Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Georgette Heyer's Regency World by Jennifer Kloester

Georgette Heyer's Regency World
by Jennifer Kloester
Copyright 2010
Sourcebooks - History/Reference
374 pages

For those who have never read Georgette Heyer's fiction, Heyer was a prolific author who wrote books set in the Regency period. I'm not sure how many of them I've read -- maybe 5? I've got years and years of Heyer reading ahead of me. Her books are absolutely delightful. Those I've read have been light-hearted, romantic, adventurous reads with only one exception and that particular title leaned toward Gothic.

The problem with Georgette Heyer's books is that she was such a thorough researcher and worked so hard to maintain accuracy that if you don't know your Regency history her books can be a bit baffling, particularly the lingo. I've printed out a few lists of Regency cant and slang to help me with the reading. Like Shakespeare, eventually you will get the drift via context, even if you aren't able to define a word or two or fifty. But, I've wished for a lexicon for quite some time.

Georgette Heyer's Regency World is not a lexicon, although there are sections with definitions. The book, however, goes way beyond simple definitions and serves as an excellent history lesson on the Regency period. It includes such things as methods of transportation and entertainment, styles of both men's and women's clothing, marriage traditions, royalty and other real-life characters and lifestyles of the privileged. Within that text, Kloester uses examples from both real life and Heyer's fiction.

Truly, Georgette Heyer's Regency World is an amazing read. I learned so much about the Regency period that my admiration for Heyer has been multiplied ten-fold and I'm certain that, although I'll undoubtedly refer back to the book, I will go into future Heyer reads with an understanding of the time period that should make her books even more enjoyable.

The bottom line:

Highly, highly recommended for readers of Georgette Heyer's books, particularly those who know little about the Regency time period. My edition is an ARC and the index is not complete (the page numbers for the index portion had not yet been inserted) but the index looks very thorough and should make it an easy reference book. My only complaint -- and it's minor -- is that I would like to see a complete alphabetical lexicon section rather than one divided into topics like money, men's clothing, clubs, sport, etc.

In other news:

Little Isabel is sleeping behind my monitor. I can see her tail and a little bit of white fur body. How cute is that?

My high school is having a reunion, this weekend. It's a big-number reunion. It makes me cringe. I was on the list of "missing students" so I didn't hear about it till yesterday. That's fine. I'm still trying to plow through some books to try to catch up with myself, now that my summer slump appears to have ended and traveling would have nipped that in the bud.

It is still way hot in Mississippi but we've at least dropped from mid-to upper 90's to lower 90's. I'll party when it hits 78. We're also having quite a little drought here. If you know a good rain dance, please feel free to dance for rain for us. Does that work, doing a rain dance for someone else? Maybe I need to get up and dance. Just FYI, I am one awkward dancer. I'd probably end up getting Mother Nature to drop frogs or something.

One for the road: A photo of our little Isabel playing with a ball on her scratching post. When she arrived at our home, she had to climb the scratching post with all four legs to reach the ball. Now, you can see she just stands on her tippy-toes only three weeks after her arrival. She is growing ridiculously fast. I think Fiona wishes she'd hurry up and just turn into a boring old cat, but every day we seem to see a little improvement in their relationship, if that's what you call it.

What exciting things are happening in your world? Read anything fabulous, lately?

©2010 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Bookfoolery and Babble, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Isabel is so cute - her behind your monitor and her playing with her scratching post and ball are both adorable sounding and looking!

    Also, the temperature can drop starting Friday mid morning after I've flown out. I am LOVING the heat. Ahhhh bring it on! Today I was wearing a sweater when I went out for lunch. Not nearly as nice out as it was yesterday ;) LOL

  2. Amy,

    Isabel is definitely adorable. She's still behind my monitor. Now and then, she'll stick her little nose under the monitor and then stretch and curl back up. Too cute.

    Not as nice out? LOL You're nutty. I get so sick of the heat. It's not bad, right now, since the humidity is way low for us. The grass in our yard is gasping for rain. I hate the humidity that comes with it, but we definitely could use a few days of gentle rain.

  3. Yep, and it can rain tons... come Friday mid-morning ;) heh. I'm selfish I know. Seriously though, this heat is a lovely change from the current low 60 temperatures at home!

  4. Amy,

    I don't think we're going to get any rain for a while. I do like the dry air, but I feel for my poor dying plants. LOL Yeah, I think if you live in a perpetually cold climate you must get tired of it, eventually. Same thing, but we're hot for months and months and months. I've just hovered indoors, this year, but you know I started out the year feeling totally crappy so hopefully fall will be fun.

  5. I have not read any G.Heyer but this does look like a terrific resource if I really want to read Heyer.
    The pictures are all tiny blue question marks. I'll have to come back. So is Fiona turning into a boring old cat?!

  6. We've only had one or two sunny days since school started. It's typical Oregon weather - cloudy and rainy. I was ready for school to start, but I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the sun yet. Other than the freezing cold clear days of winter we won't see many sunny days around here until May. And even the cold clear days may be obscured - we live near farm lands and sometimes we are fogged in for days in the winter time. Can you tell I miss the sun?

    Isabel is sure growing fast! She's such a cutie!

  7. Care,

    It's an excellent resource. I'm sure I'll refer back to mine many times. I need to get my mitts on a final copy with the page numbers in the index because I'm sure if I can get the numbers written down, that will make it even more useful.

    Fiona is anything but a boring old cat -- I'd say she's still 90% kitten. We have continued to put Isabel to bed in the utility room so Fiona can have a break at night and often she'll immediately run to the living room to play jingle ball chase after Isabel goes to bed. She won't jump into bed with us till the lights are out, but I often wake up with a cat on my chest or curled up next to me, which I just love. That's probably the one way in which she's become most grown-up. :)


    There really ought to be a way for people to switch houses for a couple weeks to chase off the drearies from the same old weather. Here, the sun is so intense and constant that we often yearn for clouds. We really do need rain, but not heavy rain. It's been so long since it rained that I'm afraid it would just wash our soil away. I do feel for you. Months without the sun can be really oppressive. I didn't mind it when we were in Michigan but it was a nice break from the intense sunny days of the South (we lived in Michigan for a year).

    Isabel is really adorable and quite a little sweetheart. Neither of my kitties use claws on the humans, even if approached from what I call the "zone of defense". I watched Fiona playing with a fly, yesterday. She actually occasionally hit him in mid-air but since she was just playing with him and used no claws, he just kept right on flying after being spanked. So, I can say with honesty that Fiona wouldn't hurt a fly!! LOL

  8. What a cute photo. Kittens are so gorgeous! I'd like to get one so that when Mean Cat pops off it won't be so bad, but he would not stand for it. Hissss!

    I love Georgette Heyer's Regency novels. She certainly knew her stuff about the Regency era. I've borrowed this book from the library a couple of times, and found it wonderful. Trouble is, once you've read all of Heyer's books (several times) there isn't anyone else I know of who meets her exacting standards as far as accuracy goes. Not a pocket handkerchief is out of place in her books. :)

  9. Violet,

    Aw, I'm sorry you have a mean cat. My mother's last kitty was nasty but I think it was just that she was wild. If they're not socialized to humans really early, that's it -- too late. I think I read 7 weeks, max. Isn't that crazy? I assume ours were both held by humans before being abandoned, since they're so sweet-tempered.

    Till I read this book I had no idea how fiercely accurate Georgette Heyer was. It certainly made me appreciate her more. Yeah, others pale by comparison. I feel lucky that I've only recently discovered her. I've got a long way to go before I come anywhere close to reading all her books (for the first time)!


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