High Society in the Regency Period

High Society in the Regency Period : 1788-1830

3.82 (570 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Full of wonderful social titbits and interesting pieces of information' - Amanda Foreman, "Mail On Sunday". The Regency is synonymous with a style unique in the English monarchy's history. A time of transition and paradox, elegance and vulgarity; when Lady Caroline Lamb stabbed herself for love of Byron and Stephenson invented the locomotive; when a mistress cost the equivalent of GBP100,000 a year and a farm labourer kept a family on 15 shillings a week. Murray chronicles the life of the beau monde during this extraordinary period. The book is lavishly illustrated with satirical prints of the period.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 122 x 196 x 24mm | 281.23g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 32pp colour and b&w illustrations
  • 0140240438
  • 9780140240436
  • 1,157,271

Table of contents

An impolite society; bucks, beaux and "pinks of the Ton"; "the seventh heaven of the fashionable world"; relative values - the cost of living; London - the most prosperous city in Europe; from the seaside resorts to the northern meeting; "a mistress had a better deal than a wife"; clubs and taverns - gambling and gluttony; the age of indulgence; the pursuit of pleasure; charades and epigrams - the country house; fashion, manners and mores - the new liberalism; on the eve of reform.show more

Review Text

The 28 colour illustrations at the centre of this book are stunning. Among them are a number of brilliant cartoons by Gillray, Rowlandson and Cruikshank, some of which have apparently not appeared in this form before. They all accompany and amplify a lively and well-informed view of a period which saw not only the apogee of the satirical print in Britain but also the best and worst of much else besides. Murray conveys the profligacy and rakishness, decadence and corruption of much aristocratic society at this time and contrasts it with the way in which the majority of people eked out a meagre living. Dandies and duchesses jostle for space with harlots and hucksters in this vivid evocation. And look out for those pictures. (Kirkus UK)show more

Author information

Venetia Murray's previous books include ECHOES OF THE EAST END and CASTLE HOWARD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A STATELY HOME. She lives in Wiltshire and has a grown-up family.show more

Rating details

570 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 28% (157)
4 39% (225)
3 24% (137)
2 6% (36)
1 3% (15)
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