[Regency] Books and TV

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by viveridereamor, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. Basically, I'm looking for Regency novels, short stories, novellas, tv series, and documentaries of the sort to help satisfy my craving for anything Regency. I have an idea for a roleplay in mind, but only the genres within it, so a lot of Regency books and such will help me. Especially if you have some fine Regency mystery novels to share with me. All the same, I thank you for the recommendations and such!
  2. Well, Jane Austen anything, really.
  3. @Ozzie Chanter has made me read quite a few of these while he's been living here. O__O I'm sure he has a big list of good books to read!
  4. Oh man. *Cracks his knuckles and rolls up his sleeves*

    Also, just a note: "Regency Era" is used three different ways. The literal Regency is 1811-1820, when the Prince Regent ruled as proxy until his father's death (when he became King proper). However, the cultural era itself includes the whole transition from Georgian to Victorian, so "Regency" is also used to describe everything until Queen Victoria actually took over in 1837. Arguably, though, the cultural period begins even earlier with the French Revolution and Napoleon, so often things that happen before the actual Regency get included in the period; we're talking back as far as 1790. For the sake of this list, I'm going to use the third definition because it covers the most ground.


    The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) - While it's kind of a wild departure from the novel, this is still a good story and worth a watch. It focuses on Spain and France rather than England, but it gives you a glimpse into international politics of the era.

    Emma (1996) - This is a TV movie, but far better overall than the (admittedly still fun) version with Gwyneth Paltrow. This one stars Kate Beckinsale instead. Our first Jane Austen rec of the list. Unfortunately, unlike the Paltrow version, it's not on Netflix.

    Impromptu (1991) - Starring Judy Davis, Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patinkin, and Hugh Grant of all people as goddamn Chopin (yes, the composer). Again we're outside of England, but this shows a pretty typical Regency-era house party as well as being interesting for the historical figures of Chopin and 1830's feminist-in-trousers George Sand.

    Mansfield Park (1999) - The only good adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. Has some uncomfortable content because of the fact that there's a slavery subplot, so be warned. This is on Netflix Instant right now.

    Sense and Sensibility (1995) - Stars Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Rupert Everett, and Alan Rickman. It's a pretty good adaptation of the novel by Jane Austen. It's also currently available on Netflix Instant.

    St. Ives (1998) - Whoops, we're in France again. Originally written by Robert Louis Stevenson, this story is a fun adventure that follows a soldier in the Napoleonic Wars and again has some great historical shit to take in. It's also fucking hilarious. Warning: Naked Frenchmen everywhere. Also on Netflix!

    DON'T watch: Pride & Prejudice (2005) with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. While the visuals and costuming are great, the acting is bland and several scenes are incredibly anachronistic (that's fancy-speak for "why the hell are they acting like people from 2005").

    TV Series:

    Pride and Prejudice (1995) - Obligatory. The BBC version starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. It is still the best adaptation of the book to date. This is a miniseries, so it spans 6 hour-long episodes.

    Sense & Sensibility (2008) - Another BBC adaptation. This one gives you a little more depth than the movie version and has the added bonus of not involving Hugh Grant (unfortunately at the loss of Alan Rickman as well). Three-episode miniseries.

    Wives and Daughters (1999) - An adaptation of the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, starring a bunch of BBC actors you probably wouldn't know by name but who do a damn good job. While Gaskell is a Victorian author, this particular work is actually set in the 1830's so it's late Regency and still has a very Regency feel. You can find it on Netflix Instant as "Wives & Daughters"; it's a four-episode miniseries.


    Obviously, the complete works of Jane Austen, but most especially Emma, Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility. These are almost always recommended for Regency reading. (Although, fun fact: while they were indeed published during the literal years of the Regency reign, most were written and therefore set in the 1790's and early 1800's BEFORE the Regent took over.)

    If you like romance and mystery, Georgette Heyer is pretty much credited with the creation of the Regency romance novel. Her books are incredibly detailed and well-researched. I'm betting that she's going to be really useful inspiration for whatever you're thinking of doing.

    Now that the obvious is over:

    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - As noted above, the film is a bit of a different creature, but this novel is a classic adventure and intrigue story about Regency-era Spain and France.

    The Duke and I and subsequent seven other "Bridgerton" novels by Julia Quinn - A romance series about a family of eight siblings in the Regency era. Most of these are also really fucking funny. Warning: Sex. Lotsa sex. Quality varies a bit between novels but overall it's enjoyable. Julia Quinn is a good go-to author of Regency romance if you're just looking for a light read. Other books of hers that I enjoyed include: Brighter than the Sun (it's a sequel to Everything and the Moon, but it stands alone and you shouldn't touch the first book with a ten-foot pole), To Catch an Heiress and How to Marry a Marquis, Just Like Heaven, Minx, The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever and Ten Things I Love About You.

    Mr. Impossible, Miss Wonderful, and Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase - Well-researched, engaging trilogy of romantic fiction with a good helping of humor, adventure, mystery, and sex. So uh, don't read if you mind sex scenes. Loretta Chase is a pretty great author in general and she adds references to actual historical books and papers that you can often find for free on Google Books. Other books of hers that I enjoyed and are of the right period include: Don't Tempt Me, Isabella and The English Witch, Lord of Scoundrels, and Last Night's Scandal ( a spin-off sequel to Lord Perfect).

    Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell - The original novel that the miniseries is based on. Gaskell was mostly a contemporary novelist of the Victorian era, and this is a rare contribution as a late-Regency piece.

    I could keep going, but that probably is more than enough to get you started. Instead, I'll give you some cool non-fiction resources:

    A Peeress in Her Own Right
    Black Londoners 1800-1900
    British History Online
    Common Regency Errors
    Correct Forms of Address
    Courtesy Titles
    Dowager Peeresses
    Hereditary Peerages and Royal Titles
    Peerage Basics
    Rights and Privileges of Peers
    Two Nerdy History Girls (and everything they link to is a good resource as well)

    And seriously, check out Google Books. They have scans of some amazing reference books and journals from the 19th and early 20th centuries. You can get firsthand accounts of traveling in Egypt or London society.

    I'd include a list of non-fiction books but that would go on forever. GODDAMMIT DIANA. Honestly? If you have questions, ask me. I can probably help you out.
    • Love Love x 1
  5. @Ozzie Chanter O___O.... God damn you're like a dictionary. That's way more than I was expecting and I love that you've added in non-fiction sources! This should all help me when I start actually planning the roleplay out. Thank you very much!