Fave Five: Regency Research Resources

For some writers it’s the bane of their existence. For others it’s a beautiful way to procrastinate yet still feel productive.

It’s research.

For the historical novelist, it’s essential. If your Regency romance or Medieval mystery sounds like it could be set in southern Texas or northern Australia, your readers will ditch your book for one with more authenticity.

For me, research is just plain fun 🙂  I fell in love with history when I was a kid, and made it my major in college. I can spend many happy hours in front of the computer or browsing through a library, in search of a specific detail or wandering through time. My personal collection of research material isn’t vast (yet!), but I’ve already discovered a few favorites:

The Regency Country House: From the Archives of Country Life

This latest volume in the acclaimed Country Life series examines the English country house from 1800 to 1830, looking in turn at the buildings associated with the Prince Regent himself, from Brighton Pavilion to Buckingham Palace; at the houses of the aristocracy, such as Eastnor Castle and Goodwood; and at the homes of the gentry, including Southill in Befordshire and Luscombe in Devon. The book also looks at important architectural themes of the period, from the development of the Greco-Roman style to the Gothic Revival and Picturesque.

Georgian and Regency Houses Explained

Whether it is the grand, symmetrical facades embellished with classical motifs or elegant terraces arranged around spacious communal gardens, this easy to understand guide looks behind the distinctive public face of houses dating from 1714 to 1830. It explains how and why they were built, laid out and designed; how they appeared inside and who owned them. Using his own drawings, diagrams and photographs, author Trevor Yorke explains all aspects of the Georgian and Regency house and provides a comprehensive guide for those who are renovating, tracing the history of their own home or simply interested in houses of this notable period.

The London Encyclopedia

The London Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive book on London ever published. In its first new edition in over ten years, completely revised and updated, it comprises some 6,000 entries, organised alphabetically, cross-referenced and supported by two large indexes – one for the 10,000 people mentioned in the text and one general – and is illustrated with over 500 drawings, prints and photographs. Everything of relevance to the history, culture, commerce and government of the capital is documented in this phenomenal book.

The 95th Rifles re-enactors

This website includes a whole section of articles on the 95th by Richard Moore. Richard Moore is a long-term muzzle-loading shooter and historical re-enactor. He was a member of the Napoleonic Association of Great Britain for fifteen years and several times a historical interpreter for English Heritage as ‘A Rifleman of Wellington’s Army’. Richard also served as Military and Technical Advisor/Armourer to Sharpe Film 1992-2006 and from 1995 until 2005 served as a popular battlefield tour guide for The Peninsular War 1808-1814 and The Waterloo Campaign 1815. Richard has also appeared in several historical documentaries on TV.

St. George’s Parish Church, Mayfair

St George’s is the parish church of Mayfair. Splendidly St. George'srefurbished in 2010 it was built between 1721-1724 to the designs of John James, as one of the Fifty Churches projected by Queen Anne’s Act of 1711. The reredos is from the workshop of Grinling Gibbons and frames a ‘Last Supper’ painted for the church by William Kent in 1724. The windows contain Flemish glass of the early 16th century from Antwerp. George Frederick Handel was a regular worshipper at St George’s, which is home to the annual London Handel Festival.

Those are my favorites (so far). What about yours? Any websites with interesting tidbits? Articles with great pictures? Books with great details?

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14 thoughts on “Fave Five: Regency Research Resources

    • It is, Amy–the pictures are beautiful! I got the “paperback” version because it was less expensive, and I was worried about it being small. But it’s nearly the size of the hardback, just with a soft cover 🙂

    • There’s a whole series of them, Jennelle–happy hunting 🙂

      I love Two Nerdy History Girls, too! Their Pinterest boards are a great source of visual aids 😀

  1. Not sure if this really qualifies as a Regency resource, but one of my faves is Vic Gatrell’s City of Laughter: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth Century London. Wonderful illustrations, and the info does spill over into the 19th C….

    • Georgians are fun, too 🙂 I’m definitely going to have to check this out–when you’re dealing with a different time period, illustrations can be a life saver!

  2. Great post, Cora. I love research. When I was in college, we didn’t have computers, but we did have the stacks. Somehow I found James Joyce while researching a nother topic entirely.

    As for resources, The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue springs to mind, as does The Regency Companion, all the Austen books. I have them on my Kindle for PC app, so I can search for information. The Jane Austen website, is invaluable.

    Tweeted.

    • I loved the stacks! And the science floors–hardly anyone was ever there, so I’d have the place all to myself 🙂

      I have Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (very fun), but not Regency Companion–I’ll have to check that one out.

      Thanks for the tweet!

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