Justine: Research Books About Regency

regency, regency researchI may have taken a hiatus from writing, but I haven’t taken one from learning about the period in which I write. I’m reading four books right now related to the Regency, each helpful in their own way.

“What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist — the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth Century England” by Daniel Pool
This book covers the gamut. Card games, how to address your peers, the Church of England, MPs, you name it. Everything is covered at a high enough level that you learn about it, but you won’t necessarily become an expert. The most helpful insight so far: learning how many players it takes for a game of loo.

“Cant — A Gentleman’s Guide: The Language of Rogues in Georgian London” by Stephen Hart
If your characters come from the seedier side of London (or need to fit in), this is the perfect book to find word nuggets that make your characters sound authentic. Hart takes tangents that are funny and interesting, too.

“The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England” by Amanda Vickery
This is one of two books I purchased by Vickery, a scholar at University of London, who has put forth a great study of women’s lives in this era. I’ve only just started this book, but it’s incredibly interesting to read about how women lived back then. I’m looking forward to reading more of this and suspect the things I learn will make their way into my books.

“Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England” by Amanda Vickery
While the previously mentioned book covers the lives of women, this book discusses the lives of everyone within a home: servants, single men, spinster ladies, genteel women. It also goes into detail about home economy and the day-to-day workings of life in the home.

Are you reading any good non-fiction books or books for research right now? If so, share in the comments below.

5 thoughts on “Justine: Research Books About Regency

  1. I’m not reading any research books right now, but for a book that had professional poker players, I read 13 books about poker. Plus, I watched all the televised poker games on TV. Plus, I went and watched poker players. I felt like I really knew poker, which of course was false, since I hadn’t played a single game. But of the research books, a couple of them—the ones that describe tells and other physical signs—will be useful elsewhere, perhaps.

    • How cool that you followed poker like that! I think it’s great. Now you need to start playing poker. You could beat my husband, I’m sure (he loves to play and thinks he’s pretty good, but I’ve faked him out several times).

      I also started listening to BBC News radio to get more of the cadence (and a few of the words) in Brit Speak. It’s been enlightening (not to mention the news is more “newsworthy.” Not a peep about Lindsay Lohan!)

  2. Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” and “Man and His Symbols” edited by Carl Jung (Part 2: Ancient Myths and Modern Man by Joseph L. Henderson was good from an archetype perspective). I’m also googling (scholar.google.com separates the wheat from the chaff) archetypes and finding a lot of scholarly papers on the subject. Interesting stuff.

    • I’ll have to check out that Google site. I’d love to get scholarly stuff rather than the crap anyone can throw up there.

      Those are some interesting reads, Michille! I hope someday you’ll blog about them!

  3. I’m still in the middle of Jane Austen’s juvenalia — which isn’t research for me unless I decide to go steampunk in the future, but is still extremely interesting. The footnotes are good, but just the way she puts together words and ideas is so interesting. She describes a lot of real-life things in passing, and googling them to find out more opens up a whole new world.

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