I’ve been running an Artist’s Way group (doing the program based on the book by Julia Cameron). We’re currently on Week 3, and one of the week’s tasks is to list five people you wish you could meet that are dead.
It made me think about which five people from the Regency era I would enjoy meeting. Here’s my list. Maybe you’ll share yours in the comments?
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. I think we could have some great conversations about feminism then and now.
Jane Austen (1775-1817), an obvious choice but for a good reason! I would be afraid of being too fan-girly and making a fool of myself, since she didn’t seem like one who suffered fools. But if I could keep it together, maybe we could have a good conversation about the craft of writing. Perhaps she might be interested in learning about the enduring popularity of her stories, many times and how many ways her books have been turned into movies and mini-series, and all the spin-offs.
Mary Anning (1799-1847), who found an ichthyosaur fossil at age 12 and continued to collect, sell and study fossils throughout her life, making significant contributions to paleontology. When I was a child, I wanted to be a paleontologist, so a fossil-hunting expedition with Mary Anning would satisfy two of my passions.
Harriet Leveson-Gower, Countess Granville (1785-1862), daughter of the 5th Duke of Devonshire and the famous Duchess, Georgiana. I have read her letters in Hary-O: The Letters of Lady Harriet Cavendish 1796-1809, and she seems like someone I’d really enjoy talking to. She seems to have been quite grounded despite the drama of her parents’ unhappy marriage and various intrigues. Despite marrying her maternal aunt’s lover, she had a happy marriage and loved her children dearly. I also enjoyed her observations on society, including from the time that her husband served as British Ambassador to France.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850), one of the famous Lake poets. I spent a long weekend in the Lake District, and would love to ramble around there again with the famous poet as a guide.
What Regency era people would you like to hang out with?