by Ian Mortimer
12 Nov 2020
EXCELLENT' - The TimesThis is the age of Jane Austen and the Romantic poets; the paintings of John Constable and the gardens of Humphry Repton; the sartorial elegance of Beau Brummell and the poetic licence of Lord Byron; Britain's military triumphs at Trafalgar and Waterloo; the threat of revolution and the Peterloo massacre. In the latest volume of his celebrated series of Time Traveller's Guides, Ian Mortimer turns to what is arguably the most-loved period in British history - the Regency, or Georgian England. A time of exuberance, thrills, frills and unchecked bad behaviour, it was perhaps the last age of true freedom before the arrival of the stifling world of Victorian morality.
At the same time, it was a period of transition that reflected unprecedented social, economic and political change. And like all periods in history, it was an age of many contradictions - where Beethoven's thundering Fifth Symphony could premier in the same year that saw Jane Austen craft the delicate sensitivities of Persuasion. Once more, Ian Mortimer takes us on a thrilling journey to the past, revealing what people ate, drank and wore; where they shopped and how they amused themselves; what they believed in and what they were afraid of.
Conveying the sights, sounds and smells of the Regency period, this is history at its most exciting, physical, visceral - the past not as something to be studied but as lived experience.