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The Regency Years

Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   13 hour(s)
Publication date: 04/30/2019

The Regency Years

During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684419296
Digital Download ISBN:9781684419302


A surprising and lively history of an overlooked era that brought the modern world of art, culture, and science decisively into view.

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Product Description

The Victorians are often credited with ushering in our current era, yet the seeds of change were planted in the years before. The Regency (1811–1820) began when the profligate Prince of Wales—the future King George IV—replaced his insane father, George III, as Britain's ruler.

Around the regent surged a society steeped in contrasts: evangelicalism and hedonism, elegance and brutality, exuberance and despair. The arts flourished at this time with a showcase of extraordinary writers and painters such as Jane Austen, Lord Byron, the Shelleys, John Constable, and J. M. W. Turner. Science burgeoned during this decade, too, giving us the steam locomotive and the blueprint for the modern computer.

Yet the dark side of the era was visible in poverty, slavery, pornography, opium, and the gothic imaginings that birthed the novel Frankenstein. With the British military in foreign lands, fighting the Napoleonic Wars in Europe and the War of 1812 in the United States, the desire for empire and an expanding colonial enterprise gained unstoppable momentum. Exploring these crosscurrents, Robert Morrison illuminates the profound ways this period shaped and indelibly marked the modern world.


“Morrison gathers a broad range of topics into a strong, cohesive and fast moving narrative. An excellent introduction for readers new to the period and a fresh take for Regency enthusiasts.” —Booklist

“Delightful…Morrison’s lively and engaging study not only illuminates these many and rapid changes, but convincingly argues that ‘its many legacies are still all around us.’” —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“A lively new chronicle brings crisp focus to a significant decade in British history and culture…Morrison expertly encapsulates the brief, radical trends and movements of this era.” —Kirkus Reviews

Author Bio

Robert Morrison, author of The Regency Years and The English Opium-Eater, a finalist for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, is Queen's National Scholar at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. He has produced editions of works by Jane Austen, Thomas De Quincey, Leigh Hunt, and John Polidori.