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WHAT IS REGENCY? By Blair Bancroft - page 6 / 10





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fledgling United States were also at war with Britain during this time, mostly at sea (the “War of 1812"). And if we have American characters in our Regencies, we have to remember that France, not England, was our friend! Oh, horrors!

In the same context of keeping your wars straight, an author should never, ever, have an English nobleman sailing into a British-occupied Boston harbor during this period (as I actually read in a published novel). Boston was occupied during the American Revolution, not during the War of 1812.) Authors of both kinds of Regencies need to keep in mind that America of this era was no longer “the colonies,” and although a Brit might sail to Canada or the British Caribbean islands, travel by sea was severely restricted between Britain and the U.S.A. during the years of what Americans call the War of 1812.

Back to the Peninsular War that made Arthur Wellesley the Duke of Wellington. Authors of Traditional Regencies should probably avoid making the war an active part of their books. Keep the war to the shorter, simpler scale of your Regency plot. [For example, in The Indifferent Earl (winner of the Romantic Times Award for Best Regency of 2003 and finalist for RWA’s RITA), the hero’s brother has just returned from having his “tail whopped” by the Americans at the Battle of New Orleans. This, of course, creates some major sparks between the American heroine and her new British acquaintances, but does not have the war actively intruding on the smaller scale of the Traditional Regency plot.]

Drama—Regency-set Historical. Here, the action can be larger than life. These books can have much broader, more violent action. They can encompass thieves, smugglers, vicious guardians, beatings, brothels, hard-hearted madams, pimps, etc. Some of these can certainly be in traditional Regencies, but the Historical villains are nastier, the heros and heroines sexier, and more inclined to say words no traditional Regency hero or heroine would allow to pass his/her lips. The heroines tend to be more daring than Regency heroines, sometimes idiotically so. Almost any aberration, short of

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