The British Regency

This month we’re celebrating the British Regency – the period of my recently-released debut novel, His Obsession and the upcoming release of the sequel, His Desire, on May 24th. The British Regency era technically covers the period between 1811 and 1820.  When King George III could no longer rule because of poor health, his son and heir George was named the Prince Regent. He assumed the British throne in 1820 on the death of his father. More often, the period is extended from 1795 until 1837 when King William IV (George’s younger brother and heir) died and a new era was ushered in with the accession of QueenVictoria.

The British Regency period was one of upheaval. The French Revolution resulted in the deposition and execution of the King of France. Thousands of the nobility and their associates and servants were imprisoned, guillotined, or exiled. The rise of a short-lived democratic rule which gave way to the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte as Emperor of France.

In Britain, the powdered wigs and panniers were replaced by short, curly hair and  high-waisted and low-cut dresses influenced by French fashion. The change of clothing was even more marked for men. But more on clothing later. This was a period of excess led by the Prince Regent’s taste for the expensive.  The plight of women working in mills and children laboring in the mines produced unrest among the British poor. Periodic riots had the some of the wealthy looking over their shoulders or across the Channel determined that their heads would not to be the next to roll while others campaigned for human rights.  Tomorrow, Farmer George.   Rita Bay

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