Jul 232016

Each year on the day before National conference begins, many members of the Beau Monde chapter of RWA® gather for a day filled with Regency workshops and after the Literacy Signing they reconvene for our annual Soirée. This year’s gathering included breakfast and time to mingle and check-in for the conference, followed by the Annual General Meeting with the usual various committee reports and the changing over of the board. Thank you to the 2015-2016 Board and Committee members for all your hard work but especially our conference chair Janna MacGregor, catering wrangler Sharon Sobel, and workshop coordinator Isobel Carr for doing such a fantastic jobs in organizing the event for us!

The Morning Sessions

A photo of the Jo Bevereley tribute at the 2016 Beau Monde mini-conference. The screen reads, "Remembering Jo Beverley (1947-2016)."

Remembering Jo Beverley (1947-2016)

We had a very special tribute to former Beau Monde member, Jo Beverley who lost her bout with cancer at the end of May this year.

Photo of Diana Belchase paying tribute to Jo Beverley.

Diana Belchase shared what is thought to be the last video interview with former Beau Monde member Jo Beverley.

Member Diana Belchase, had filmed an interview with the author for her TV show BookSmart and was gracious enough to share the unaired footage with the chapter members present. Jo’s wit, grace and perspective, not to mention her love of historical romance, shone through during the interview and are just a small part of why she and her wonderful books will be long remembered.

We spent the rest of the morning learning about Spies and Codes with Patricia Coleman, Regency Era Titles with Ella Quinn and The Education and Training of Medical Professionals in the Regency Era with Georgie Lee.

Our Keynote Address

After lunch, Jade Lee gave our keynote speech. If you know Jade, she’s funny and always cracking jokes. She did that. But she was also fiercely serious about how writing is also an ART, not just a craft and business.

Keynote Speaker, Jade Lee

Keynote Speaker, Jade Lee

Jade pointed out that the RWA National Workshop list included around 54 Craft/Research sessions, 65 Career Track topics and another 16 on Writer’s Life/Block/Depression. She told us she was going to talk about the one thing that never gets discussed– the ART of writing. Commercial Fiction — not literary. Every book has a core message in it. Not just the basics of genre or tropes, every book has a deeper more personal message. At its core, your book has a message that YOU need to hear.

“Art has us look at issues we are dealing with in our real life and look at them in a new way.” But digging in your soul is hard to do. Theme is one way as writers and even readers we do this. Look closer at your books and see what you keep coming back to again and again. Think about the last book you read that touched your heart and why?

She recently read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. Did you know Hitler wanted to be an artist but resistance beat him? It was easier for him to start World War II than to face a blank canvas. “Don’t start WW3, face that dark and awful blank page instead!” She urged us to tell that story that your soul is crying out for. Someone else out there needs to hear it too. Please, she begged us, go forth and write those stories. Because we are all artists in the truest, most beautiful sense of the word.

The Afternoon Sessions

The rest of the afternoon was spent in more workshops where Louisa Cornell helped us navigate the Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Regency World both in terms of what was known/thought of mental illness at the time and various places where and ways in which people were ‘treated’ for their madness. Then, we charted a course in The Age of Sail with Alice Eakes and learned all about ships, different types of sails, and other nautical terms to use in our stories.

A special treat was the extended Q&A session on The State of the Regency Romance with Sarah Wendell – SBTB, Leah HultenschmidtGrand Central Publishing, Theresa Romain – Author, and Kevan Lyon – Marsal Lyon Literary Agency on the panel. The afternoon concluded with a look at The Grand Tour with Cheryl Bolen before we took a break for dinner and the Literacy Signing.

Photo of Kevan Lyon and Theresa Romain

Kevan Lyon and Theresa Romain

Photo of Leah Hultenschmidt and Sarah Wendell

Leah Hultenschmidt and Sarah Wendell

All sessions were recorded and they will soon be made available for purchase by members.

Our Annual Soirée

That evening, the soirée was quite an elegant affair. Cara King was our dance mistress for the evening and taught a variety of country dances including a Scottish Reel. Not all of the attendees dressed in their Regency Era finery, but the many who did looked absolutely wonderful, and a fabulous time was had by all.

Photo of 8 people in Regency costume at the 2016 Beau Monde Soirée.

You might recognize these Beau Monde members from the Regency Era report with Sarah MacLean during the Rita/GH ceremony on Saturday night.

Photo of Sir Reginald Scott, Lady Elena Greene and Lady Cara King at the 2016 Beau Monde Soirée.

Sir Reginald Scott, Lady Elena Greene and Lady Cara King at the 2016 Beau Monde Soirée.

Photo of Alanna Lucas, Alina K. Field and Ann Cleeland, dressed as a highwayman.

This dashing highwayman made an appearance at the Soiree! Perhaps Sir Reginald had some competition?

Photo of Erica Ridley (left) an Emma Locke (Right) in their Regency finery.

Erica Ridley (left) an Emma Locke (Right) in their Regency finery.

Photo of Regency Dancing at the Soirée.

Learning a Country Dance

Photo of the Beau Monde Soirée as the dancers learn a Scottish Reel.

Learning a Scottish Reel

Awards and Congratulations to Beau Monde Members

Photo of President Karen Dobbins presenting Cheryl Bolen with the 2016 Lady of the Realm award.

Cheryl Bolen received the distinction as our 2016 Lady of the Realm. Thank you for all that you do for the chapter, Cheryl!

Photo of Elizabeth King winning the Grand Prize for the Royal Ascot writing contest with her manuscript TAMING THE EARL.

Elizabeth King won the Grand Prize in the 2016 Royal Ascot with her manuscript, TAMING THE EARL.

Rita Inspirational Romance Winner:
A Noble MasqueradePhoto of Kristi Ann Hunter A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter
Baker Publishing Group, Bethany House
Raela Schoenherr, editor
Golden Heart Historical Winner:
Photo of Elizabeth King “The Earl and the Pussycat” by Elizabeth King

Jun 202015

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

This past week, the fellow who reports on sport for the local public radio station did a tongue-in-cheek piece on the recent cheese rolling event which took place in Gloucestershire, England. His intent was to remind his listeners there were sporting activities abroad in the world beyond the upcoming basketball playoffs. However, his report also reminded me that this was an ancient country sport which had been enjoyed in England for several centuries, including during the years of the Regency.

A slice of cheese rolling lore …

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May 122015

So many articles this month! I hope you find some of them to be of interest.

Gillray-very slippy weatherThe prodigiously talented Gillray: http://18thcand19thc.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/james-gillray-prince-of-caricaturists.html

The care and upbringing of foundlings: http://www.thehistoryoflondon.co.uk/thomas-coram-and-the-foundling-hospital/

A London walk: https://londonhistorians.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/footsteps-of-soane-ii/

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Apr 282015

Caricatures were extremely popular during the Regency era. Thousands were produced, ranging from mild criticism to biting satire, and included political, social, and personal commentary. They were printed from etchings or engravings and sold to whoever would pay for them.

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Jan 152015

Assembly Rooms is a collection of links to blogs and articles of interest to lovers of the Regency Era.

Glorious Gothic: http://www.regencyhistory.net/2015/01/strawberry-hill-horace-walpoles-gothic.html

Strawberry Hill by Paul Sandby, courtesy Wikipedia

Strawberry Hill by Paul Sandby, courtesy Wikipedia

An impressive display of carriages: http://www.regencyhistory.net/2014/10/the-national-trust-carriage-museum-at.html Continue reading »

Nov 272014

The holiday of Thanksgiving as it is known in America was not celebrated in England during the Regency. Nevertheless, large game birds were an important part of the autumn season, for many English gentlemen devoted a great deal of time to shooting them. In today’s article, Regency romance author, Regina Scott, whose most recent book is The Bride Ship, gives us the details the annual autumn practice of shooting birds during the Regency. In between parties, of course.

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Nov 102014

Regency romance author, Ann Lethbridge, whose new book, Captured Countess, will be released in December, often writes about Regency fashions at her blog. During the course of her research, she discovered that in the fall of 1813, there were gowns named for a grand fete which had been held that summer at Vauxhall Gardens. The fete was given to celebrate the great victory in Spain which had been won by General, the Marquis of Wellington over the French forces in the Peninsula.

In today’s article, Ann tells us about the grand fete given to celebrate Wellington’s victory at Vittoria. It sounds like quite a crush, at least for some of those in attendance. Perhaps the event might be just the setting for a few scenes in one of your upcoming Regency romances.

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Aug 152014

It is August, which means days are getting shorter, summer is coming to a close and soon it will be time for lots of children to go back to the schoolroom, if they are not there already. In today’s article, romance author, Regina Scott, whose boxed set, Timeless:   Historical Romance Through the Ages, is available now, tells us about the country house parties which often took place in the month of August during the Regency. But these parties were not all bucolic pleasure. Once you know about the many requirements for a guest at one of these parties, would you look for an invitation, or would you settle for the hot and smelly metropolis in August?

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Jun 272014

In today’s article, award-winning Regency romance author, Cheryl Bolen, reviews the book Victorian Parlour Games. As Cheryl tells us, despite its title, this book is a very useful reference for Regency authors who are planning to include the playing of games in their stories. Many of the games in this book were played long before the Victorian era and are quite appropriate to a novel set in the Regency.

Once you read Cheryl’s review, the existence of which game in our favorite period surprises you the most?

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May 112014

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Thanks to a dedicated group of aficionados known as the Dandy Chargers, the velocipede, which Georgette Heyer fans know as the pedestrian curricle, is not a thing of the past. Each year, the Dandy Chargers don Regency dress and ride their historically accurate "dandy-horses" at various historic estates and other venues in Great Britain. Thus, those who would like to see these vehicles in action as they might have appeared during the Regency have an opportunity to do so at one of the Dandy Chargers’ appearances this year.

The 2014 schedule of the Dandy Chargers fourteenth riding season …

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May 032014

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

It is during the years of the Regency that the popularity of these two musical instruments intersect, one rising, the other waning. In fact, many of the more affluent homes during this period had both keyboard instruments. But though they are somewhat similar in appearance, they are very different in terms of their construction, their "touch" when being played, and the quality and volume of the sounds which they can produce.

A number of musical instrument makers produced both types of instruments during these years. Many notable composers composed music for both instruments, including Bach, Mozart, Handel, Haydn, Beethoven, and Scarlatti. Yet, by the time the Regency was over, the pianoforte had won out over the harpsichord. The victory was so complete that vast numbers of harpsichords were destroyed all over Europe. In the Paris Conservatory, for example, they were smashed and used as firewood.

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Mar 082014

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

With jealousy!   Because he did not write it.

Initially published anonymously in the last year of the Regency, this racy novel telling the tales of a young Greek’s adventurous travels through the Levant was a runaway best seller and remained in print for thirty years. Yet few today even know of its existence. It was originally attributed to Lord Byron, but in the second edition, published the following year, the shy yet cultured man who wrote it admitted his authorship. And practically no one believed him.

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Dec 232013

Christmas carols and the practice of caroling during the Regency bear little similarity to the traditions with which we are so familiar today. Regency author, Regina Scott, whose new book, The Wife Campaign, was released this month, shares some insights into the caroling practices which were typical during the Regency, as well some history of carols which are still popular in the twenty-first century.

Given the choice, would you prefer Regency or modern-day caroling practices?

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Sep 042013

The Regency had places where one could go to see wild and exotic animals. One of the most famous was the Royal Menagerie at the Exeter Exchange. But this London amusement had very little in common with the scientifically-managed zoological parks of modern times. Today, Regency romance author, and Beau Monde past President, Regina Scott, provides us with some details of the Menagerie at the Exeter ‘Change. Do you think you would have enjoyed a visit to the Royal Menagerie?

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Jul 172013

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

Those of you, who, from the title above, are expecting an article on bondage involving some ennobled aristocrat born on the wrong side of the blanket, click away now, as you are doomed to disappointment if you continue reading. However, for those of you who have surmised that this article will focus on an arcane secret from the history of books, enlightenment, and I hope a small measure of amusement, will be yours if you persevere to the end of this account.

The bastard title, a now slowly vanishing aspect of book making, from its origins through the Regency…

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Jun 072013

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

The Glass Armonica.   Franklin always said that of all of his many inventions, this musical instrument, which could produce the pure dulcet tones of an angelic choir, was his very favorite. He got the idea while in London, as a representative of the Pennsylvania Legislature to Parliament in the late 1750s. He attended a concert at which music was played on a set of water-tuned wine glasses. He was captivated by the sound, but having an inventive turn of mind, he sought a more efficient and convenient method by which to produce it

Franklin introduced his invention in England in 1762, less than two years after George III had become king. Though he had originally dubbed it the "glassychord," he later changed the name of this instrument to the "glass armonica." In England it was also known as the "glass harp" or "musical glasses." Like Franklin himself, this instrument was very well received and it is estimated that more than four hundred musical works were composed for it. Over the course of the next seventy years at least five thousand instruments were constructed and played throughout Europe and America. Yet, by the death of George IV, it had almost completely disappeared from the musical scene.

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May 102013

What did our Regency ancestors do in the month of May? Today, Regina Scott, Regency romance author, and Beau Monde Chapter past president, tells us about some of the various activities which took place during the month of May in Regency England. Not all of them may have been the type of activities to which the ton flocked, but there seems little doubt they amused a great many people across Britain during the merry month of May.

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May 032013

A cross-post from The Regency Redingote:

One of my favorite signs of Spring is the arrival in my email box of the Dandy Chargers annual schedule of appearances. For those of you who may not know, the Dandy Chargers are a group of gentlemen, and ladies, in Britain, who are aficionados of that particularly Regency vehicle, the velocipede. Readers of the works of Georgette Heyer may also know this vehicle as the pedestrian curricle which wreaked such havoc in her novel Frederica. These two-wheeled, pedal-less vehicles were also known as hobby-horses, draisiennes, or dandy-horses, and were very popular for a short period during the Regency.

Each year, the Dandy Chargers make appearances through the spring and summer at various venues across Britain, in full Regency costume, riding their hobby-horses. For those of you who live in Britain, or will be spending time there during the next few months, I offer the 2013 schedule of the Dandy Chargers appearances for your perusal and edification.

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