I often read Regency Romance and while I understand when the regency was.. I never knew why it was called the Regency.
As a lifelong lover of history, I love to learn about the details. I was on author Gaelen Foley's website the other day while I was gathering information on her Knight Series that I am doing as part of a TurnBack Tuesdays series and I found this rather brilliant description.. Before I post it.. I want to explain that this article goes past the obvious and manages to explain an entire period and way of thinking. I know Stephanie Laurens also has an excellent explanation which I enjoyed just as much. But this was more of an explanation as to why she enjoyed writing Regency Romances . So it has an entirely different feel to it.
Now.. I will shut up and share this article with you
"What Is The Regency Period?
The nine-year period from 1811-1820, when England was ruled by a “Regent” rather than a King, is known as the Regency period.
For years, “Mad” King George the Third had been suffering from mental illness, but by 1811, his condition had become so serious that he was no longer able to fulfill his duties as monarch.
When the royal physicians declared there was no further hope of His Majesty’s recovery, Parliament voted to install his firstborn son, George, the Prince of Wales, as the acting ruler in his father’s stead—in other words, Prince George became the Prince Regent, the ruling monarch acting on his father's behalf. He remained the Regent until his father died nine years later in 1820; he then officially succeeded to the throne, becoming King George the Fourth.
There is another sense in which the word “Regency” is used, however. Historians often refer to the “greater Regency” as a distinct cultural period from about 1790 to 1830. The two historical events used as book-ends to this 40 year span are: the French Revolution (1789), bringing an abrupt halt to the Georgian period, and the accession of Queen Victoria to the British throne in 1837, marking the official start of the Victorian period. (Some prefer to use 1832 as the line of demarcation because it was the year of the Reform Act.)
In a cultural sense, the greater Regency was quite different from what came before or after it. The Regency was neither as wild and self-indulgent as the Georgian period nor as strict and self-improving as the Victorian. Instead, the Regency struck more of a balance between these two extremes.
Also known as the “Age of Elegance,” the Regency was a golden age of letters, music, and architecture, as well as budding scientific inquiry and invention.
Finally, the Regency was a time of intense social change. Many of the values and institutions that had been held sacred for centuries were being turned upside-down. Regency people found themselves entangled in the midst of three simultaneous revolutions:
The Industrial Revolution changed the physical environment, the economy, and the pace of life.
The French Revolution changed politics, the class system, and religion, and ushered in twenty years of war.
The Romantic revolution changed people’s values, self-image/sense of their personal role in the world, and the nature of their closest relationships." Gaelen Foley's Website
Wow.. ever feel like you just don't know half as much as you think you do? And way less than what you should?