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Monday, June 15, 2009

The London Season

The Season Season grew from the need for titled lords to attend Session of the House of Lords, which coincided with Parliament since it is the upper house. Often the men came alone, but many probably preferred to bring their families, who needed entertainment, and thus the season came into being.

Parliament comprises the Sovereign, the House of Commons (which is the lower house of Parliament and referred to as "the Commons"), and the Lords. Membership of the House of Lords was once a right of birth to hereditary peers. Each titled man was expected to serve in the House of the Lords. They typically met in October, November, December and then again in January through about April or so. There was really no set schedule, as far as I can see although the Queen held her birthday ball in January.

Since London was an undesirable place to live year-round, many would not come to London from their country houses until after Easter when the weather was
better. The London Season was generally from after Easter to June or July after which most of those who could would return to their country estates. Some people lived in London all year round, except for brief visits to other houses. Later under Queen Victoria, the season became more definite and the whole debutante thing was formalized.

During the Regency Era, the Season usually included lavish balls, parties, dinners, musicales. London also offered many other attractions; the zoo, many parks, museums, shopping, and other entertainment. The Season grew into an important part of meeting and marrying eligible gentlemen and ladies.

The season became a much bigger production after the Regency Era and really came into prominence in the late Nineteenth century, or the Victorian days. Still, the season figures prominently in many Regency-set novels, including mine!

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