Eighty years ago, in 1935, the very first Regency romance novel went to press. That novel, Regency Buck, was written by Georgette Heyer. It was not her first novel. In fact, Heyer had been writing historical fiction for more than fifteen years, and Regency Buck was her seventeenth novel. She had set her stories in a number of different time periods before she chose the scant decade of the Regency for her new book. Though few people, beyond a small number of historians, knew much about that period of time prior to 1935, before the year was out, many readers of historical romance were seeking to return to that so very elegant period in the pages of more Regency novels. Over the course of her career, Heyer would go on to write more than twenty-five novels which were set during the Regency. They sold so well that other authors began doing the same, and thus was born the Regency romance genre.
As most visitors here know, the Beau Monde is the specialty chapter of Romance Writers of America which is dedicated to the Regency. We simply cannot let this important anniversary of our favorite romance genre pass unnoticed. Therefore, throughout 2015, we will be posting articles here, each one written by one of our members, about Heyer’s Regency novels. These articles will be posted in the order in which the novels were originally published. We will also be posting articles about several of Heyer’s other historical novels, since many of our members write historical romances set in periods other than the Regency. These articles about Heyer’s books will not be standard reviews. Rather, they will serve as a point of departure to discuss her work and Regency romance in general. We also hope each article will generate discussions on the topic among our blog visitors as well, and we invite everyone to post comments to the articles with their own thoughts and opinions.
The Beau Monde would like to thank Mari Christie (who writes Regencies as Mariana Gabrielle) for our lovely new Regency Turns 80 image. In addition to writing romance, Mari also provides a number of services to authors above and beyond her talents as a designer.