As the patroness of two online discussion lists, Janeites, for Jane Austen Fans, and the Georgette Heyer discussion list, I am just the audience who Kloester's is aiming at with this book, and I have to say she absolutely hit the mark! This is an extraodinary book and one which I will be happily recommending.
I get questions all the time from people who want to write Regency novels and are looking for a good overall book to guide them, and from others who want to know more about the REgency and Georgian world which Heyer inhabited for her unique Drawing Room romantic/comedies. Generally I give them an outline of a series of books which they could read which will give them some background, but there has never been a truly comprehensive book which is both academic, readable, spefcific to the period and general enough to cover everything but still give a confident grasp of detail. This book finally does and well done to Kloester for acheiving that.
Her chapter summaries at the start give you a very good idea of the information covered so you are able to go to what you want immediately - chapters include Up and down the social ladder, Town and country, Man's world, Gentle Sex, on the town, Pleasure haunts, Fashionable resorts, Getting about, What to Wear, Shopping, Eat, Drink and be merry, Sporting life, Business and the military, whos who in the Regency includes extremely useful appendixes such as glossary of cant terms, newspapers and magazines, book in heyer, timeline, reading about REgency, where to go next and so forth with some excellent references for easy access - I was also flattered to find my own website in the www addresses so thanks for that too Jennifer.
I was surprised to see a reviewer saying that there was no new information in this. I strongly contest this. Kloester has done more than simply rehash old information, she has provided some new insights for me (I never knew for instance that Rotten Row) was originally Rue de Roi - or street of the King - but she has used her extensive knowledge of Heyer novels to reference items in the REgency.
This is not the sort of book where you can find analysis of Heyer's novels one by one - Hodge's excellent work, the Private World of Georgette Heyer which has just been reissued is definitely the book for that. However you can read about REgency life in here with reference to Heyer's novels.
I would highly recommend this to all Regency fans, those who wish to write a novel, and those who simply wish to understand more in one handy reference book. This is an excellent jumping off point for further reading, but it is also an extremely good book for any fans of the REgency knowledgeable or otherwise. I will definitely be reading anything else Kloester publishes!