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Prince of Pleasure and His Regency, 1811-20: Prince Regent Hardcover – 1 Sep 1969
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About the Author
Born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1894, J.B. Priestley served in the infantry in the First World War before taking a degree at Cambridge University. Journalist, critic, novelist and playwright, Priestley was awarded the Order of Merit in 1977 and died in 1984. He is also the author of THE EDWARDIANS published in Penguin Classic History. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
This book is the second book that I have read on the ‘Regency’ period, which is such a fascinating period for all sorts of reasons with many outlandish characters and behaviours.
It was too a period of great culture with the likes of Austin, Shelly, Byron, Yeats, Constable, Turner and Wordsworth to mention but a few.
Many things were invented during this era and came into being – steam trains, cotton mills (Arkwright), mining, gas lightning, again to mention but a few.
The times saw beautiful, if ‘over the top’ décor and architecture - Brighton Pavilion, though it is hard to believe that people were still hung and then beheaded in public! It was a time when the rich stayed rich and the poor get poorer and poorer and their little boys were sold or kidnapped and then thrust up chimneys!
This book is very well researched with limitless details of major players and events. I found ‘Peterloo’ particularly interesting and informative.
The book deals with the ‘extravagant’ reign of George 1V (The Prince Regent) but encompasses so much more of the period, events and players. The pictures and plates are first class. I found it an excellent and thoroughly satisfying read, not to mention quite humorous in places.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The writer is too much of his time, a bit obsessed with judging all the people as to whether they were "truly female" or "real men," whether they were properly mature or "giant children." That, and to cover his vast subject (the entirety of England of note and commonality both, not just the Regent and the ton), for people he often relies too heavily on 'The Dictionary of National Biography', taking its fourth-hand judgements rather too seriously beyond the mere facts of birth, death, marriage and offspring. His bibliography lists better books, which he might have paid more attention to.
Yes, I read the text as well as looked at the pictures, which are sometimes three per page. This is the other problem. To cram this many on in the wide borders results in them often being tiny and dark, so that any detail, sometimes any sense or image, is lost. In many cases, items with captions or speech balloons are unreadable. This is the publisher's fault: they could have either reduced the number of illustrations, making more of them valuable rather than blobby, or they could have allowed more pages and put less text per page around larger images.
That done with, if the subject interests you, I can't recommend this too highly. The pictures that are visible are a valuable cross selection, like a box full of snapshots of everywhere: machinery, grand houses, frost fairs on the Thames, bridges, furniture, mail coaches in thunderstorms, and a constant stream of portraits. If you have been studying this period a while, finally seeing the faces of the names often mentioned adds a whole level of illumination.
As well, the text is marvelously informative on a vast number of subjects. Organization year by year helps the reader see when different influences struck, rather than making it difficult to co-ordinate the war, home politics, and shifts in the arts because they're in separate chapters. Yes, sometimes he does stop to give background on an item only in this year first really important, or move forward to sum up the future of someone he means to not bring up again (and not leave the reader hanging and wondering). It's done very smoothly.
It's a good book to read cover to cover, yet one can then keep it at chairside and dip into it anywhere for a few minutes of entertainment and education. All in all, both a fun book and a good book, a combination rarely found.
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