Author Eileen PutmanWriting, like life, is a work in progress, and thus never perfect. Still, you do give it your best shot. Nathaniel Hawthorne once bitterly opined that the profession is plagued by “a damned mob of scribbling women,” but I am quite content to be in their number.

If, like me, you adore Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, you are likely a Regency buff. I do not put myself in that writerly pantheon but merely note that once the Regency bug bites, there is usually no cure. The Regency was a fascinating period in England from 1811 to 1820, when King George III was deemed unfit and his son—later George IV—was Prince Regent. Austen, their contemporary, mined the period for satire and comedy. More than a century later Heyer’s novels put her stamp on the Regency genre. 

The Regent himself was a much-lampooned figure who spent lavishly at a time when people were starting to resent it. The Napoleonic wars, Industrial Revolution and poverty challenged the status quo. Fashion was one convention by which the British aristocracy held out its pre-eminence, and perhaps no one exemplified that more than Beau Brummell. Legend had it he took five hours to dress and polished his Hessian boots with champagne.

My own love of the period has inspired research trips to England, Wales, Ireland, France and other countries, there being no substitute for stepping on the soil that Brummell once trod.