Monday, March 31, 2014

Regency Lives!

As I mentioned in my last post at the end of January, the Cotillion (Regency) imprint of Ellora’s Cave is accepting submissions for the 2014 anthology. This year’s theme is Christmas Feasts. Word count ranges from 12K to 25K and the deadline for (complete- no partials) submissions is May 15, 2014.

Stories submitted to the Cotillion line must be particularly accurate as to the history and social mores of the time. The true Regency period is really 1811-1820, which are the years when the Prince was Regent for his ailing father. However, many readers and writers extend the era to 1800 or so. These stores must be sweet with only kisses, and the bedroom door is firmly closed.

I have been working very industriously on my tale, titled “Francie’s Feast”. As usual, I got lost in my research, but I think that’s never a bad thing. If it happens that you can’t use it this time around, such a wonderful nugget just might be the first building block for the next story!

I discovered (or rediscovered, as the case may be) many wonderful books that have been very helpful, as well as marvelous web-sites. I spent an entire day at http://foodhistorjottings.blogspot.com/  for instance. Well-written and very witty, the photos alone are entirely fabulous of the mouth-watering variety, and one page quickly leads to another, and another and . . .

If you need a map of Regency England, I quite like The A-Z  of Regency London (book). With it, I was able to figure out where my hero lived and worked. (He is not of the nobility, but he is a very noble person, and his work helps others!) An exceptionally interesting web-site is http://mapco.net/darton1817/darton.htm The Thames looks like a huge green snake, but I promise it won’t bite!

For clothing styles, one of my favorites is The Chronicle of Western Costume  by John Peacock. (What a great author name for such a book!)  I have it in both hard-cover and soft, so I’m never far from this marvelous source.  I’m also very partial to Jane Austen’s Town and Country Style, by Susan Watkins, published in 1990. This hard-cover version was a gift from my daughter that year, so it’s doubly valuable to me.

There are a goodly number of books describing 
Georgette Heyer’s Regency England or Regency 
London or Regency World. They can be helpful, 
but it is important to remember that Ms. Heyer 
created the Regency world as she thought it should 
be. You can easily trip yourself up if you blindly 
accept everything she wrote as gospel. There are 
also books about the world of Jane Austen. In 
many ways these are more realistic, but do 
remember that Ms. Austen was writing 
contemporary fiction, not Regency romance.

There’s a wonderful publisher of small books (size wise that is) in England: Shire Books. http://www.shirebooks.co.uk/home.aspx   For the most part they are approximately the size of mass-market paperbacks, and usually less than 100 pages. Each book has its own particular theme, and I find them delightful. They do ship to the US as well as the UK, and even have some books that are of  especial interest to those of us here.

Of course, needing to know more about the foods of Regency times,  I will always cherish the two books I used. One I’d had for some time, the other is a recent acquisition -- Lord Byron’s Relish by Wilma Paterson. Recipes and descriptions of food are mingled with Byron’s poetry or letters. Very interesting. The other one was purchased in the gift shop at the Brighton Pavilion in 2007. Unfortunately, it’s hiding from me at the moment, so I can’t tell you the title. It, too, has lots of photos, in color, of the famed kitchen there. Like Prinny, it’s more style than substance!

Please come back on the 31st day of each month (that has one!) and I’ll be happy to you posted on our collective Regency efforts, as the year progresses.

Thank you all for reading! 

Hetty St. James 


Unknown said...

Oh no, more books to add to my collection! I fear my $76 settlement refund will soon be gone!

A bigger problem for me is the fact that I live in two places, being a Florida snowbird. I can't carry them all back and forth, so inevitably the one I want is 1100 miles away. So I just use the ones on hand and get over it!

Great post, Hetty. I need to get started on my story. So far all I have is the basic plot. I've got 57K on my time travel story though! About 4-5 more chapters!

Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Hetty!! I can't wait until the book comes out. :)