Monday, June 6, 2011

The Day I Became A Regency Snob

There comes a day in every reader's life when she realizes she has become a snob when it comes to her favorite genre. Recently this happened to me! Shock of all shocks. Or perhaps not.

Now in my quest of all things Jane Austen I have read some absolutely ridiculous novels and when I say ridiculous I mean ridiculous. So ridiculous you laugh out loud and the book that was incredibly horrible becomes so stupid it's funny and one of the best things you've ever read. But I keep reading, even the really horrible stuff that makes me want to crawl back in time and just read nothing but my own work. But I have a public that cries for me to post. Okay, it's just my ego that cries for me to post. But read on I will.

I just finished a Kara Louise book. Now I loved my first Kara Louise "Pemberley's Promise". It has since been reissued with many different titles and in reality it has some issues. There are things that happen in it that would not happen in real Regency times. But I forgave her. Why? Because I had not yet become a Regency snob.
So I bought her book "Something Like Regret" and was excited to read about the niceties instead of all the hot and heavy sex people like to write about. The premise had me a little sad since Mr. Bennet dies and I always loved him. But it was needed for the story. Elizabeth was forced to become a governess, which is a little far fetched considering Elizabeth did not have the world's best education and couldn't teach things like painting and drawing or French. Skills we all know every lady must have to be truly accomplished.

But this was just the first in a long line of faults of the novel. I wanted to stop reading so many time because I wanted to scream "THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN IN REGENCY ENGLAND!!!!" That's the problem with knowing your history. You want other people to know it as well. Especially if those people are writing about it for a living. It's so easy to do research now although easy doesn't always mean right. The internet has opened up vast quantities of knowledge, you just need to be able to separate the good from the bad. There's no excuse to make mistakes in a novel when five minutes on Google could save face. And if your plot won't work unless you break 101 Regency rules maybe you should rethink your plot or make your novel an update instead of a rewrite. Today Elizabeth could easily be a nanny and Mr. Darcy a CEO. Hmmmm.....note to self: New plot idea......

The reality is, I did like the Kara Louise book "Something Like Regret", but I had to get over my snobbery to like it. So read it if you like, but make sure you keep your nose in this atmosphere when you read. Because a sky high nose in the air with Regency snobbery will only make this novel fall flat.