I love Regency romance and one day I will write a true Regency era romance, but I have become quite found of the freedom I have with Sci-Regency. I’ve talked before about how I ended up with the Sci-Regency because gay relationships were punishable by death at the time and I did not like the bittersweetness of death looming over my characters. Though its always good to know history, sometimes it doesn’t make for the best reading especially where romance is concerned.
History while extremely important to know—I am a firm believer in that saying about being doomed to repeat history if we don’t learn it—is not always glamorous. Take the lack of air conditioning? Can you imagine all those sweaty bodies packed into a ballroom? Or how about the lack of electricity. I don’t know about you but losing electricity puts my family in a murderous rage. Well not really, but close enough, you certainly don’t want to be around any of us for more than a minute if we don’t have simple things like lights, cool air (we do live in Texas), and refrigerated food, not to mention computers, video games and TV. Oh and don’t for get…this is a BIG one: indoor plumbing! I think we can all agree on that one. Then there are all the medical advancements and transportation. But those things are even the hardest to remember. No there are other things to consider, like social customs, word choice, and legalities (ie: women’s rights, property rights, things like freedom of speech that all of us Americans take for granted).
Are you getting an idea why I haven’t written a true Regency and hopefully gaining respect for authors who are brave enough to tackle historical romance?
In my Sci-Regency, I try to use some of the things we all love about the era, but I’m not a stickler. I definitely use my own liberties. It was never meant to be a true reflection of the Regency, but a dabbling, a taste, a modern version with technology. I pick and choose what to use and what not to. The customs of my Sci-Regency and the social mandates are no where near as strict as they were in 1811. The things that could actually ruin a ladies reputation were insane by our standards. My gentlemen have some of that, but not nearly as strict. The lack of rights? Well, I certainly didn’t use that. My gentlemen can own property and are not in essence property themselves, but I did give them the restriction of age as they are not considered of age until twenty-five. Technology? Well, my guys have everything from space travel, to horses and traditional carriages, to hover vehicles. It’s really too bad we can all do in life what I get to do in stories: pick the things we like.
I don’t write true Regency romance but I do love and respect it. I keep saying… “one day.” If you have not read a true Regency romance, I urge you to do so. I have tons of recommendations for awesome authors, or check out my RWA chapter, The Beau Monde or for other historical genres go to Hearts Through History.