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What is Regency Period?

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Nayun Kim

on 7 October 2013

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Transcript of What is Regency Period?

Regency Period in England
What is Regency Period? Who is in Power?
King George III was King of the United Kingdom, but he became insane and the Prince of Wales was appointed as Regent of England (basically, he replaced George III). His period of rule became known as the Regency Period, succeeding the Georgian era and preceding the Victorian era. This Regency lasted from 1812 to 1820, when the Prince Regent became King George IV. It was a period marked by:
- Britain's defeat of France
- An extravagant aristocracy
- Elegant taste and style
- Divisive social structure
- Great social/political change.
How is Austen’s world affected by such international developments as the Napoleonic War, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution?
The presence of militia in England was caused in part by the Napoleonic Wars. The threat of invasion from France was always present, so the British government had militias formed all over the country to prepare for such an attack. As seen in the novel, the muscular frame of militia officers against their tight uniforms became a notorious attraction.
What elements of popular culture mark this period?
Art & Artists
English painters of the Regency Period were among the greatest artists the world has seen.
In portraits and landscapes, watercolor and oil, they excelled in portraying their world--accurately and honestly. They gave their period a unique look. Unfortunately, female artists have been sadly neglected that even in modern society, it is quite hard to find the pieces.
The graphics of paints were illustrated in realistic ways, following the trends dominated by the continuing trends from the Georgian period
Portraits, landscapes, sceneries reveal the paintings’ primary purpose was to serve as photographs of today.
Famous Artist and the piece
Jacques-Louis David's portraits of the Revolution
As David was one of the most influential French painters in the Neoclassical style, his intellectual and rational style of historical paintings marked a changes of taste and style of the painting: from Rococco frivolity toward the classical austerity and severity
Other famous paintings : are his portraits of Napoleon in the "Empire style", noted for his use of warm Venetian colors

How close to reality was P&P regarding the role of a woman?
Not much of "rights"
Primary goal: To have a successful marriage with a wealthy man
Means of elevating the family's social status
After the American Revolution, Great Britain suffered from the trauma of its loss. Not only was the economy disrupted by losses in trade, the huge financial costs of the war itself burdened the government with massive debts, and a large part of its American empire was lost.
Brtiain and the United States remained enemies, and a dispute over Canada sparked the War of 1812. This conflict was resolved in 1814, and the two countries still maintained strong trade relations, but tensions still remained over issues like slavery.
The French Revolution and the subsequent collapse of the Bourbon monarchy had alarmed many neighboring countries, including Britain.
For the first time in European history, the people had risen up, deposed their leader, and formed a government of their own.
As a result, social and political unrest grew in England as people started demanding reform.
Though Britain was already a constitutional monarchy, it agreed with absolute monarchies like Austria that it did not want a republican France.
The ruling classes and landowners particularly disliked France, as they did not want the lower classes to gain their own rights.

Purchasing music sheets was expensive during the Regency era.
People would loan sheet music to each other,which they would then copy into notebooks
In what ways would these topics have influenced the novel?
By: Nayun Kim and Ku Yong Lee
Gown or Dress:
The gown was at least ankle length and had a very high “empire” waist.
The sleeves could be short or wrist length as each style was popular at different times. Even a few sleeveless gowns were seen early in the period.
The fabric was usually light in color with solid white being the favorite of the era. Small patterns and vertical stripes were also used.
Good fabric choices would be lightweight such as cotton batiste, lightweight cotton muslin or a silk such as charmeuse that isn’t too stiff but has a good “drape” to it.
Sometimes a very light semi-transparent overdress was worn on top of the main article. White cotton voile or silk chiffon might be good fabrics for such an option. Trim could be in the form of piping, metallic braid or ribbon.

The poke bonnet was the signature headwear for ladies of the period.
It was long and scoop shaped, sometimes compared unfavorably to a coal scuttle in appearance.
Straw “cartwheel” hats, often plumed, were very popular both before and into the 1790s and would have a resurgence in popularity in future decades as well.
Turbans and ostrich feathers were quite in "vogue" (trend) for a time particularly for formal occasions, as were diadems (tiara)
Hats and Bonnets:
Many of the songs that were popular during the Regency era were franker than the topics that ladies of the Regency were allowed to conduct in polite conversation.
"Amateur orchestras in city taverns or in gentlemen’s clubs competed with the professional concerts that began to sprout up in public places." (- The Rage for Music, Simon McVeigh)
Local musicians would be hired for assembly balls in small towns. Musicians with a more professional background would be enlisted to play at more stylish events, like the Netherfield Ball.
Pride and Prejudice is set against the backdrop of the zeitgeist of the Regency Period. Socially, the atmosphere of the times are reflected in such things as:

- Marriage etiquette
- Social stratification
- Primogeniture

Marriage Etiquette
Mrs Bennet's obsession about arranging marriage of her daughters: using her daughters as means of elevating the family's social status
Social Stratification
Mr Darcy's pride instigates him to feel guilty about his feelings toward Elizabeth
" Lack of inferiority shown by your mother, sisters, even in the occasion of your father"
Lady Catherine's emphasis about social status- she thinks she is above the rest of the social inferiors-
The English peerage system (which still exists today) gave titles (e.g. Lord, Baron) to nobles, thereby putting them at the pinnacle of English society.
Inheritance conflict between Mr Darcy and Wickham leading to Ms Darcy's marriage conflict with Mr Wickham
Mr Collins' proposal to Elizabeth because of the property inheritance
Full transcript