View Full Version : Georgian/Regency era - any good books????
20-04-2011, 9:07 PM
I am trying to find a history book on the Georgian/Regency period that isn't fiction, nor written for children but about the ordinary man/woman in the street/home. There are loads for the Victorian era a lot of which I have read and found really useful but having gone a bit further back in my tree I would like to see how ordinary folk lived in Georgian times.
Can anyone recommend one?
20-04-2011, 10:23 PM
Can reccommend loads - what exactly are you looking for, though? Georgian / Regency was an interesting period with a lot of differences in lifestyle, etc. There are a range of regional history books (life in Manchester, for example, was very different from, say, Lincolnshire) and I know a couple of good ones on Wellington's army that may be of interest. Industrialisation was a major factor during the early 1800s so the 50 years you are looking at saw intense change for the rank and file, not to mention food riots, major social reform, the introduction of the railway, and so on.
If you want a very basic intro, then I would reccommend a non-fic book by Jennifer Kloester called "Georgette Heyer's regency World". Although it models around the fiction written by Heyer, it is an excellent reference book with lots of information about everything from the wages of a maidservant, regency slang, through to the upper class fashions. It also has a very good bibliography.
If you give me an idea of the region / jobs / class of the people you want to know more about, I'll check my books and see if I've got anything you might like!
20-04-2011, 10:57 PM
I hadn't seen that one but it is now firmly on my "to buy" list.... which is not good, since I already have around 50 research books on that list and can't buy anything until after I move, argghh!
20-04-2011, 11:18 PM
Thanks for your replies.
I am looking for a book on everyday folk,what they wore, ate, how they shopped, their homes, disease, what dangers faced them.
My lot came from Surrey/Sussex and Kent. I am guessing they were farm workers or had trades such blacksmiths. I am also interested in the women's roles and how children were treated etc... that kind of thing.
Does that help?
21-04-2011, 7:33 AM
There is a bibliography at the end of the Wikipedia article on the Georgian Era that you might sound useful. EP Thompson's classic The Making of the English Working Class covers the latter part of the period.
21-04-2011, 1:42 PM
The Penguin Social History of Britain: English Society in the Eighteenth Century by Roy Porter might be a good place to start; I confess I haven't read this one yet but it was reccommended to me by a friend. Most of mine deal with either the upper classes or working class in industrialised areas. However it might be worth you looking up the Corn Laws, since they would have had a huge impact on any farming ancestors you have.
15-09-2011, 7:59 AM
I have just finished reading
Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met his Match by Wendy Moore
This is a really detailed and fascinating account of the marriage of Mary Eleanor Bowes, the richest heiress in eighteenth century Britain, to Andrew Robinson Stoney. Although it is slow to get started because it explains the background of both of them it is horrifying and riveting at the same time. It was this marriage and its subsequent breakdown, followed by the lengthy legal manouveres through Chancery Court and the Ecclesiastical courts when Mary eleanor sued for divorce, that paved the way for the Married Woman's Property Act over one hundred years later.
This book allows us a glimpse of the power of the married man over his wife and her property, and over any ordinary folk who happen to be tenants in properties owned by the wife or servants who work for her.
If you would like this book please send me a private message with your address and I will send it to you.
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