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Our Tempestuous Day: A History of Regency England Paperback – February 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this chronicle of Regency England (18101820), popular historian Erickson shows that her considerable skills aren't limited to the depiction of Tudor monarchs (Bloody Mary, Great Harry, etc.). The change in period has been beneficial: her recent 16th century biography, Mistress Anne, had a desultory quality that has been avoided in this colorful, entertaining portrait of a turbulent time. In 1810, when George III was declared mentally incapable of governing, his eldest and least favorite son, later George IV, became Regent. He was a fitting figurehead for a gaudy, self-indulgent age, when aristocrats drank, dined and gambled until dawn while an increasingly restless populace chafed under miserable living conditions and an economic crisis created by a century of near-constant warfare. The battle of Waterloo in 1815 ended the Napoleonic Wars, but only made the situation in England more volatile, as thousands of soliders returned home to unemployment and poverty. Erickson vividly recreates an unsettled, intriguing era, focusing on a few key events and personalities to give readers a sense of the Regency's flavor. 25,000 first printing, $20,000 ad/promo. Foreign rights: Lynn Nesbit, ICM.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This is a fine portrait of a fascinating agethe Regency period in English history. The author, who has biographies of several English monarchs to her credit, leads her reader through the complex personalities and events of the decade (George III was insane throughout the period and his son ruled as Regent) with considerable dexterity. The result is an entertaining and generally solid essay in the often difficult field of social history. One might wish for a bit more on the impact of the Industrial Revolution and Wesleyanism, but on the whole the book exemplifies what popular history should be. It is instructive, solidly researched and written, and of a quality to appeal to the novice and specialist alike. Recommended. James A. Casada, History Dept., Winthrop Coll., Rock Hill, S.C.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380813343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380813346
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Tempestuous indeed! I could not put this book down. This is a very readable historical narrative set in England during the Regency Period from 1810 to 1820. Erickson paints a very vivid picture of the chaotic times in which George IV ruled as Regent while his father King George III declined into madness at Windsor, alongside the already troublesome war with Napoleon, social unrest, and economic uncertainty.
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I don't qualify as any part of an expert historian, but I do read a bit of it. I have read other of Erickson's side by side (as it were) with other authors works covering the same era. Erickson, as best as I can tell, is solid.

That said, her prose, while more than adequate, is not as riveting as Doris Kearns Goodwin; hardly a huge complaint.

This book was, for me, fascinating. First, all the nonsense about George III that I was taught in grade school was set straight. Americans are fed as much propaganda as the Soviets ever were. (That comment is not based on this book alone; just bolstered by it.)Second, I had a good bit of the politics filled in which made a bit more sense of my college 18th Century Literature class from ever so many years ago. Finally, the author takes us into the ninteenth century including a good bit of background on Lord Byron. Erickson leads us through the swing from what might be called libertine-ism into the religious mania that resulted in the Victorian (double) standards of behavior.

Very good stuff.
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I enjoyed reading this book about Regency England. It gave a good account of the reign of George IV, but read like novel!!
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By A Customer on May 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is as well researched as can be and as well written as non-fiction must be. Some things are not a hundred percent accurate but rather minor. If you are interested in the period this is a must.
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This book is a beautifully detailed history of the 10-year period from 1810 to 1820 known as the Regency. This is the time period when the old King, George III, loses his mental stability, and Parliament is forced to transfer legal authority to his son, the Prince Regent.

The author introduces us to all kinds of fascinating characters, including all the dysfunctional members of the Royal Family ... as well as such Regency stalwarts as Lord Byron (mad, bad, and dangerous to know) and his social counterpart Hanna More, Christian moralist and tract writer. It was the best of times and worst of times ... with England wracking up immense war debts trying to defeat Napoleon Bonaparte in a war with France that has been going on since the French Revolution. The book is also an astute portrait of the age, vividly describing the societal manias and psychological foibles of the time. Well worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for research and did learn a few new details, so it was worth the price and I would recommend it. It is focused on the more notorious, and therefore popular, figures of the regency, and I would like more detail about other classes. That is a personal opinion, though and it does deliver what it promises on the dust jacket.
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Erickson writes in a conversational style about English High-Society from 1810-1820. The overiding theme is the illness of the king, George III, who struggled periodically with insanity (porphyria, according to modern medicine). The real meat of the book, through a variety of sources, is the description of daily life during the times. No one got up before noon, and parties usually didn't end until the sun rose. The use of laudanum (opium) was prevalent, as were marital affairs--if discreet. We are introduced to Luddites, George Gordon (Lord Byron), the purgatory of Princess Caroline, Hannah More, Wellington, Bonaparte and a cast of thousands. Kuddos for an easy romp through the period.
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Format: Paperback
After reading many books about the particulars of life in the Regency, this book was an appreciated overview of the politics and major events that were actually happening during the period. I would have liked some descriptive chapter headings to help orient me, but, really, that's the ONLY problem I have with this book. It's well-researched and presented in a highly entertaining (almost novelesque) and easy to follow format. I closed the back cover feeling very educated.
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