Regency London: traipsing around the ol’ haunts

The British Library has a great wall of books encased in glass towering over cafe clientele – it’s as mouth-watering as the cakes…

Another of my ‘trawling-through-old-photos-I-took-for-blog-posts’ posts today! These babies are proving their worth, I’m so glad I took them all, it’s great to go through them, not only so I can post lovely things on here but also to realise all the research I’ve done over the last few years and the cool places I’ve been.

Sometimes, as a younger author I feel a bit like I haven’t enough time to fit in all the knowledge. My friend Bennetts used to say, ‘Well, I’ve been doing it for 20 years’ a kind of, come back then and tell me if you feel the same, sort of comment. 6 years later (so not the whole-hog I grant you) and going through these photos is making me realise that I have done more than I thought and it has only grown my love (not my, ‘I need to do this’ comparison stuff) of history and learning.

Jane Austen’s London, eh?

So, I went to London with a friend a few years back and we had a jolly ol’ time going to the Georgian’s Revealed exhibition at the British Library (I had never been though both my novels had migrated there), and then following a ‘Jane Austen’s London’ (I kid you not!) walking guide. It was brill, and so useful for my writing.

Can you see that slight incline in front of White’s club above left photo? And, ah, that most hallowed of bow windows in which Brummell was wont to sit…

I mean, this is why it’s so important (if you can) to visit the places you hark on about in novels or read about. I am not a city-lover so how was I to know St James’ that fashionable haunt of fashionable men in the Regency is on a slight incline? It slopes down to St James’ Palace and therefore White’s is up a little hill. Such a lovely little gem of info which I might not sprawl across a novel page but which I can keep tucked in my wee mind for reference.

It’s true that what a writer of historical fiction knows and what they sprinkle onto their page, between their characters, is separated by a gargantuan divide! And so it should be, it would be boring if a novel were riddled with encyclopaedic knowledge – I’ll read an encyclopaedia for that thank you very much – it’s the juicy characters and their lives that interest me and I presume most people!

Pitt (1708-1778) and Gladstone (1809-1898)’s residence Chatham House

Hatchard’s, Almack’s and Brummell

Above: Hatchard’s bookshop – selling books since 1797 has a beautiful set of winding stair (it’s surprisingly large in there!) and a little cabinet of historical things!

Almack's - What now stands there - modern day | Regency London | Philippa Jane Keyworth
This is now what stands in the place of Almack’s Assembly Room

Anyhoo, on this wee jaunt we ventured to the British Library as I said, we pootled along the Mall, took the obligatory (though it was nighttime) photo outside Buckingham Palace, wandered over to St James’ palace, walked up St James’ street, peered in at Brook’s, White’s, looked at the hallowed ground that was Almack’s and is now some faceless corporate looking building. I stood outside those Town houses the likes of which my characters live in, I linked arms with Beau Brummell’s statue, I popped into Hatchard’s and I saw where Pitt the elder lived.

It was in short, GREAT, and I highly recommend this sort of wander (especially if you use a walking tour book like we did).

My pal Beau…

Beau Brummell Regency | Regency London | Philippa Jane Keyworth
Me and Beau, just hanging out…

 

Published by Philippa Jane Keyworth

Philippa Jane Keyworth, known to her friends as Pip, has been writing since she was twelve in every notebook she could find. Originally trained as a horse-riding instructor, Philippa went on to become a copywriter before beginning a degree in History. A born again Christian, Philippa lives in the south of England with her handsome husband. Philippa has always written stories and believes that, since it is one of her loves and passions, she always will. In her early writing career, she dabbled in a variety of genres, but it was the encouragement of a friend to watch a film adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice that began her love affair with the British Regency. Since then, she has watched every Regency film and TV series she could get her hands on and become well acquainted with Georgette Heyer's novels which gave her the inspiration to write her own. Both as a reader and a writer, Philippa believes it is important to escape into a world you yourself would want to live in. This is why she writes stories that will draw you into the characters' joys and heartaches in a world apart from our own. Her debut novel, The Widow's Redeemer (Madison Street Publishing, 2012), is a traditional Regency romance bringing to life the romance between a young widow with an indomitable spirit and a wealthy viscount with an unsavory reputation. The novel has been received well by readers and reviewers who have praised the heartfelt story and admirable characters. Her second novel, The Unexpected Earl (Madison Street Publishing, 2014), explores another romance in the Regency era when an impetuous young woman has her life turned upside down by the reappearance of the earl who jilted her six years ago. So, what are you waiting for? Get swept away into another time with characters you will learn to love, and experience the British Regency like never before.

One thought on “Regency London: traipsing around the ol’ haunts

  1. Ha ha. Just did some traipsing of my own around Stafford and Tamworth in the footsteps of a certain heroine of mine. Won’t give away anymore for now. Sadly, there’s very little left from her time to be found above ground.

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