Regency romances

JOdel at aol.com JOdel at aol.com
Tue Jul 18 21:43:18 EDT 2000


In a message dated 7/18/00 4:54:40 PM, amaebi at iwon.com writes:

>I wanted to assure those who haven't read any and may be quivering in horror
>about the erotic/romantic glorification of abusive males that this is far
>from being an invariable feature of the genre.

That's sure the truth. Although this isn't as reliable nowadays, the original 
facination with Regencies (as opposed to most other romance sub-genres) was 
that they were usually attempts at sophisticated comedies of manners. 
Stylized as puppet theater or Comedia del Arte sometimes, but they were WITTY.

Unfortunately, a lot of publishers and would-be writers didn't get it and the 
well got pretty badly polluted. But there are still a few out there who can 
do comedy, and even a few who can do comedy of manners. Not all, by a long 
chalk, but those of us who still read them keep hoping. But, yeah, "Regency" 
these days is often just a choice of costume. Evidently it is easier to write 
romance than wit.

BTW, While the strong-minded and ever-battling hero & heroine and the 
"dashing & dangerous" hero were always standard variants in Regencies--as in 
every other romance style, I suspect--not that I'd know, the genuinely 
brutal/abusive hero model only got spliced in after bodice rippers hit it big 
in the late '70s -early '80s. They were enough to give me the pip. No wit or 
humor to that sort of thing at all...
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