I’ll tell you about the contests at the end of this post, so keep reading.
I’ve decided to rewrite something that was set vaguely in the late 18th century (a period I find much more interesting than the Regency proper with all it froufy dresses. Is froufy a word? I guess it is now) and set it in an imaginary world. I want to keep some of the elements of the imaginary world we have already created in the Regency, so here is my Top Ten Recyclables of History:
1. Non froufy dresses. Pretty dresses, yes. Here’s one at left. It’s slightly froufy but not overly so.
2. Battling superpowers because this makes for good conflict if Country A is about to declare war on Country B at any moment for the flimsiest of reasons.
3. Men have the power but women get the last laugh.
4. Great cities with universities and cathedrals.
5. A huge emphasis on manners and propriety beneath which buzzes wild passions and politics.
6. A changing social order where you can slip and slide from wealth to poverty and back again.
7. The beginnings of change with the use of steam and scientific enquiry.
9. Servants, because I’m interested in them.
10. Tight pants for guys. I’m sure this is something you don’t need a pic for because it’s already imprinted on your brain but I’m giving you one anyway. This is Napoleon, looking less short and fat than usual, and heavens, could that boy fill out a pair of pants, in the artist’s imagination at least. Maybe he was keeping a spare handkerchief, or battalion, or something there. (This is what happens when you do a search on google images for regency tight pants. Go on. Try it.)
So now it seems the question is what else do I need to make this a convincing world that is like Europe and the Near East in the late eighteenth century but different? Nope, no dragons or other paranormal elements. What would convince you? Or what have I missed out that you’d like to see?
And now, trumpet fanfares, CONTESTS!
I’m thrilled to offer an eARC of Julie Anne Long‘s next release A NOTORIOUS COUNTESS CONFESSES which comes out at the end of October. It sounds fabulous. So help me build my imaginary neo-Georgian world, or just stop by and say hello or whatever, and your comment or question will enter you into a drawing. The usual restrictions apply. Contest ends tonight at midnight, EST.
And you can also hop on over to Goodreads to enter to win a signed copy (recycled tree product) of HIDDEN PARADISE which is being released in about a month’s time.
Janet, I think you covered it all. I’m drawing a blank on whatever you would need. I think you covered it all.
Yes, I feel that too, so the question is how to make it different enough that people don’t think they’re in early 19c Europe!
Well, I generally need more descriptions of some quirky customs around that time? Otherwise, I think you cover most of it. I like the soldier/military aspect especially….
Perhaps women being able to ride a hores without doing it sidesaddle.
Would have to say I definately agree with Kim…Women riding astride instead of sidesaddle….I too also like the soldier/Military aspect.
Having a conservative long lived monarch similar to the George 3rd and a rebellious heir (George the 4th) really helps set the social climate of the time. 🙂
I absolutely love Julie Anne Long!
I really love the picture of the dress on the log. Can’t wait to read this book.
I abstain from the contest because I think I won something from you recently.
THRILLED you’re doing earlier Georgian. LOVE the era.
So, shaky on Georgian stuff pre-Regency, but if I understand this correctly, you’re looking for ideas to make it really feel different? I “know” (using that word pretty loosely) earlier Georgian stuff mostly through (don’t laugh) the old Poldark with Robin Ellis (who now lives in France and blogs food stuff, interestingly enough).
I guess, and this is pretty shaky again, my biggest impression is that things seemed a little more wild and uncertain and somehow dirtier/earthier in the earlier Georgian period. Less infrastructure, more isolation, fewer hedgerows (?).
When did the classical fanaticism take hold? To me, and maybe it’s just that Regency authors use the museum and the Elgin marbles a lot, classicism feels much later Georgian than earlier. Just a thought, but again, I’m going by shaky impressions. If you could pointedly eschew classicism in some way, maybe that would help?
Ignore me if I’m being crazy. 🙂
What about the humour of the time . What type of things were the different people laughing about.
trying to subscribe, keeps saying page not found :/
I’m so excited for your book to come out!!!
So I googled Regency tight pants and got two, count them: two, pictures of Napoleon. The first being the one you found, with him dressing to the left, and the second, in which he dresses to the right. I’m thinking that the inconsistency means he told the artist to embellish certain areas. 😉 Just sayin.
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I love the idea of strict rules regarding polite society. If I was alive at that time, I would adore breaking every one of them 🙂
P.S. On wikipedia, there is a picture of Napoleon at age 23 – pretty hunky. But I remember reading something about parts of him being shriveled and sea-horse proportioned. 🙁
Rampant prostitution of all sorts??? that was a part of the Georgian era.
I hope you won’t include powdered wigs, face patches, men in brocade and lace and face make up.
I’m not as enamored of the Georgian era as you are, Janet! But the idea sounds fabulous!!!
The book sounds great.
Love your books Julie.
Can’t wait to read the Notorious Countess Confesses book!!
I love JAL!
Sounds good. I just like reading about how people’s lives were way back when, and of course the romance keeps me reading
Can’t wait for the Vicars story!
Looking forward to the newest release. Your books never fail to provide a great read!
I love the blog on the Georgian period. I wonder why historical romance books are more popular then other romance books. For me I just love the history of all that you mentioned. I can’t wait until Julie Anne Long’s book comes out! I sure hope I win it!
I have waited a long time for this book to be released, well it seems like it. I find the ‘rules’ of polite society fascinating, particularly the ban on laughing aloud, it makes for some amusing situations.
Yep, those are tight pants, alright!
After reading Linda M’s comment, I
don’t think I need to go to Google
to “see” those tight pants!
Julie Anne rocks!
I definitely like that a dress can still be pretty but less so on the poofy side. I know if I was a woman in that time comfort would still be important to me but I’d still want to feel feminine 🙂
Instead of a King and a male dictator at war you throw in a powerful Queen something like Elizabeth I.
Thanks for the contest,you rock!!
So ready for this book to come out!!
I love the dresses, the mannerisms, the home decorations, the food, the balls, AND the servants too of this time period. All these are reasons why I love to read novels that take place during this time. Cannot wait to read your new novel, Julie!
I’m with you on the non froufy dresses. I do think less is more.
So great to see such an enthusiastic response! I love that Julie Anne’s next book has a vicar hero–I didn’t realize until I read Bill Bryson’s “At Home” (fab book) what a great career being a vicar was in the Georgian period. You could make heaps of $$ and have time to indulge your hobbies, which is why so much natural history classification was done by clergymen, and it was a perfectly respectable position for a younger son. Even so, I’m sure he’d have some troublesome moral scruples!
As for Napoleon’s ambidextrous attributes, he probably had to switch things from side to side to stop his leg going to sleep. The exhaustion of hauling around such a heavy load was what led to his defeat at Waterloo.
Love Julie Anne Long AND am really loving that dress. 😉
Janet, I love your word “frousy” in relation to the dress of the period. I really enjoy Julie Anne Long’s books and have been waiting for this one to come out.
Great post. I do love that dress. And Julie Anne’s Pennyroyal Green series is wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway.
The tight pants are the original skinny jeans!
I’m a big fan of Julie Anne Long!
Thanks for a fun post and congrats to Julie on the newest release!
I haven’t read Julie Anne Long’s book. This would be my first.
I like your Top 10, especially #10. 😀 I’m thinking maybe a secret society that battles evil, or at least spies.
I agree with just about everything on your list, especially the tight pants! 🙂
Julie Ann Long’s Pennyroyal Green series is amazing and I’ve been counting down until November. Now, I can spend some of that time thinking about men in tight pants and chuckling over frou-frou dresses!
Hmm. I’m thinking the servants need to be the spies going on dangerous missions rather than the aristos. A network of servant spies under the command of a very stiff butler at the top of his game. How’s that?
I hope I don’t die of stress from long-term anticipation of this book’s release!
Very excited for Julie Anne Long’s new book!
Love, love, love her Pennyroyal Green series!