FEATURED REGENCY WORLD ARTICLES:
Born in Latvia, Dorothea Benckendorff married Count Lieven, who was the Russian ambassador to England from 1812 to 1834. The countess immediately became a leader in London society, and by 1814, if not earlier, was elected one of the patronesses of Almack’s Assembly Rooms, the first foreigner to be so honored. Gronow described as her “haughty and exclusive,” though she is said to have introduced the German Waltz to Almack’s. But she was much more than a social butterfly. The countess was a prominent political hostess and held the confidence of some of the most important statesmen in London and Europe. She was considered to be at least as politically important, if not more so, than her ambassador husband....
Welcome to the Bridgerton couture collection. With the help of Candice Hern, Regency author and expert extraordinaire, I've selected dresses from her collection of Regency fashion plates that I think my heroines might have liked....
What is the Regency?
The English Regency, in its most literal interpretation, encompasses the years 1811 to 1820. It was the time during which the Prince of Wales (who later ruled as George IV) served as Regent while his father George III was so mentally unbalanced as to be unable to serve as monarch. In its broader interpretation — when used to describe periods of art, literature, fashion, design, and architecture — the Regency can encompass years as early as 1790 and as late as 1830.
The Regency as a setting for romance is appealing in great part due to the rich dichotomy of society vs. history, the real world vs. the oblivious aristocratic fantasy world. It is that small, glittering, elegant world seemingly insulated from the horrors of the Napoleonic Wars, the beginnings of political, social, and agricultural reform, and the onset of the industrial revolution that provides a very real and complex backdrop for Candice’s novels. While the war ravaged the Continent and affected most English families through the loss of sons, husbands, fathers, brothers, and uncles, and while the Luddites rioted against industrialization, Society persevered in its elegant finery at balls and routs and parties of all kinds.
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