Giveaways,  Regency

What’s YOUR Regency Fantasy?

BLOG PARTY DAILY CONTEST! The best comment on this post will win a copy of Cara King’s debut novel, MY LADY GAMESTER. Comments may be posted through January 14, and will be judged on thoughtfulness and enthusiasm.

Imagine this: you magically (or science fictionally, perhaps) find yourself transported back in time to Regency England. What’s more, you find yourself quite wealthy — perhaps a member of the aristocracy, or a fabulously successful writer, or anything else you can dream of.

Today’s question is: what would you most enjoy about your new life? What ultimate indulgence would be your personal favorite? What’s YOUR Regency fantasy?

Would it be your fantastically beautiful stately home? If so, why? What about your gorgeous new home would you particularly delight in? (Let your imagination run free here!)

Would your favorite thing be the grounds of your breathtaking new home? Gardens, fountains, statues, mazes, woods, rivers — what? Or would be be your library? (I love the one pictured here!)

Would your favorite part of your new life be the fact that so much of the land around you is NOT paved over, but instead is fields and farms and flowers and trees, with no Walmart or Tesco in sight? Would your walks in the English countryside be your favorite part of the day?

Or would it be the food? Everything fresh, cream right from the cow, fruit right from the tree, with a million recipes thick with butter and eggs? And of course, you have your own personal cook to make you anything you want.

How about having servants? Your servants, of course, will be delighted to come work for you (because you pay so well), and are all experts at their jobs. You will never have to scrub another oven, or wash another dish.

Or would you most enjoy hobnobbing with the amazing writers who populated the Regency? Imagine it: Shelley, Byron, Jane Austen, Keats, Scott, Wordsworth, Coleridge… Or you could hang out with actors like Mrs. Siddons, or perhaps meet Beethoven. Whatever you want, is yours.

Or would you most delight in the lovely clothes you would wear — elegant creations in silk and velvet… If you’re a woman, would your favorite thing be all the men, so handsome in their flattering, form-fitting clothes? If you’re a man, would your favorite thing be all the women in their flowing, clingy gowns, their corsets giving them the memorable décolletage that Jennifer Ehle impressed you with in “Pride and Prejudice”?

Or would your favorite thing be something quite different from all these? What would it be?

What’s YOUR Regency Fantasy?

Cara King,
MY LADY GAMESTER — out now from Signet Regency!!!

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Megan Frampton
16 years ago

I’d like the pursuit of pleasure, whether it’s the food, the clothing, the hunting, the book-reading, the theatre, whatever. As a member of the aristocracy, I could dispose of my time however I wanted to. That would be lovely.

16 years ago

My favorite part of Regency living would be having a ladies maid. Not only would my clothes be made to fit me and only me, but they would also be clean and pressed and coordinated and stylish and beautiful and cat-hair free!

Once I’d been properly outfitted, the rest would fall into place. I’d indulge in books, theatre, art, literary salons, whatever struck my fancy. Add some scones and clotted cream,a nice cup of tea, and a handsome gentleman of charm and wit, and my Regency heaven would be complete.

Elena Greene
16 years ago

Oh, what a beautiful set of images, Cara!

I refuse to choose just one fantasy. That is why I write these stories–so I can indulge myself in all of them!

Elena 🙂

16 years ago

Indeed, such lovely images Cara!!! A splendid mansion (with secret passages and rooms and enormous fireplaces), with sprawling gardens and a lake would be to my liking…and of course, I should love to have servants wait on me hand and foot. On a typical day, I’d like to have breakfast in bed, then spend some hours in the library or read in the shade of a tree filled with blossoms, have lunch….after an afternoon siesta and tea, go horse-riding in the countryside in the evening, or perhaps in a horse-drawn carriage…then indulge in theatre, music or some other form of art, or perhaps attend a splendid ball, dressed in a shimmering long gown and wearing exquisite jewellery…and polish it off with a moonlight stroll in the garden or go boating on the lake with my beau…:-)

16 years ago

For me it would be all of those things you mention except the fresh cream from the cow. That doesn’t have the slighest appeal to me when said like that. I’d rather pretend it’s manufactured and comes in a bottle or carton. haha! I’d also have the most dashing husband that would be so completely in love with me. ahh…I read this to hubby and he said “well, you have that already. That’s not a fantasy”. Yes, that is very true!

16 years ago

My Regency fantasy is that poor Mama has passed to her final reward, leaving Papa too distracted in his grief to properly supervise his lovely daughter (c’est moi, bien sur!) who is just this side of being so high on the shelf she cannot be reached. I suspect my devoted ladies maid, Sally, is having an affair with the stable boy, a strapping lad of twenty-two who hails from Yorkshire. Certainly, it is true that Sally has been distracted of late and I have more than once caught her staring out the window facing the paddock.

Our long-absent neighbor, Lord Feaven, has just returned from the Peninsula. Heavens. I had no idea he was so handsome nor that even the faintest smile of his could send such shivers down my spine. He walks with a limp and at the Assembly t’other night, he danced but once, with Miss Camilla Hill, and then retired. He frightened many of the younger girls, but once, by mere chance, our gazes met, and I am convinced ’tis the pain of his wound that makes him so fierce.

Papa and I have fallen into the daily habit of walking to the lake and back every morning. The lake, as it happens, borders Lord Feaven’s lands, though we have never yet seen him there. Alas, this morning Papa found a letter from Mama and I have left him to his private grief.

But I was not to be deprived of fresh air. Sally agreed to walk with me. The stable boy, Robbie, helped us over the style and, Sally, the poor dear, fell quite hard from the top step and fainted into Robbie’s arms.

With Sally, her cheeks flushed as Robbie cradles her to his chest, unable to walk, I continue to the lake by myself. Ah, there are robins on the meadow and I am quite sure I saw a doe and her fawn melting into the shadowed woods. I confess my inattention and offer my admiration of nature as my excuse.

Words cannot convey my shock at seeing Lord Feaven emerging from the lake quite completely bare to the morning sun. Oh. My.

Papa was still lost to his grief when I returned to the house but an hour before dinner, a woman.

16 years ago

Excuse me for a moment. I need to take a cold shower.


16 years ago

The photographs are lovely! I think Jennifer Ehle’s décolletage and I will move into the fantasy next door to moonlight_maiden’s.

Oh, all right, never mind.

The thing I love most about Regencies–and historical novels in general–is the feeling of being transported to a different time and place, where people lived their lives in different ways.

I think if I could beam myself into the period with sufficient accuracy to avoid the Napoleonic Wars, I’d really enjoy doing the Grand Tour. Visiting the great sites of Europe with the leisure and money to spend as long as I liked; to see the old cities and towns before they developed into vast metropolises; that I would truly enjoy.


16 years ago

Oooh – I’d LOVE the library – would spend much of my day in there, then go for a long walk around the garden before enjoying a huge meal prepared by my cook. Having servants would be lovely, but I think I might have a hard time adjusting to so many extra people in the house!!!

But the library would make up for all of that 🙂

Janet Mullany
16 years ago

Cara, can you tell us what the pix are? They are gorgeous!
I’m afraid my regency fantasy centers on being male, rich, and with good teeth.

Cara King
16 years ago

Janet, I’m afraid I can’t tell you which library it is! Sorry. Messy notes. As for the rest of the pics:

top: Scotney Castle Garden and Estate, Tunbridge Wells
second: Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire
third: Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Ripon, North Yorkshire
Library: eternal mystery!
Landscape: hills around Borrowdale
Servant in Kitchen: Wordsworth House, Cumbria

(I got most of them from the National Trust website! Except I think for the library one…)


Pam P.
16 years ago

Oh how lovely to be rich and have my every whim indulged…servants to do all those boring chores and tasks, dining on lobster patties, tea and cakes, chocolate served in bed in the morning. Being a rich widow, I’m free to dally, day and night with my suitor of the moment…no dandies for me, a regency buck of the first stare!

Cara King
16 years ago

I think I would most like to live on a beautiful estate…a lovely house, with wonderful views. When I look out the windows, I see no power lines, no cars, no freeways, no traffic lights, no graffiti, no litter. Just hills and trees and flowers and sky and clouds. I think I would live in something Palladian — maybe not huge, but very well-proportioned, with everything chosen for aesthetics. And the chimneys won’t smoke, and there will be no draughts! (This is a fantasy, remember.) 🙂


Cara King
16 years ago

Oh, and Jeremy Northam will be there with me. And maybe Colin Firth and Ciaran Hinds next door. 🙂


16 years ago

Strangely, my wife and I actually do live in a Palladian villa. With a vast library, many servants, and spacious grounds. What a coincidence! Though I hadn’t noticed any of our neighbors resembling Ciaran Hinds…


Pam Rosenthal
16 years ago

Hey Carolyn long time no speak — what fun your fantasy is, and I adore your Sally and Robbie — check out my forthcoming book (September) to read about Peggy the lady’s maid and Thomas the footman.

The forced intimacy of being surrounded by servants is fascinating, isn’t it, and the voyeurism ends to the pleasure as well.

Mostly, though, it seems to boil down to being rich and pampered — though so many Regency types seemed constrained to gamble it away, consigning themselves being rich, pampered, and painfully and chronically anxious.

Perhaps for guys it extends to rich, pampered and powerful. A college professor of mine once confessed to a Renaissance Pope fantasy, which I suspect beats all our gauzy musliny daydreams.

Cara King
16 years ago

Having had time to think about it, I think that talking to all these famous Regency people might be my greatest delight…in other words, satisfying my curiosity!!!

I could find out…

Was Byron really attractive, or did he just pay the painters to paint him that way? Was he truly Byronic, or were those just the characters in his poetry? 🙂

Was Jane Austen witty in person? What did she really think about being asked to dedicate EMMA to the Regent?

And was the Regent smart and artistic, or stupid, as many portray him?

How about Brummell?

How did the carriages really feel to ride in?

Exactly what WERE the prevalent acting styles??? I’d see Siddons and Kemble and Kean, and see just how broad and how natural the acting really was.

Okay, this is getting fun… 🙂


Elena Greene
16 years ago

And the research opportunities for the obsessive-compulsive historical author!

We could find out whether they really used dance cards.

We could find out if Georgette Heyer made up the “Little Season” or whether it was ever really called that.

We could learn whether any naughty ladies ever really damped their petticoats.

But then, we’d be living the fantasy and not have to write about it!

Elena 🙂

Cara King
16 years ago

Exactly, Elena!

We could find out EXACTLY when they did and did not wear gloves and bonnets.

We’d find out if hunky men ever left off their cravats, and left the top button unbuttoned, a la MacFadyen. 🙂

We could find out if anyone really did call Lady Jersey “Silence,” if Almack’s refreshments were really as described, and even what Almack’s really looked like! (We shall be so tonnish that of course we’ll get in!)

We could check out Princess Caroline, and see if she really was dirty and vulgar. Meet Wellington, and check out his nose (and horse) in person. Meet Harriet Wilson and her ilk, and find out just how cultured, witty, or vulgar they were! (And how low-cut their necklines!)

Just how good were those Regency misses on the pianoforte?

Hmm…inquiring minds want to know!


16 years ago

I would love to live in a country cottage by a lake. I’d enjoy staying home, reading, going on walks. And having a handsome Regency hero there to entertain me. 🙂

Bertram St James
16 years ago

My Regency fantasy would be to have the plumbing and the chocolate concoctions of 2005 transported back to Blenheim Palace, where I will live in regal luxury with all my friends. (You are all of course included.)

I won’t have much need for state-rooms — dusty old things, and useless, for who ever would want Prinny to visit anyway? — so I will make the state rooms over into:

1. A Theatre, in which all the Kembles and Mrs. Siddons will perform, as well as sweet Dorothy Jordan and Grimaldi. And if you like, we will also have Matthew MacFadyen, Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle, Ralph Fiennes, and Jeremy Northam. And as long as you are bringing them along, you might as well bring Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez, and Antonio Banderas. (One can never have too many beautiful people to look at.)

2. A 2005 bath-room, with all conveniences.

3. An indoor ice-skating parlor. (This is, after all, a fantasy.)

4. A menagerie, with all the animals usually found in a Regency menagerie, plus a “Panda” bear, a “Koala” bear, a “Teddy” bear, a “Yogi” bear, and (please bear with me) a blue whale.

I know I will think of more rooms later, but my poor brain is currently worn out. (It is not accustomed to being used.)


16 years ago

I think I would love a lot of things in this fantasy. I would love living in such a beautiful place, with wonderful gardens where I can walk and breath fresh air and hear the birds, etc., sleeping in a bed that is a work of art, and surrounded by beautiful things.

I would love to spend some quiet time reading, outdoors in good time and indoors in the winter, close to a good fire and with a cup of tea or chocolate.

I would love to interact socially with regency gentlemen and dance and talk and go to the theather.

And mostly, I would love a library like the one in this picture, to spend a lot of hours there enjoying my books (of course I would love to have my romance novels from modern times *G*). I always loved the Beast’s library in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, but this one is even better.

And of course I would love my own regency hero so my fantasy would be perfect. Someone like Colin Firth or Hugh Jackman would be fine 🙂

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