Regency England: recent mail

November 30, 2020 at 10:24 am (books, entertainment) (, , )


A bit of a surprise arrived last week, just in time for Thanksgiving: Ian Mortimer’s book, The Time Traveller’s Guide to Regency Britain.

I had ordered TWO items via eBay — a Christmas Stollen and a book (old; used) that documents the history of a Vermont family in the 19th century. The stollen was there, on the stoop. The book, I assumed, was the cardboard box in the mailbox.

Imagine my disbelief when the book within turned out to be hardcover (not paperback) and BRAND NEW, just released in November/December 2020!

From time to time I _do_ get review copies. One received last year won’t have its review published until 2021 – for JASNA News agreed to host it (with one other “fashion” book). Usually review copies are sent from the publisher, and usually they have marketing paperwork tucked inside. This one came from Amazon — so I asked a couple of friends: “Did you send me…?” (they know I hate them to spend money on me – but they also know my To-Be-Read piles grow, nearly weekly).
Their responses: “Not Me.”

So, logical conclusion: the book came as a review copy, perhaps from a stash sent to Amazon, in order not to clog the Christmas mails.

With Regency Britain, author Ian Mortimer adds to his ranks of Time Traveller’s Guides. Earlier entries are: The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England (2008); The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England (2010); and The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration England (2017).

Mortimer’s early entries make sense when seeing the other books on his roster. In a blog post about his earliest, entitled, The Greatest Traitor: the Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England, 1327-1330 (2003), Mortimer spins a tale that began with the “similar name” game and ended with a revelatory concluding chapter.

For Regency Britain, Mortimer extends the actual period of “the Regency” in order to discuss the period 1789 through 1830, thereby touching on the French Revolution through to the end of George IV’s reign.

“And like all periods in history, it was an age of many contradictions – where Beethoven’s thundering Fifth Symphony could have its UK premier in the same year that saw Jane Austen craft the delicate sensitivities of Persuasion.”

A book on the larger side (perfect for covid lockdowns as well as gift-giving), it boasts 432 pages; color illustrations; an index; chapter endnotes. Getting some good reviews in the UK press.

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