With my recent discussion on Jane Austen, I thought that it might be appropriate for me to list the materials that I would use in preparing the event. This is actually a scaled-down list of materials that I used for a research project of my own, so many of the titles are scholarly works that don’t exactly invite casual perusing. That said, I really think that they’re beneficial for anyone who wants a reasonable view of daily life during the Georgian and Regency periods.
Let me explain that: As a former historical reenactor, one of the things many of us attempted to do was “put ourselves” in that time period. That meant having an idea of pertinent political and social issues, an understanding of basic etiquette, foods, drinks, and social customs, and an awareness of what an average person might know at the time. This list is tailored for that type of understanding. It is by no means comprehensive, but the works listed here are pretty helpful and interesting all the same.
For an overview of Jane Austen and her social environment:
Adkins, Roy, and Lesley Adkins. Jane Austen’s England: Daily Life in the Georgian and Regency Periods. New York: Penguin Books, 2013.
Kloestre, Jennifer. Georgette Heyer’s Regency World: The Definitive Guide for All Fans of Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, and the Glittering Regency Period. Sourcebooks, 2010.
Pool, Daniel. What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist – the Facts of Daily Life in 19th-Century England. Touchstone, 1993.
Sullivan, Margaret C. The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World. New York: Quirk Books, 2007.
Watkins, Susan. Jane Austen: In Style. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996.
For an more specific look at early 19th century Britain:
Adkins, Roy and Lesley Adkins. Nelson’s Trafalgar: The Battle That Changed the World. New York: Penguin Press, 2004.
_____. The War for the Oceans: From Nelson at the Nile to Napoleon at Waterloo. New York: Penguin Books, 2006.
Briggs, Asa. The Age of Improvement, 1783-1867. Harlow, England and New York: Longman, 2000.
Chandler, James. England in 1819: The Politics of Literacy Culture and the Case of Romantic Historicism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
Clark, J. C. D. English Society, 1660-1832: Religion, Ideology and Politics During the Ancien Regime. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Colley, Linda. Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992.
_____. Captives: Britian, Empire, and the World, 1600-1850. New York: Anchor Books, 2002.
Cookson, J. E. Lord Liverpool’s Administration: The Crucial Years, 1815-1822. Hamden, CT: Archon Books; Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, Ltd., 1975.
Davidoff, Leonore and Catherine Hall. Family Fortune. Revised edition. London & New York: Routledge, 2002.
Gatrell, V. A. C. The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People, 1770-1868. London: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Halévy, Elie. England in 1815. E. I. Watkin and D. A. Barker, trans. London: Ernest Benn, Ltd, 1913; New York: Barnes and Noble, 1968.
Herold, J. Christopher. Age of Napoleon. New York: Mariner Books, 1963.
Hilton, Boyd. A Mad, Bad, & Dangerous People? England 1783-1846. Oxford University Press, 2008.
_____ That Age of Atonement: The Influence of Evangelicanism on Social and Economic Thought, 1795-1865. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Himmelfarb, Gertrude. The Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age. New York: Alfred A.Knopf, 1984.
Hobsbawm, Eric. The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848. 1962. New York: Vintage Books, 1996.
Holmes, Richard. Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket. New York: HarperCollins, 2001.
James, Lawrence. The Middle Class: A History. London: Little, Brown, 2006.
Linebaugh, Peter. The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Markham, Felix. Napoleon. New York: Mentor, 1966.
Midgley, Claire. Women Against Slavery: The British Campaigns, 1780-1870. London and New York: Routledge, 1992.
Murray, Venetia. An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England. New York: Penguin Books, 1998.
Pollock, Linda A. Forgotten Children: Parent-Child Relations from 1500 to 1900. London: Cambridge University Press, 1983.
Stone, Lawrence. The Family, Sex and Marriage in England,1500-1800. Abridged edition. New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1979.
Sydney, William Connor. The Early Days of the Nineteenth Century in England, 1800-1820. 2 volumes. London: George Redway, 1898.
Walvin, James. English Urban Life, 1776 – 1851. London: Hutchinson, 1984.
_____. The Quakers: Money and Morals. London: John Murray, 1997.
_____, ed. Slavery and British Society, 1776-1846. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982.
Wasson, Ellis Archer. Whig Renaissance: Lord Althorp and the Whig Party, 1782-1845. New York & London: Garland Publishing, 1987.
Wilberforce, William. A Practical View of Christianity. Edited by Kevin Charles Belmonte. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1996.
Wilson, Ben. The Making of Victorian Morals: Decency and Dissent in Britain, 1789-1837. New York: Penguin Books, 2007.