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on 2 July 2006
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!

A Woodley
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on 7 February 2008
Readers of Regency literature should be delighted to find this informative and well-written book newly available in paperback. Jennifer Kloester has really delved into the heart of the upper echelons of society during the Regency period and her book provides a substantive, yet easy-to-read, account of many different aspects of Regency culture.

Aimed at Heyer fans, with constant references back to characters in Georgette Heyer novels, it's also going to appeal to Austen fans and general readers alike. I found it fascinating to read about the different layers in upper class society and the finer points of etiquette and moral standards. I'd always wondered what the differences were between fops and bucks and dandys, and I had never had any idea at all of what a nonpareil was! It's interesting too to read about the details of the London Season - the most fashionable places to be seen, who would be invited to what, and in particular to read about the most exclusive establishment of Almack's and the highly sought after vouchers for visiting there.

You'll find a wealth of easily accessible information packed into these pages and it's sure to help enhance the enjoyment of all Regency novels, not just Georgette Heyer's. One very small gripe would be that there are the odd occasions in the book where I would have liked a footnote or reference to where the information had come from. An impressively researched and readable reference book.
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I first read Georgette Heyer's novels over 30 years ago and I wish this book had been around then. It makes interesting reading for anyone interested in social history as well as fans of Heyer's novels. There are chapters on famous people of the era, newspapers and magazines, clothes, shops and books read as well as food eaten and social etiquette.

Most of the information is referenced to one or more of Heyer's Regency novels. The only down side as far as I am concerned is that it only covers the Regency novels and some of my particular favourites were set in the eighteenth century, but as a companion to the Regency novels alone this is excellent.

The book contains a historical timeline of events from the start of the Georgian era to the end of the Regency - which is useful. There are also brief plot summaries of the 26 Regency novels. I found the book revived happy memories of reading Georgette Heyer's novels and I have gone back to re-reading them all with pleasure. It is written in an accessible style and is very enjoyable to read - I recommend it.
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on 11 February 2006
Caution: The Regency World of Georgette Heyer will make you want to reread Georgette Heyer -- in particular Friday's Child and Regency Buck. It is the ideal present for someone who loves Georgette Heyer and is interested in the world she created and the world of the Regency. All manner of things are explained and a very useful guide to cant is included.
An excellent addition to guides about the Regency.
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on 3 November 2005
An incredibly detailed work that must sit alongside not only the reader of Georgette Heyer's Regency novels but anyone interested the Regency period. What a wonderfully detailed account of all facets of life in this short but rich social period!
This compendium contains a wealth of information that will answer any query the reader might have regarding life in the Regency period - from clothes and accessories; sports; people; medical treatments; transport and much, much more. The information is very quick and easy to access via the appropriate chapters and the comprehensive index. The author's informative and entertaining style of writing is complemented by Graeme Tavendale's superbly detailed illustrations.
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on 29 January 2006
I'd expected a "scholarship for the layman" work, but the author appears merely to have culled much of the content from Heyer's novels. There's no bibliography, and I found the illustrations -- all line drawings by the same artist (and I use the term loosely)-- coarsely drawn. The best part of the book was the cover. Don't buy this without looking through it first. I returned the book to the seller and asked for my money back.
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on 28 February 2011
This is an excellent reference book and a most enjoyable read for any Heyer fan. If, like me, you have ever read 'Arabella' and wondered what a 'cestus' is, or have skimmed over unfamiliar phrases such as 'boxing the watch' then this book is very enlightening in these and many other instances. The author's list-style presentation of her research provides a wealth of background information and an overview of daily life as portrayed in the Heyer books. I also gained a clearer knowledge of the individuals within the Royal family; other notable figures of the day and the historical events referred to by Heyer.

The author has clearly done a lot of research and this shows, for example, in the description of White's Club (p268) when she refers to specific bets actually placed in the betting book by Beau Brummell. In agreement with other reviews, I would have liked more of this type of historical information throughout to flesh out the author's assertion of fact along with references and quotes from contemporary sources. In addition, a few colour plates of illustrations would also have been helpful.

That aside, for a reader with a general interest in the Regency era this is probably a good starting point. However, for anyone with a specific interest in the work of Georgette Heyer then Jennifer Kloester's book ticks most of the boxes. It increased both my knowledge of the era and my respect for the depth of Heyer's research. I will be very happy to keep this book on my shelf for reference.
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on 6 February 2006
This is mildly interesting if you're a fan of the Georgette Heyer books/Regency period with nice illustrations, but it does read rather like a school essay. However what I found most disappointing is that it doesn't really add a great deal of background information to what you can get in the novels, assuming they're all historically accurate, which they seem to be. The author essentially collates information on various topics from the different novels and presents it methodically with a bit of extra detail here and there. I think it would also have been worthwhile to have brought in the novels of Jane Austen, which were after all written in the same period and probably used as source material by Georgette Heyer.
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on 4 December 2011
I really would not recommend this book to anyone hoping to learn a bit more about the real life characters, places and language which make Georgette Heyer novels so engrossing to fans.

The content is extremely superficial, telling the reader little more than they can learn just by reading Heyer's books, I was certainly not satisfied that the questions I had were answered. I think a feel of the behaviour expected of the upper classes can be better obtained from Mrs Beeton and I have been able to find better information on characters such as Charles Fox, Petersham and Golden Ball on the internet.

The writing is poor; the author apparently studied Heyer's works for a PhD but the language does not have the level of quality that you would expect in a book written by someone so highly educated in a litereary subject. Phrases have often been taken directly from Georgette Heyer's work and sit awkwardly in what the reader expects to be a reference book.

I was disappointed to have wasted my money on this book and wish I had got round to borrowing it from my local library before I moved abroad after all. I would recommend anyone who really does want to read this for themselves to ask their library to get a copy in. Don't waste your money buying it.
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on 3 April 2006
This is a very helpful reference book to those who read and enjoy the novels of Georgette Heyer. There are descriptions of places, clothing, customs and language which gives more of an insight into the situations in which the novels are set. Almost every point seems to be backed up with reference to one of the Regency Romances so it certainly helps to have read them all to understand these comparisons, not that they are strictly necessary.
What irritated me about it was that she uses Heyer's language throughout - she'll describe someone as "a real top 'o the trees" (for example - not sure if she DOES use that example) rather than "an excellent horse rider and sportsman". Although she supplies the glossary, if you weren't familiar with Heyer's writings you'd need to look up most of the body text of Kloester's text. I can't understand why she didn't use modern language for her modern audience and I found it grated very quickly. It's a book to read in short bursts as a reference, not all the way through.

It also read rather like a thesis to me - continual reference to the primary sources, the novels - sometimes unnecessarily. Lots of the information was helpful but I couldn't help feeling that it needed the language to be more detached from Heyer's own words. It's meant to be a modern reference book, not a Regency one.
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