Why Regency Historicals?

Ah, the British Regency – when the men were men, the women were ladies, and someone else did the housework.

For years, this was RWA’s sub-genre description for Regency romance. This definition gets the job done: The men of the Regency are easily depicted as rakish, brooding lords-of-the-manor. The heroines wear long dresses and take high tea—but more interestingly, they maneuver life through a myriad of constricting social expectations and consequences. Add to that the butlers, governesses, stable boys, and housekeepers who take care of (or complicate) the mundane business of everyday life, and you have a grown-up fairy tale just waiting to happen.

The Regency also has build-in plot devices that make the journey to happily-ever-after as scenic as possible: Arranged marriages, marriages of convenience, “ruined” debutantes, impoverished aristocrats who marry for money, impoverished ladies who marry to survive, highwaymen, pistols at dawn, the London “season…” – the list goes on and on.

There is also the thrill of history and learning new things about places and people who loved and lived 200 years ago. It’s nice to escape to a world where no one is expected to remember his or her online password.

And while I enjoy history and make every effort to be accurate, the sensibilities of my characters—progressive, outspoken women who make their own way, men who respect women and regard them as equals—are decidedly modern day. In this, the heroes and heroines in a Charis Michaels’ story tend to be 21st-century characters in 19th-century costumes.

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