Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Entertainment in Regency times

I have Ella Quinn on my blog today as my guest.  She is a rising star in the Regency Romance world!  Today she's going to take us back to Regency England...  Take it away, Ella!

As the hot dog days of summer are upon us, I searched for a post to write and decided to look at what the ton would do between the social seasons in London.

Before the Prince Regent, Prinny, built his pavilion in Brighton, the fashionable visited Bath, a resort known for its healing waters. Bath was much stodgier than London, but nevertheless, people of means flocked to the town. Yet, by August, the main source of entertainment were house parties. For those who did not have an estate, it was the means to enjoy country life, it was also a method by which marriage minded mamas could promote their single daughters, and for those not intent on marriage, a place to conduct affairs or compromise a young lady into marriage.

Ones host and hostess were responsible for gathering a convivial group of people. Some of marriageable age, others older. Equal numbers of men and women were desired. Entertainments for both genders were planned, for it wouldn’t do for a guest to complain about being bored. Unlike the house parties you may have seen on TV, ladies did not just sit around in the house. Trips to nearby historical sites would have been planned as well as picnics, horse rides, impromptu and planned balls, musicals, and possibly plays. It was important that young ladies were proficient on the pianoforte, or harp. They were also taught to sing, and men frequently joined a lady in a duet. Though it would have been scandalous for a lady to act in a public play, they were encouraged to take part in private ones. Ladies were also encouraged to learn archery and other outside games.

So now that you’ve ensured your guest are having a wonderful time, how does one get rid of them. Well, one enterprising hostess in Georgette Heyer’s book, False Colors, caused hers to flee by telling them that even though some had sore throats, she was sure there was not scarlet fever in the nearby village.

Alas, the only house party that occurs in The Temptation of Lady Serena is to protect her from the charms of Robert Beaumont.

Here is the blurb for The Temptation of Lady Serena.

Ella Quinn’s bachelors in The Marriage Game series are charming and cunning when it comes to the ways of love—until the right woman captures their unsuspecting hearts…


Custom-made gowns…nights at the theater…and a host of eligible bachelors. Accustomed to living a quiet life in the Scottish Borderlands, Lady Serena Weir has never had any of these luxuries. But when Serena’s brother demands she finally have a Season in London, she’s thrust into a glamorous world she’s only dreamed of…

Robert, Viscount Beaumont remembers all too well what it feels like to be in love. That is why he must keep his distance from Serena. He’s only felt his pulse stir the way it does now when he made the mistake of loving the wrong woman once before. Yet the more he strives to resist his feelings, the nearer he is to falling under Serena’s seductive spell…

 “Supported by a wonderful cast of characters, Quinn’s thoughtfully drawn lovers teach each other the value of love in this delicious Regency treat.” ~ New York Times Bestselling author Eileen Dreyer



Traveling with his valet and groom, Robert hired a chaise and horses. They arrived in the quiet hôtel in Rue St. Honoré, not far from the British embassy, in the afternoon on the third day after he departed Calais. Leaving Henley to take care of the rooms, Robert strode quickly to the embassy. He was searching for the registry when he heard a familiar voice.

“Beaumont! What are you doing here?”

Robert turned to see an old friend from Oxford, Sir Walter Thrashridge. “I could ask the same about you. The last I heard you were in Portugal. Are you posted here now?”

“No, unfortunately, merely passing through to my new posting in Brussels. I’ve seen Evesham.”

Robert fought to keep his irritation at Marcus hidden. “I have come to join them. I was in Yorkshire when they made the decision to travel here. I understand it’s a rather large party. Who else came with them?”

Beaumont waited while Thrashridge thought.

“I remember now. Lord and Lady St. Eth, then a Lord and Lady Rutherford, St. Eth’s sister and other niece, Lady Serena. What a beautiful girl she is, made quite an impression at Lady Elisabeth’s ball t’other evening. In fact, Lady Evesham, Lady Rutherford, and Lady Serena were the principal attractions. Evesham and Rutherford took care to stay by their ladies. With all the expatriates and the Frenchies hovering around Lady Serena, there wasn’t any getting near her.”

Robert stopped himself from grinding his teeth. “Don’t happen to know Evesham’s direction, do you? I only know it is some house he bought.”

“I don’t, but the registry will have it. Are you going there now?”

“That is my intent.”

“Well, I’ll show you the way. There was something else I thought I should say to you.” Thrashridge rubbed his chin. After a moment he smiled. “I’ve got it now. I’m to wish you happy. Who is the young lady?”

“Lady Serena,” Robert said gruffly. And when I find her, I’m going to drag her to Yorkshire where she belongs.

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Ella Quinn lived all over the United States, the Pacific, Canada, England and Europe before finally discovering the Caribbean. She lives in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with her wonderful husband, three bossy cats and a loveable great dane. Ella loves when friends connect with her



Jennifer Lowery Kamptner said...

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing, Ella! Can't wait to read this book!!

Connie said...

I have been lucky enough to have visited Bath and can attest to the fact that it is a lovely city. We had a great time touring around the entire area.

I so enjoyed your informative post and laughed out loud at how the hostess “assured” the guests that it was not Scarlett Fever going around. Very clever!

Good to see you here today, Ella, and so looking forward to reading “The Temptation of Lady Serena."

Liza O'Connor said...

Lucky me got an advance copy and it is fabulous! Definitely put this one on your list to MUST HAVE.

Loved you comments on parties.

kipha said...

LOL Beaumont is just to hilarious! I love seeing him bested!

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Thank you, Kipha!! He has a hard road to hoe, but it's of his own making.

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Liza, thank you. I'm so glad you're enjoying it!!!

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Thank you, Connie. I loved that technique of getting rid of visitors.

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Thank you so much, Jennifer!!

Sandy Owens said...

Great post, Ella. I would love to be able to go back in time and attend a house party for a few long as the guests aren't coughing and it's certainly not Scarlett fever. LOL, that is really funny.

Stacey Brutger said...

Great post. I love the cover.
I think a house party would be lovely!

Can't wait to read this series.

Linda said...

I love it when the hero tries to resist the heroine but can't! Sounds like a great read Ella!

Collette Cameron said...

Two of my favorite ladies in one place!

Great post too. I'm thinking about plastering book covers on the one blank wall in my writing room. I absolutely love yours Ella and Marie.

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Hi Sandy, me too. Thanks for coming by!

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Thank you, Linda. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Collette, I've been thinking about the same thing. I have just the place for them!

Marie Higgins said...

Ella, you are very popular! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has enjoyed your post today!

Collette & Ella - I'm running out of room to put my book covers. hahahaha