cover image Our Tempestuous Day: A History of Regency England

Our Tempestuous Day: A History of Regency England

Carolly Erickson. William Morrow & Company, $18.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-06086-2

In this chronicle of Regency England (18101820), popular historian Erickson shows that her considerable skills aren't limited to the depiction of Tudor monarchs (Bloody Mary, Great Harry, etc.). The change in period has been beneficial: her recent 16th century biography, Mistress Anne, had a desultory quality that has been avoided in this colorful, entertaining portrait of a turbulent time. In 1810, when George III was declared mentally incapable of governing, his eldest and least favorite son, later George IV, became Regent. He was a fitting figurehead for a gaudy, self-indulgent age, when aristocrats drank, dined and gambled until dawn while an increasingly restless populace chafed under miserable living conditions and an economic crisis created by a century of near-constant warfare. The battle of Waterloo in 1815 ended the Napoleonic Wars, but only made the situation in England more volatile, as thousands of soliders returned home to unemployment and poverty. Erickson vividly recreates an unsettled, intriguing era, focusing on a few key events and personalities to give readers a sense of the Regency's flavor. 25,000 first printing, $20,000 ad/promo. Foreign rights: Lynn Nesbit, ICM. (February 21)