A Particular Regency World

Elena’s point about our own particular Regency worlds, all perhaps a bit different, made an impression on me. How true it is! Even if we were writing non-fiction, biographies or histories, we still would be putting it through the prism of our own vision. This got me thinking….

Two Victorian artists, Marcus Stone and Edmund Blair Leighton, created a romanticized Regency full of images that you might find familiar. These artists looked back in time and imagined their own idea of the Regency.

Take a look at the painting on the left, a beautiful Regency scene. It’s no surprise that this painting by Marcus Stone graced the cover of Janet’s The Rules of Gentility.

Marcus Stone started his career illustrating books for Charles Dickens, who had been a friend of Stone’s father and took an interest in 19 year old Marcus, when the elder Stone died. Late in his career, Stone specialized in these sentimental paintings that present a very pretty, idealized version of the Regency (and make the images desireable for book covers).

Here are some more of Stone’s Regency Paintings.

Edmund Blair Leighton, like Stone, was the son of an artist, but his father died when Leighton was two years old. Although he trained for a different career, art turned out to be in his blood. He specialized in historical paintings of the medieval and Regency period. His first painting was accepted at the Royal Academy.

Here are some of his romantic Regency paintings:

Yes, these paintings are very sentimental and idealized, but what I love about them is that they all tell a story. The last one is called Playing for the Reverend, but can’t you just spin a story around that one? Or the one with the naval officer. What did he say to her?

Leighton was largely forgotten as an artist, even though his paintings were very popular in their day. In fact, he painted an iconic medieval image that I’ll bet you’ve seen over and over. It’s called The Accolade.

Have you seen these images? Have you seen them on a bookcover? What’s your assessment of the Regency world they depict?

I’ll be back at my own blog on Thursday, Veteran’s Day!

And don’t forget to enter Janet’s LOL Regency contest! I’m working on my entry!

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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