Lady of Leisure

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.”

Though I don’t know if I’d want six!

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?

Elena

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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