- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 1st edition (February 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0898798124
- ISBN-13: 978-0898798128
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England from 1811-1901 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
There were great differences between the Regency and Victorian eras, obvious differences such as changes in fashion, or the rapid industrializiation, and more subtle differences such as transformations in public and private behavior.
Recommended for Victorian authors, but for Regency authors you would be better served to seek out a copy of "The Regency Companion" by Laudermilk & Hamlin.
If this is intended to be a reference source for writers, then they need detailed information laid out in an efficient format. Hughes does this sometimes, and other times seems to wander off into writing an anecdotal social history. I wonder whether it was a good idea to pack 90 years that saw enormous social changes into one book. I think that Hughes has often wasted space including extensive quotes that would have been better paraphrased and condensed, as well as including information of marginal use, such as numerous recipes and a list of the number of servants advertising for jobs in the Times on January 10, 1870.
One might also wonder why 1801-1810 is not covered, especially since there is a writer's guide covering the 18th century. The period isn't completely ignored, but it must be frustrating for anyone wanting information about the turn of the 18th-19th century. Granted, the Regency, strictly speaking, was 1811-1820, but that wasn't the start of the Victorian era either. Many people consider the Regency period to go back to 1800 or even 1780.
The chapters themselves are uneven in quality. The first section, on lighting, is precisely the sort of thing a writer would need: the different types of lighting are carefully described in detail with dates given so that the reader knows precisely what was in use when.Read more ›
Unfortunately, she doesn't explain her terms nearly enough, and the quotations from contemp- orary sources seem overused--as though all of those period recipes were simply padding out space. There's an entire paragraph devoted to the etiquette of "cutting" which is completely incomprehensible if you are not first aware of the actual meaning of social cuts. Also, Hughes does not really work within context well; she doesn't seem to understand that etiquette books were not so much used by those in the upper circles, but by those aspiring to move upwards, or that the very reason for a plethora of etiquette books implies that they are needed--in other words, people are *not* following proper etiquette in their daily lives.
The writer of Victorian-based historical novels would do well to have this book on her reference shelf, but the casual reader will do better to read Sally Mitchell's Daily Life in Victorian England. This book would have been much more useful if it had narrowed its topic and explored them in greater depth.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was looking for a book to cover the remaining topics that I haven't been able to find in my other research and wasn't disappointed here. Read morePublished 9 months ago by nicole
I'm surprised this book has gotten so many low reviews. I've read quite a few of the entries in this series, and this is by far the most readable, most interesting, and most... Read morePublished on June 30, 2014 by K.M. Weiland, Author of Historical and Speculative Fiction
I enjoyed the book but HEADS UP… this is definitely more for Victorian era writing. Only snippets of information specific for Regency.Published on March 11, 2014 by P. Frick
I'm writing an original novel set in 1890's England, and I agree with some of the other problems that people have had with this book, especially from this POV. Read morePublished on June 16, 2012 by Anise
Invaluable guide if you want to understand how society worked in the Regency era. Little details like how long it took to cross the English Channel, and which relatives were too... Read morePublished on November 5, 2011 by Anne
This is an enjoyable, easy-to-read book to read alongside your historicals. It brings some light to various things like currency, fashion, and food; but knitpickers beware:... Read morePublished on June 20, 2003
This book is especially slanted towards the Victorian era but does contain some Regency info that is helpful when wanting general information without indepth research. Read morePublished on September 12, 2002 by NightOwl007
Although this book relys heavily an just a few sources it is still a good jumping off point if you have little or no knowledge on the lifestyles of people during this time... Read morePublished on May 31, 2002 by Kristi Ahlers