Why Regency is my Passion

I love many eras in history, but my favorite is the Regency. There are many reasons for this favorite. It was such a unique–and short–time in history. The Regency came amidst much social and economic change, filled with turmoil and trouble. What draws me to is are the customs and people who lived in that time. This may be a skewed and romanticized vision, but British gentlemen who live long ago as seemed more honorable than we are today. In Regency England, duty and honor were everything. With few exception, if a gentleman said he’d do something, especially if he gave his word, he meant it; others could count him to follow through, even if it came a great personal cost.

By the Georgian and Regency Eras, gentlemen and ladies alike were educated and could read, compute complex mathematics, speak multiple languages—French and German seemed to be particular favorites and boys were taught Latin in school. They loved philosophical debates.

They were also very cultured. From a young age they were taught to dance, play musical instruments, sing, paint, and recite poetry. Even many of those of the working classes were receiving an education at that time, an unprecedented movement in England.

I love the way people in Regency England spoke so eloquently. The upper classes didn’t maul the language—they used correct grammar and had an enormous vocabulary. They prized wit and excelled in using the famous British understatement. I love their dry humor. They also spoke and wrote beautifully and spent a great deal of time writing stories, poems, letters, and journaling. Jane Austen’s novels are almost like poetry. She carefully chose each word for its wording, imagery, and rhythm to deliver the exact nuance she wanted.

Gentlemen were civilized and treated ladies with courtesy in a hundred little ways. They stood when a lady entered the room, doffed their hats, bowed, curtailed their language, offered an arm, and more. They were also athletic; they hunted, raced, fenced, boxed, rode horses. They were manly. Strong. Noble. Resolute. Honorable. I love that about them! All of this is what makes them perfect heroes for both historical fiction and Regency romance novels.

By the Regency Era, ladies and gentlemen had gotten rid of those powdered wigs of the past few centuries, toned down previously excessive manner of dress which once included excessive ruffles and lace, and even–my personal favorite–bathed daily. Men’s three-piece suits worn today are patterned after Regency gentlemen’s clothing.

Another aspect of the Regency that draws me is that it landed in the middle of the Napoleonic Wars, which creates a natural backdrop for tension and conflict. Men and boys went off to war. Some didn’t come home; others came home but were forever changed. This darkness in history creates what’s known as the tortured hero, and I love helping my fictional tortured heroes find peace and healing, and matching them up with ladies who understand and love them.

The Regency is a charming, unforgettable era thanks to literary masters such as Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. I only hope to do their legacy justice.

Do you have a favorite era in history? What is it and why does it fascinate you?

Origin of Amesbury

In my Regency romance series, “The Rogue Hearts,” I created a family with the surname Amesbury. I first heard the name when a neighbor got engaged to a young man whose last name was Amesbury. The moment I heard Amesbury, something perked up inside me.

My neighbor said dreamily, “Doesn’t that sound like the name of an English lord?”

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Book 1 of the Rogue Hearts Series, The Stranger She Married

I wholeheartedly agreed. Years later, when I wrote my first Regency romance novel, The Stranger She Married, there was no question that Amesbury would be Cole’s surname. And since Cole has three living brothers, there would be a total of four heroes with that same wonderfully romantic and noble surname.

I did some research on the origin of the surname Amesbury.  I found that it is, indeed, British with a long and distinguished history. Here is a great website with info about the family name here: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Amesbury.

This name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational surname deriving from the place in Wiltshire called “Amesbury”. The place name is first recorded circa 880 in the “Saxon Charters” as “Ambresbyrig”, and means “Ambr’s fortress”, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name “Ambr”, after the Old Germanic name “Ambricus”, thought to mean “immortal”, from the Greek “Ambrosios”, with Old English “burg” or “burh” meaning a fort or fortified place and often referring to a Roman or other pre-English fort.”

New Cover

Book 3 of the Rogue Hearts Series, A Perfect Secret

This describes my family of heroes well because the family has a fortress–the castle that has been in the family for generations–but better yet, the heroes themselves are each “fortresses”–standing against evil and protecting the innocent and those whom they love. Plus, they are all gorgeous men of Greek god proportions. The castle belonging to the family has a series of gardens, each created after a different Greek myth.

And even better, my heart nearly stopped when I read this:

“The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Christian Amsburie…dated 7th August 1578, Bitton, Gloucestershire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 – 1603”

Christian! An amazing coincidence, since Christian is the name of one of my Amesbury brothers, the youngest, and the hero of my third book in the series, A Perfect Secret (pictured right). Don’t you just love serendipity?

So the name Amesbury is a perfectly appropriate surname for an earl of a Regency romance novel with ancient lineage, not to mention a castle, to have. Besides, it just sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

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Book 2 of the Rogue Hearts Series, The Guise of a Gentleman

The Suspect's Daughter, book 4 of the Rogue Hearts Series

Book 4 of the Rogue Hearts Series, The Suspect’s Daughter

BTW, also in my Rogue Hearts series are The Guise of a Gentleman, a swashbuckling pirate romance and my newest, a romantic suspense, The Suspect’s Daughter. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more:  http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Amesbury#ixzz1Ukjz5tPG