Saturday, 3 March 2012

A long time ago, on a continent far far away ...

There lived a land called Regency England. This England was a land full of plucky, yet virginal heroines, and tortured rakes, presided over by a jolly fat man everyone called Prinny.

In this land, the women were beautiful (even when plain), the men were handsome, and hardly anyone did any work, unless it was for a minor plot device.

There were poor in this land, but you hardly ever saw them. Sometimes poor people would be used as messengers; occasionally they were found to be secret rich people; and a lot of times they were prostitutes. 

But mostly the poor didn't exist.

For this land was a genteel land, full of gentlemen and ladies and lords and duchesses and American heiresses. These people danced a lot and drank a lot of tea. This tea seemingly had magical properties, for while drinking tea one became wittier, the repartee sharper, and the humour seemed to skip forward a century or two.

Darcy's tea-riffic Favors Five via Jane Austen's library

And maybe there was a war going on overseas. But that was not to be thought of unless it interrupted a Grand Tour, or meant a dashing hero needed to be comforted after a battle. Or unless it involved a spy with a flowery name.

Regency England was both entertaining and at times (depending on the fantasy) as dull as dishwater. Not that any of the people living in Regency England would know what dishwater was.

Yet water seemed to be in abundant supply. All of the people living in Regency England smelled like daisies. In this land, daisies had an allure not unlike Marc Jacob's Daisy perfume.

The people were always washed.

And the men, after years of whoring around the country and taking advantage of lustful widows, all had manhoods as erect and good-looking as the Tower of London.

Syphilis was unheard of. Certainly no one's nose fell off like Johnny Depp's did in that movie of another land, called Restoration England.

In Regency England, the men all loved going 'Down Under' on their wives. Of course, no one would call it Down Under then. This prosaic reference to the colony of Australia would not have occurred to the inhabitants of the land of Regency England. As far as these chaps were concerned, the only colony that existed was America, which was full of rich and sassy women.

This was a white land. Even its sun was pale. The only dark things in the land were the villains' tempers and the smoke from a hearty fire.

In Regency England, there were no newspapers. There were no coffee houses of people agitating against injustice. And good old Prinny certainly didn't divorce his wife.

No, there were only gossip sheets, clubs (for the men! The women had matchmaking at Almacks to entertain them!), and good times.

Encore Une Minute via Jane Austen's Library
Yes, Regency England was a swell place to live.

Disclaimer: While historical romance books generally ignore pretty much all of history, the Southern Hemisphere and Asia, and anyone who wasn't wealthy, there are still some capital books in this genre. More on that later ...

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