Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Regency Lady of Quality


"Regency Couple" by Edward Blair Leighton

I fell in love with the Regency Period with my first Georgette Heyer novel.

"Lady of Quality"

The Regency era in the United Kingdom is the time between 1811 and 1820.
Sometimes 'Regency Era' refers to a longer time period: 1795 to 1837.

"Regency Morning Visit"
by Frederic Soulacroix, 1858 - 1933

In 1811 King George III was recognized as being unfit to rule England, and his son, The Prince of Wales, ruled as his proxy - as the Prince Regent.
In 1820 The Prince Regent became King George IV, on the death of his father.

Regency Era menswear

The Regency Period is known for its elegance and its fine arts achievements and architecture. During this time there were great social, political and economic changes.

by Edmund Blair Leighton

by Marie-Denise Lemoine, 17-- to 1810

The Lady of Quality was to be taught sketching, piano, singing, and foreign language. Italian and French languages were desirable.
She was to be able to arrange flowers, do embroidery or needlework, stitch a hem, pour tea properly and balance household expenses.
Her proficiency in the 'finer things of life' helped to determine her eligibility as a wife.


an English rotunda library, fashioned after the Regency Period

A large dowry covered many faults! Being an heiress to a large fortune also went a long way towards making a First Season belle highly eligible!

Bridal dress c.1816

Then there was The Beauty.
This was a girl who was so dazzlingly beautiful, that even having little or no dowry did not stand in the way of a Good Match. Providing, of course, that she might not mind being married to a much older man of portly size and gouty feet, as long as there was that highly coveted 'Title' and wealth.

"Two Strings to Her Bow" - (a play on the word 'Beau')
by John Pettie, 1882

a series of wonderful paper dolls by Margaret Fleming

courtesy of

"A Regency Buck"

"The fairest flower of them all,
I give to you as we part,
For you it is a Red Rose,
For me it is my heart."

-vintage verse

Romance was an essential for the Regency Period.
In 1814 The Times adopted a steam printing style that brought an increased production rate with super fast (at that time) printing. It went from 200 sheets printed per hour, to 1100 sheets per hour!

This progress brought an increase in the wildly popular 'fashionable novels' of the time.
Publishers spread stories, rumors and satire flaunting the rich and the aristocracy with barely concealed identities of the individuals and the scandal on-dits.

"The inconvenience of wigs"
Carl Verne, 1798

Note the lady is riding 'side saddle'

Fashionable novels were slightly scandalous, and were considered 'poor form' for the well-bred reader.  However, it was also considered very dull if you hadn't read the latest!

an 'al fresco' picnic

paper dolls by Margaret Fleming

c. 1853

Well, that will conclude today's Regency Era primer.
I have, of course, lots and lots more paper dolls, and fashionable establishments, along with noted people of the time, and fashions of the day.

As I mentioned, Georgette Heyer completely turned me on to the Regency Period!

She is considered the 'Queen of Regency' and the "Queen of the Regency novel", for good reason. I would encourage you to try her out!

Eight of Georgette Heyer's Regency novels.

I just finished 'Cousin Kate'!

Until next time,
inkspired (closed temporarily)
and on pinterest: kkloberdans

"A stroll through Canterbury Park"

original Collage Paper Painting by inkspired
using all recycled junk mail and magazines

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