I have been sucked into the land of pretty nosegays, silken slippers, dashing lords, coy misses, noble gentlemen, wicked rakes, dazzling balls, careful courtships, dastardly villians, dangerous duels and simpering mamas...I have been reading Regency romances. Sadly, the Regency romance has become a bygone chronicle of a bygone era--both the era it focused upon and also the era when the Regency romance sub-genre flourished. It may be the fact that I used to read through these little gems when I was young and impressionable or that my favorite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice (and the 1995 adaption starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth is pretty near the most perfect miniseries ever, although I think my sister would now say that the recent adaptation of Emma starring Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller gives it a run), but I have a deep affection for them no matter if they are fluffy or not. Of late, I have found myself reaching for a Regency rather than my stamps.
The picture at left is of one of the books I recently read and it was pretty good. What I most like about Regencies is a sense of innocence, hope and faith that is a common thread in them all. There is a happy ending. The heroine no matter how poor, plain or silly finds true love. The villian is bested. And all in a setting which I can't help but be drawn to. Of course there are Regencies that are excellent by any standards with superb writing, deft character development and depth and those I especially treasure. Off hand, I recommend authors like Mary Balogh, Carla Kelly, Mary Jo Putney, Susan Carroll, Jo Beverley and Loretta Chase (all of which still write books--Carla Kelly writes for Harlequin which still produces Regencies, Susan Carroll writes historical fiction with a lot of romance and the rest write historical romances). You can purchase out-of-print Regencies either used online, at used bookstores, or some of the authors mentioned are now having their classic Regencies reissued.
Anyone else have periods where reading captures their fancy? If so, what do you enjoy reading?