One can receive reliable advice on introductions, cuts and other questions of Victorian etiquette and manners from Etiquette & Espionage authoress, Gail Carriger. “I would urge caution not to rely on characters from Austen as, in her very subtle way, she is often breaking the rules of courtship, in order to comment on society as [...]
Scholars are combing digitized records from London’s Old Bailey and discovering fascinating trends in plea bargaining, divorce and bigamy in the 1800s.
AbeBooks has a nice profile of Georgette Heyer, a writer of all kinds of fiction, but most influential as an author of Regency romances. The profile includes a gallery of covers from her books.
“The first rule of Fight Club is that one never mentions Fight Club.” Jane Austen’s Fight Club.
The internet allows writers to do the impossible: write in isolation while in company. A writer might still face off single-handedly against blank screen, but behind the accusing blink of the cursor there are thousands of minds ready to offer information, support and catwaxing options. On the other hand, it’s not as if, pre-internet, every [...]
Britain and France have a long history together. Okay, much of that history consists of having wars with one another. But if you look at the past as a whole, having wars is pretty much what Britain did. First, it fought at home, its various tribes jockeying for position, struggling with invaders, taking over other [...]
Lord Byron talks trash about his literary rivals: “Southey and Turdsworth such renegado rascals.” (Thanks, Jen!)
Jane Austen, co-author of the popular, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, has a new novel that details more than love or manners in the Regency Era. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters reveals shocking and tentacled attacks on respectable society. Click through to the book trailer.
Most major genre fiction publishers are located in either New York or London. Romance is a bit of an exception: Harlequin Books, the world’s largest publisher of romance, is headquartered in Toronto. Nor is the Canadian flag absent on the authorial side. There are Canadian romance writers from coast to coast, many of whom [...]
Generally speaking, Romances are divided into two broad groups: contemporary and historical. Those distinctions are somewhat fluid. For instance, although it used to refer to anything set after 1900, ‘contemporary’ now encompasses anything set after World War II. ‘Historical’, meanwhile, covers everything else.
I think the adage about not judging a book by its cover was probably invented by publishers’ marketing departments. They spend a surprising amount of time and effort on covers, and don’t want that time to be wasted, so you’re told to judge a book its prose. I can get behind that. As a bookseller, [...]
Oh, to live in the era of the Regency Romance or the epic medieval adventure! Oh, except that life would suck: “No painless dentistry, eccentric provision for sewage, no penicillin and no concept of asepsis, and the condition of most women was not one that I aspire to.”
If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that writing is a lonely profession I would (to misquote Stephen Colbert) have a hell of a lot of hypothetical money. But phrases don’t become cliches without reason, and the truth is that many writers spend a great deal of their time inside their own [...]
We have saying in our bookstore: Frontlist may bring customers through the door, but it’s the backlist that brings them back. Book lovers are completists. Bookstores that can fill the gaps in their ever-increasing collections quickly become favourite stops. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of putting it all together, of finally finally owning all [...]
I always enjoy the ‘Best Of’ lists that come out this time of year. Seems to me that kind of potted commentary, however limited, offers a great starting place. So in the spirit of year-end helpfulness, here’s a list of ten romances worth reading. Historical and modern; sexy and mild: they run the gamut. I’m [...]
Some months back I wrote a column about Georgette Heyer, who re-imagined Jane Austen’s Regency era and popularized it for modern audiences. The Regency period, 1811-1820, refers to the years of King George III’s insanity, when his son, the Prince of Wales, was Regent of England in his father’s stead. Given the similarity of style [...]
Fantasy fiction is overrun by dragons. The fiery beasts have become a way to spice up an otherwise standard book — just add dragons. When I first heard about Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series — the Napoleonic Wars, a la Hornblower, except with dragons — I sighed to myself: hasn’t this been done before? Isn’t this [...]