Library Services Centre


When the Shonda Rhimes adaptation of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series debuted on Netflix it became an instant success, introducing a whole new audience to these regency period romances. Now, with the second season arriving on Netflix on March 25, curiosity about the Regency period and other Regency set books is sure to peak.


So what exactly is the Regency Period? Technically, it is the period between 1811-1820 in the UK when King George III went bonkers and the government made his son George, Prince of Whales, regent (ruling in his stead). The way the monarchy worked, death was pretty much the only way to remove a king from his throne, so giving Prince George ruling powers was the next best thing. Some experts extend the period into 1837 while George IV and George V ruled, but while it’s not Victorian, it’s not considered true Regency.


Initially, Prince George was a hit, and he was a very romantic figure. By all accounts, he was charming and handsome in his youth, and people took to calling him the first gentleman (Never mind that by the time he became king he was neither of those things anymore and he was highly unpopular and slightly crazy). 


While poor people obviously still existed in Regency England and were no better off than the poor from any other era, the upper classes, who are the focus of Bridgerton, were really rich. These were the Knights, Dukes, Earls, Barons, Lawyers, Bankers, and dudes who had tons of money and didn’t have to work known as Gentleman. As far as status goes, there were different groups and ranks among the upper classes, but no matter which group you belonged to, if you had money, land, and a title, you were set, and it gave you (or bought you) a ticket into the ton (le bon ton) which was Britain’s high society.


The other aspect of Regency England as portrayed in Bridgerton is something called The Season. The Season officially began with the opening of London Parliament in late January, and extended into early July when the weather got hot, and the wealthy fled the city for their country estates or travelled the continent. The Season was essentially the social season for the elite, and was comprised of parties, balls, trips to the theatre, etc… It was also the time when mothers with daughters of marriageable age presented them to society in hopes of finding them a wealthy husband.


You might be wondering what’s so fascinating about the Regency period’s equivalent to today’s 1% that readers and viewers flock to it?


One reason of course is that it’s glamourous. Who doesn’t like to imagine a lifestyle where all you do is  party for 6 months of the year? There is also something very appealing about the manners and elegance of the period.


The Regency period also fell smack dab in the middle of the Romantic Movement (a term used to define art, literature, poetry, music and architecture in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries), and produced famous authors such as Jane Austen, poets such Byron, and composers such as Beethoven to name a few.  Prince George was also famous for his investment in the arts, so culturally it’s a very rich period, and a really unique time.


It was also a time of high stakes, and functioning in society was something like a game of chess. Aristocrats were expected to marry for money, status, or politics, and there was a strict code of behaviour. You couldn’t even kiss a guy without causing a scandal, and there were appropriate times to make social calls, eat a meal, wear certain clothes, etc..  In Bridgerton and other Regency romances, part of the fun is seeing what happens when the charactrs try to step outside of those boundaries and defy social norms.


When selecting a Regency romance, it is also important to distinguish between novels written during the Regency period, traditional Regency romance, and the modern form of historical romance set in the Regency period but a lot sexier.


If reading books authored in the time period interest you, Jane Austen is obviously the most famous and most popular. Her commentary on social conventions and society is still relevant, and most importantly there’s Darcy (the hero of Pride and Prejudice) who is still considered to be the model of a romantic hero 200+ years later.


If you’ve already read and re-read Austen’s cannon until your copies are falling apart but are still interested in a traditional type of Regency novel, check out Georgette Heyer. Heyer was born 80 years after the end of the Regency period. She published her first novel in 1921, and her first regency novel The Convenient Marriage was published in 1934. Her novels are meticulously researched and have everything the romance reader could want- authentic characters, romance, humour, and rich dialogue. 


Amazingly, I never encountered her in any of my English Literature courses in University (maybe because most of my professors were men), but she's considered to be the mother of Regency romance and is noted for putting a more feminist slant on historical romance. 


If modern Regency is what you’re looking for, Bridgerton is an obvious choice. There are eight books in the series (one for each of the children of the late Viscount Bridgerton), and four Bridgerton Prequels featuring the Rokesbys-- the family who lived next door.


Once you’ve finished those, if you’re still looking for parallel authors, here are a few suggestions:


Lisa Kleypas is a highly prolific romance author, and her Wallflowers series focuses on four young ladies in Regency times who enter society with the goal of finding a husband.


Elosia James’ new Would Be Wallflowers series features a Regency period heroine who is about to be launched into society but has no desire to marry, and does everything she can to put off suitors.


Welsh-Canadian author Mary Balogh’s 10 book Westcott series is another popular choice, as is her brand-new Ravenswood series publishing in July 2022.  Similarly to Bridgerton, the Westcott books feature different members of the Westcott family, and they contain all the romance, balls, and scandals readers love about the period.


These are just a few of the most popular choices, but feel free to contact your selector for additional choices in print or on screen.


To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram @LibraryServicesCentre, and on Twitter @LSC_since1967. We also encourage you to subscribe to the Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.


Due to the on-going conflict in the Ukraine, there is a shortage and delay in our supply of Ukrainian language materials. We are continuing to work with our vendors to minimize the disruption in the next couple of months.

There is currently no change in our shipment of Russian language material.

We appreciate your understanding during this difficult time.

Please feel free to reach out and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.


Happy Reading!




Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn


LSC Library Services Centre
April 25, 2022
show LSC's posts
Stef Waring
April 18, 2022
show Stef's posts
Rachel Seigel
April 11, 2022
show Rachel's posts
Systems LSC
February 7, 2022
show Systems's posts
Selection Services
October 18, 2021
show Selection's posts
Karrie Vinters
June 14, 2021
show Karrie's posts
Sara Pooley
April 19, 2021
show Sara's posts

Latest Posts

Show All Recent Posts



Everything Adult Fiction Adult Non Fiction Children’s Fiction Children’s Non Fiction Graphic Novels AV Multilingual Services Announcements Holidays Social Media Events