06 DecBook of Love For Regency Romance Era Cynics

Cynical Thoughts on Love and Lovers For Lovers of Regency Romance Novels…And Others
Alabaster—Kind of beautiful white marble, so much used in novels for ladies’ necks and shoulders that very little is left for ordinary consumption. Very rare now in the trade, still very common in poetry.

Alibi—An aunt for wives; the club for husbands.

Ardour—Heat, extreme and dangerous. Those who gamble with ardour ruin their families; those who work with ardour ruin their health; those who study with ardour go to a lunatic asylum; those who love with ardour get cured more quickly than others.

Argus—Domestic spy. Juno gave him a cow to look after. With his hundred eyes he did not find out that the cow was no other than a woman, Io.

Attraction—Force which tends to draw bodies to each other. Isaac Newton thought he had discovered the principle of universal attraction when he watched an apple fall. Eve had discovered it five thousand years earlier.

Austerity—Self-control which enables a man or a woman to receive a call from Cupid without inviting him to stay to dinner.

Boudoir—From the French bouder (to sulk). Coquettish little room where women retire when they have a love-letter to write or any other reason for wishing to be left alone.

Candour—A virtue practised by women who do not understand what they know perfectly well.

Collection—Hobby. Men collect flies, beetles, butterflies. Women collect faded flowers, hair, letters, and photographs.

Duenna—Old woman who watches over the good conduct of young girls and of married women. In the second case, her wages are higher.

Egotism—Piece of ground on which Love builds his cottage.

Love—A disease which mankind escapes with still more difficulty than the measles. It generally attacks men at twenty and women at eighteen. Then it is not dangerous. At thirty you are properly inoculated; it is, as it were, part of your system. At forty it is a habit. After sixty the disease is incurable.

To Love—Active verb—very active—the most active of all.

Mystery—The principal food of love. This is probably why elevated souls have raised love to the level of religion.

Nest—Sweet abode made for two. He brings soft moss, she a few bits of grass and straw; then both give the finishing touch by bringing flowers.

Passion—Violent affection that always finishes on a cross.

Platonic (love)—A kind of love invented by Plato, a philosopher who sat down at table only to sleep. Advice: If ever Platonic love knocks at your door, kick him down your stairs unmercifully, for he is a prince of humbugs.

Resolution—A pill that you take every night before going to bed, and which seldom produces any effect.

Respect—A dish of which women are particularly fond in public, and which they seldom appreciate in private. How many women would be happier if their husbands respected them less and loved them more!

Servitude—Most bitter and humiliating state when it is forced upon us by poverty; most sweet when it is imposed on a man by the woman whom he loves.

Tact—The quality that, perhaps, of all, women admire most in men. The next is discretion.

Veil—Piece of lace which women put over their faces to excite the curiosity of the passers-by. Women get married with a white veil, but they always flirt with a black one.

Officially, most historians will agree that the dates of Regency Romance Era England extend only from 1811 to 1820 when King George III was deemed unfit to rule by reason of insanity and his son Prince George IV-more familiarly known to all lovers of Regency Romance era novels as Prinny-ruled by proxy as the Prince Regent. However, as I, and most lovers of the Regency Romance era in general will quickly tell you, they don’t really care so much for the formal politics of the era as they do the culture, architecture, literature, fashions, and romanticized societal norms. It is, in fact, the unique culture of the era and the romantic doings of the wealthy classes as most often presented by Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer that draw the Regency lover’s attention and hold our hearts. Therefore, for these purposes, this most romantic of eras can easily be extended from 1795 when The Prince Regent wed Caroline of Brunswick, until the death of his brother and heir William IV in 1837 when Queen Victoria ascended the British throne ushering in an era of change.

Teresa Thomas Bohannon.

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