The Regency Period

Pride and Prejudice: London, Khunsha, Kelsey, David

What is the Regency Period?

A time period lasting a mere 9 years, the Regency Period lasted from 1811-1820. It began as a result of King George III not being able to reign due to him being unfit for the position, which allowed his son Prince Regent to step up. He was in charge during the 9 year period, providing the name for the era. It was a time period marked with elegance and achievements in terms of fine arts and architecture. In regards to literature, the time period spans a bit longer, beginning right after the French Revolution and continuing until 1820.

Who was in power during this time?

The Regency Period began when King George III was declared unfit to rule England and his son assumed the role of Prince Regent. His father gave up the power, because he had a mental illness that did not allow him the ability to rule. Prince Regent came into power in 1811, and from there began to indulge in excesses. He spent more money than the Treasury could afford, and spent the money on lavish parties and building projects. He was very extravagant and loved the arts, literature, fashion, and eating. Prince Regent officially became King George IV when his father passed away in 1820.

How does this affect the novel?

The Regency Period saw a mini-renaissance of the arts and architecture. The upper class experienced a large increase of culture and refinement. This is shown in the exposition of the book, where the characters are at a dance. Clearly they are upper class citizens, and this will change the interaction and relations between the characters. Much of this book will revolve around the types of relations and how they happened throughout this period in the upper class.