Joan Aiken: The Five Minute Marriage

“Marry Me!” That is what her cousin Gareth asked Delphie Carteret to do. It was just a make-believe ceremony, and, in exchange, Delphie’s ailing mother would receive an annuity for life. Delphic was in no position to refuse. She was already losing the struggle to support herself and her mother. But Delphie soon discovered that she was bound by law to the marriage and bound … Expand

Regency Hot Spots: Exeter ‘Change

ExeterChangeStrandInterior1812

  In the Strand the Exeter (Ex)Change was built around 1690 “as a sort of bazaar” which “(l)ike countless other imitations…proved a failure” (London society, Volume 6, 1834, p. 509) Over the years, it held various shops and offices including milliners and upholsterers, until the upper story was “occupied as a menagerie” where beginning in 1773 “the sight-lover had to pay half a crown to … Expand

Regency Spies: Secret Histories of Britain’s Rebels and Revolutionaries (Review)

I don’t normally get an opportunity to review Regency historical non-fiction, so I jumped at the chance to do something different when the publisher got in touch. Covering both the Georgian and Regency eras, Sue Wilkes’ Regency Spies: Secret Histories of Britain’s Rebels and Revolutionaries provides an excellent primer on British espionage during the era of privateers, Napolean and secret societies.  I stress that the book also … Expand

Regency Men: Richard “Conversation” Sharp

The chief secret of comfort lies in not suffering trifles to vex us, and in prudently cultivating our undergrowth of small pleasures, since very few great ones, alas! are let on long leases. – Letters and Essays in Prose and Verse Quite possibly one of the most popular celebrities in the Regency era, Richard “Conversation” Sharp came from wealthy London merchants and excelled beyond to become … Expand

Loretta Chase: Dukes Prefer Blondes

Just this time, can the beast tame the beauty? Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can’t see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax’s nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford. Though he’s unexpectedly found himself … Expand

Regency Hot Spots: Portman Square

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Although inferior “as a promenade” Portman Square was widely touted as the most beautiful square, second only to Grosvenor Square.  Originally part of the Portman Estate and housing Montagu House, it was a fashionable address in the Georgian area, claiming famous residents the Wyatts (architect and builder) and Countess of Home. The Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions and …, August 1813 A Topographical … Expand

Regency Fashion: A Walking and Evening Dress

These lovely gowns and their accompanying descriptions appeared in the August 1821 edition of the Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions &c. The walking gown looks perfect for a blustery day at Brighton…although let’s hope it wasn’t a hot one!