You probably have noticed by now that I think there are too many Dukes in Regencies.
(Of course, if I were to receive an offer for some work of mine contingent on bumping the hero to a duke, I will probably end up eating these words!)
The same goes for stories with “millionaire” or “billionaire” which a friend who is into contemporaries told me is becoming more common. I like variety and I can believe in a happy ending as long as the hero and heroine have the means for a comfortable life. The Regency hero needn’t be a duke to provide that. How about Mr. Darcy and his “beautiful grounds”?
But here’s my confession. Part of my love of Regency romance is about the wealth, because it’s the fantasy of living like Mrs. Darcy. Although I’m happy with my life as it is, sometimes I wish for more time to do things I love. So how would I do as a Regency lady of leisure?
I swim and ski. OK, not so Regency. But my other favorite forms of exercise are walking and horseback riding (though I haven’t done the latter in many years). Check.
My favorite indoor amusements include reading, music and just about any sort of arts and crafts. Check. And ditto on not having as much time for them as I’d like, especially music. I’ve been living vicariously through my kids on that one.
My favorite entertainment: plays and concerts. Check. I can’t complain about being deprived, since we’re once again regulars at the local Cider Mill Playhouse and Binghamton Philharmonic. But wouldn’t it be fun to have the means to be a real patroness of the arts?
But my fantasy Regency happy ending wouldn’t be all frivolity. Without all that pesky housework to contend with (or the snow shoveling!) it shouldn’t be hard to be an attentive mother, as Lady Torrens, pictured here with her children, was reputed to be (The New Monthly Magazine, 1820):
“Lady Torrens has, with great success, directed the powers of her fine understanding to the most useful of all objects, that of practical education. She has six children ; and it is impossible to contemplate the quickness of their understandings, and the docility of their dispositions, without feeling how much may yet be done for society, by early training, and a proper attention to the circumstances which are calculated to awaken the mind and to regulate the temper.”
I also sometimes wish I had more time for social issues that concern me. In my Regency fantasy, I might get political.
So how would you spend your time in your Regency happily-ever-after fantasy?