Margaret Bennett, Author

Regency Romance eBooks

Regency Era

          The Regency era takes its name from the years when George,
Prince of Wales, was made Regent for his father, George III who was 
deemed unfit to rule.  Prince George was officially sworn in as Regent
in February 1811 and ended on January 1820 upon the death of his
father when he officially became king.  As the First Gentleman of
Europe, Prince George was flamboyant and cultured and was known
for his charm.  However, in realty he was a hedonist, drunkard and lecher.

                                              One group that has been romanticized is
                                      Upper Ten Thousand or the haut ton, many of
                                      which shared the extravagant lifestyle of the
                                      Regent.  Their members were determined by
                                      ancestry and money, and they lives of privilege.  Famous figures 
                                      such as Beau Brummell and Lord Alvanley set fashion, while the
                                      grand dames of Almack’s enforced the rules of Polite Society.

                                              While the era is characterized by its elegance in the arts and
                                      architecture, the gap between the wealthy and the poor was wide,
                                      with many more people living in squalor than luxury, making the times dangerous.  There was no centralized police force to deal with crime. Ruffians and cutthroats roamed the streets, and a man or woman who ventured out alone after dark was at risk. 

Furthermore, despite the growth of the middle class due to the rise of
the industrial age, there was no real climbing the social ladder.  The
only way for a wealthy merchant to enter the higher echelons of
society was to marry into it.  Everyone knew his place in society, and
the prevailing social values and rules of behavior were rigidly upheld. 

George, Prince of Wales

Cavendish Square, London

London's Slums