Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Welcome Sharon Lathan--The Regency: A Time of Change
Linda Banche here. Historical Hussies is delighted to host guest blogger Sharon Lathan, author of My Dearest Mr. Darcy. Sharon writes best-selling stories that follow the Darcys of Pride And Prejudice after their marriage. Her newest book, My Dearest Mr. Darcy, is the third volume in her trilogy, after Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, and Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley.
Today she shares with us her knowledge and love of the Regency era. Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a complete set of her books. Sharon will select the lucky winner. Please note that Sourcebooks can only mail to addresses in the USA and Canada.
The Regency: A Time of Change
I am honored by the invitation to guest on Historical Hussies today! Thank you for allowing me to be here.
I was asked to share what drew me to writing during the Regency Era. The irony, as I look over Historical Hussies, is that I wasn’t drawn to the Regency per se, but to history.
I initially became inspired to write the continuing saga of Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice because I was enamored by their relationship and how it unfolded against the historical backdrop. If Jane had set her story in medieval England or Renaissance Italy I am sure I would have delved in with the identical enthusiasm. My passion was for this profound love story and the fact that it took place in a long ago world was a happy bonus.
I adore historical cultures and the intriguing events of the past. My love for history arose in high school, thanks to a marvelous teacher named Mrs. Magar, who brought ancient civilizations, dates and facts, and past events to vivid, gritty life as no other teacher previously had. I have been hooked ever since.
Yet, aside from a few movie adaptations of Austen, et al, I knew zip about the Regency! Talk about needing a crash course to successfully and authentically write my couple moving through their day-to-day life! Luckily a plethora of folks have blazed the trails before me so there are about ten zillion websites and books out there to glean information from. What I quickly discovered was an Era that, albeit short, was alive with promise. In no time at all I fell as much in love with the time period as I did all my characters.
I was also asked to talk about my favorite things during the Regency, but I am not sure if I can limit what my “favorites” are within a reasonable length blog essay! LOL!
First off, oh yeah, gotta say the clothes. The gowns are just exquisite. The flowing fabrics and minimal extras are not only easier to imagine fitting any possible scenario but perfectly lend themselves to writing romance. The gentlemen’s garments are divine. And quite delicious, if you know what I mean! Together the silhouette is elegant, refined, dashing, and romantic, literally from feathered-head to booted-toe.
Culturally I have been mesmerized by the architecture, art, literature, poetry, fashion, society, and so on. The Regency Era, thanks to the Prince Regent in large part, was a time of shifting sensibilities to a more frivolous, romantic, graceful air. We all know the excesses and political upheavals had a downside, but one cannot deny how beautiful and glamorous it all was.
As a person who often bemoans our present-day declining moral and ethical values, I really love the refinement and manners that pervaded the Georgian period. Granted, among some it was a façade and extremely shallow, the lower classes lived in squalor and were rough, and the ostentatious Regency bordered on the obscene at times. Yet the general attitude of respectability and propriety was real, admirable, and refreshing.
But for me, the best part of writing in this setting has been the thrilling inventions and advancements in technology. The first decades of the 19-th century were also the beginning decades of the Industrial Revolution that began in England and would sweep through the entire world. What an exciting time! On purpose I set my sequel in 1816, a few years later than Austen wrote it, so that I could embrace the marvels daily appearing.
Right away I wanted Mr. Darcy to be a broad-minded, forward thinking business man who expanded his interests beyond his estate lands and horse breeding to foreign investments, trade, shipping ventures, and ownership of mills. I instilled a fascination with modern inventions so that I could write in steel-tipped pens, a kaleidoscope, music boxes, and telescopes to name but a few.
Within my most recent novel, My Dearest Mr. Darcy, I was able to explore a number of awesome wonders of the day. These include magic lantern shows, hot air balloons, seaside bathing machines, medical innovations like the stethoscope, and restaurants, among others.
So, yes, I love the Regency. It is a blessing to be able to travel with the Darcys through such an amazing period of history. I consider it an honor to present my vision of a fulfilled marriage and life while simultaneously educating and entertaining the reader.
For fun, answer this query: If you could be dropped temporarily into any place and time from the past, where and when would it be? Why?
MY DEAREST MR. DARCY—IN STORES JANUARY 2010
Married life is bringing out the best in the Darcys. Their mutual attentiveness brings readers into a magical world of love and wedded bliss.
Elizabeth is growing into her role as Mistress of Pemberley, and Darcy has mellowed under her gentle teasing and light-heartedness. Pemberley becomes a true home and a welcoming environment for loving family and friends. The Darcys travel to the seaside, welcome their firstborn, celebrate their anniversary and second Christmas, and at every moment embrace the love gifted to them.
“I love you, my Elizabeth. You are my soul, my blood and bone, my very life.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sharon Lathan is the author of the bestselling Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, and Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley. In addition to her writing, she works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. For more information on Sharon and her saga, come to her website at: www.darcysaga.net