, I’ve read a story that really has no requirement to be taken seriously.
The questions I would ask of a pastiche are the same that I ask of criticism: Is the work interesting/entertaining in its own right? How faithful it to spirit of Jane Austen’s novels? Does it provide insights into the work in question and/or the character of Jane Austen? ”
So, dear Austen-loving friends, I highly recommend reading the full text of the Ted Adams article — not the least for the titles of para-Austen books he considers excellent! Thanks for visiting Regency Reflections.
Remember to comment on the questions: What to call the phenomenon when the movie or sequel is never as good as the original AND Give the titles of any Austen para-literature books you’ve read that you think were pretty good.
The love of Regency romance lives on today. Comment on any post this week for a chance to win a book by one of Regency Reflections’ amazing published authors. The winner will be emailed the list of available books to choose from. The winner will be announced Monday, August 26th. Winner’s mailing address must be within the United States to win.