I love the Regency era and feel that nothing could be better than spending my days in that world every day. I do understand that others (like Amanda!) love a variety of time periods, but, me, I’m a Regency Gal through and through.
So when my friend phoned me this evening and mentioned that one of her loops was discussing the “fact” that Victorian was the new Regency, I could not believe it.
Some of my friends–Hope Tarr, for example–write Victorian romance. That’s good! I love that Romance, especially Historical Romance, has such diversity. But apparently some people are predicting the demise of the Regency.
Didn’t we go through this a couple years ago when the “word” was Historical Is Dead? True, the traditional Regency lines closed but many of the trad authors have found other ways to continue writing Regency. Besides, traditional Regencies were a genre unto themselves. That event was separate from the fate of Regency Historicals.
Immediately my friend and I began listing Regency authors, starting with the Riskies and their guest authors, NYT best sellers, and so on. The list was looooonnnng.
Why is it when one genre rises, someone predicts another is dead? The rise in paranormals didn’t mean historicals were dead. I remember reading that the historical genre sales had dipped but only at the rate that all book sales had declined. So I suspect that Regency is still the most popular historical genre, but that readers are branching out to other time periods as well.
What do you think? Is Regency on the decline? Is Victorian the new Regency?
Here for your viewing pleasure AGAIN is my cover for Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady, coming in December.
I love both. I really can’t choose. Is it so terrible?
Maria, I guess my point is that we don’t HAVE to choose. I have a favorite–Regency–but I love that readers read a variety of historical genres. Someone else’s success doesn’t diminish mine! What I object to is the jump to the conclusion that if Victorian Romance is showing a resurgence that must mean Regency is no longer popular.
I don’t think the Regency romance will ever be replaced by Victorian. Just because the Victorians are getting more popular doesn’t mean that Regency is any less desirable. I would protest long and loudly and so would many others!
I’m greedy, I want both. There are a few select periods that I am reluctant to read (those set during the War of Northern Aggression aka That Recent Unpleasantness come to mind); other than that, I welcome all comers. Regency will always be a favorite, it’s such a threshold era.
Kim, I’m right with you!!
Sewicked, it doesn’t bother me that readers have preferences for other time periods and settings. I have preferences! The good thing is that there’s much to choose from in Romance and, thanks to our legions of readers, there’s room for everybody.
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I like the Victorians, but only to a point. It’s not so much the real Victorians that are written about either. It’s women who flout Victorian society like the main females in Tasha Alexander’s and Deanna Raybourn’s novels. And while I read those novels as well as the Amelia Peabody series I know that they aren’t always accurate.
I like tradition Regencies best. And I have to say this: if you want to improve your vocabulary you should definitely read Regency romance. I’ve learned tons of knew words.
I think with the rise in Austen popularity Regencies aren’t going anywhere.
What I would love to read though is more Victorian children’s literature.
I love both periods.
As far as I am aware Regency is highly popular.
I do think it should be defined as Georgian/Regency/Victorian as that period is v different in feel to say medieval Vikings or Tudors or indeed the American West (and yes I know American West and Victorian overlap but one is traditionally set in Britian and the other in America).
At the moment I am writing 1830s as there is an overlap with the current world situation as you did have a lot of banks failing etc etc. And I like the themes of women fighting against society oppression or being forced to work.
They are doing another version of Emma for either ITV or the BBC.
But Wuthering Heights (which is set in the 1820s as well as the 1840s) proved popular and Cranford is set in the 1840s and there is a Cranford CHristmas special this year.
I recently read an historical romance (one a couple years old, I am so behind on my TBR list!) which I thought was a Regency. There was a woman in a high-waisted gown on the cover, and nothing at all to suggest it was NOT Regency. Until I neared the end and there was a passing mention of a Victorian politician. I looked the book up online and found it is meant to be set in the 1880s–a very different environment from the Regency. So, I do love a wide variety of settings and periods, but I also like the stories to be firmly grounded in the atmosphere of that time. To say something is Victorian and then not MAKE it Victorian doesn’t make much sense to me.
Not that that has anything to do with the post! It’s just been something I’ve been mulling over…
I think Victoriana comes in and out of fashion. It was big in the ’70’s. Remember “Gay 90’s” type ice cream parlors? Sideburns? Men’s suits? The bicycle riding scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? I even remember this ubiquitous wallpaper (usually used in bathrooms) that featured ads from that period. And another pattern that had Gibson Girls all over it.
Now, my son has sideburns. Robert Downey Jr. is playing Sherlock Holmes. (Jude Law is Watson.) And Steampunk, with it’s Jules Verne-esque sensibilities, is growing in popularity even though it’s been around a long time.
I don’t think the trend is a threat to the Regency in media. The enduring love of all things Austen will see to that.
In historical romances, my preference is Regency, but I’ve read a few others that I like. When I hear someone saying that “this” is dead and “that” is the new up and coming, all I can think is “bell bottoms, platform shoes, etc they’re baaack.” I think it comes down to competition: “My favorite is better than your favorite, and I should know because it’s more popular than yours, even if I have to change my favorite to what is considered popular right now.” Pretty silly argument, but that’s just my opinion. 🙂 And I agree, thank goodness for Jane Austen; Regency will always be popular. Long live Mr. Darcy.
wiI believe that “Regency” will always live on. In fact, that’s what I look for when purchasing most of my books.
I like a lot of time periods–altho’ the Regency remains my first love. But pundits will always have a “this good/that bad” kind of attitude.
I love hearing from you like minded people!
Is anyone sick of the Regency? I’ve heard some people say they are.
I often hear readers say they’re tired of Regency after Regency and are happy to see something different…but they’ve been saying that for years. I think the Regency is too well-established to ever die out, though it’ll have natural ebbs and flows in popularity.
For myself, I’ll try almost any era, but the Victorian isn’t one that draws me. I don’t like the aesthetic as much–to my eyes the dresses are ugly, the men’s facial hair often hideous, and the architecture and decor fussy and overdone. Also, once you have telegraphs and steam engines, the past just loses some of its excitement for me. That said, I’m more interested in the American post-1815 19th century than the British, maybe because you have the fascination of a frontier and the Civil War to cancel out the ugly clothes and relatively high-tech world for me. 🙂
I’ve never understood why the 18th century, in both Britain and America, isn’t more popular in romance. There was so much going on, and the clothes are gorgeous.
To put it simply, Regencies aren’t going anywhere. No, I don’t know anything, I’m not in the industry, but seeing how everyone wants their own Jane Austen adaption or sequel or movie, there will always be related things, which, gee, are in the Regency period! LOL But the thing is, while I don’t read Victorian much, but have my big exceptions on that, it sure hasn’t seem like it was tough to find. Maybe there are more writing it now, but you could find them before. And that whole idea that historicals were dying, thought that was a big lie myself. LOL Sure was able to find plenty of historicals since I started reading romances ~5 years ago. Yep, the trad lines disappeared, but the general idea, nope, didn’t go anywhere. 🙂
But also too — I think there is room for anything! I might not be a fan of something in particular, but there will be plenty of others who are, so let people read what they want to read! 🙂
I am a Regency girl all the way. I have read some Victorians, some medievals and I will probably do so again, but for me the Regency is where the real romance is! I just don’t see Regency historical romances going anywhere. There is so much material in that era as yet untapped and I love everything about it.
I prefere the Regency. While I can enjoy a Victorian, the period can be a bit too repressed for my taste. What is more important to me is that the story is good and well writen. I will say I have just finished a regency and am planing an early Victorian that follows the family and the differences in the generations as the Regencies became the Victorians. In most cases people expect the granmother to be the more conservative one, but in this story that is not the case.
I’ve brought out the cheering section! Yay Regency!!
Also if I do not choose a single era to love I can continue to induldge my book addiction. I know I have a problem, but I do not care. I know when I die my familoy will find many stashes of all sorts of books hidden in boxes and on shelves all through my house. Is there anything wrong with that?
All genre have their ups and downs. Paranormal is very big now, but will cool off in a few years. Regencies have been around for a while and I believe will be around for a very long time. It was a special time period and has a lot to offer for plot material. I read almost everything and Regencies are just one of my favorites.