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An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England: A Social Hist (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. März 2000

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  • Taschenbuch: 352 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin Books (1. März 2000)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0140282963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140282962
  • Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 18 Jahren
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,8 x 1,8 x 19,6 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.1 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (17 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 678.856 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Regency England was, according to Venetia Murray, a "glorious paradox": High society placed a premium on civilized living, yet vulgarity, gluttony, and moral vicissitude were considered fashionable--and socially acceptable--vices. In An Elegant Madness, Murray examines this polarity, providing readers with an accurate, entertaining, easy-to-read portrayal that conveys the mood of the period, focusing primarily on the oft-paradoxical social practices and attitudes of the English aristocracy.

Generally understood as a 50-year period beginning, as with the French Revolution, just before the dawn of the 19th century, Regency England (or, more precisely, its uppermost stata) remained, in many ways, oblivious to and safely distanced from the ravages of the Napoleonic Wars consuming the continent. The tone of society, according to Murray, tends to be set by its titular head; thus, the paradox and political detachment of the Regency Period emanated primarily from its leader, the Prince Regent. The carefree Regent, who would reign as King George IV from 1820 to 1830, was known not only as "The First Gentleman of Europe," but also as a dedicated hedonist, drunkard, and lecher. Elegance and vulgarity characterized the rest of the English aristocracy, as well, and Murray's chapters clearly illustrate how Regency high society appropriated for itself the same duality as their leader's. Her chapters, each a freestanding study of its own, examine fashions of the period, the (exorbitant) cost of living, London high society, clubs and taverns, the common practice of taking a mistress, the country home, and the seaside resort. She embellishes her study with cartoons, prints, and caricatures of the period, all of which contribute to our understanding of this unique period of English history. --Bertina Loeffler Sedlack -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.



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The years of the Regency have come to be synonymous with an elegance and style which are unique in the history of English culture: but they tend to be seen through a romantic haze. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Filicity am 19. April 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Wow - this book as elicited quite a few reviews hasn't it? I was really interested in reading it as I love this period, but I read the reviews here carefully and wondered about the seeming huge polarity in popularity of the book.
I didn't really know much about the Regency times and would have quite happily accepted the rave reviews - it is after all a pretty book. I was very interested in the detail in some of the reviews here which cited specific problems with Murray's sources - so I checked out the books. Its pretty easy to get hold of Roger Fulford's book "the Royal Dukes" - which Murray says she used as a source for her book - and lo and behold she has misrepresented events.
I then had a look at the a few Brummell biographies in my library including the one she has in her bibliography - and again - Murray misrepresented and misdated events.
What other events has she misdated or mis-represented in this book? I guess I could continue looking - but I have since thrown the book out in disgust.
I guess I just prefer authors who are accurate.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Harriet Ponsonby am 10. März 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
If people want a good book on the life and times of the Regency I would strongly suggest something like Amanda Foreman's excellent book 'Georgiana' or Stella Margeton's 'Regency London' or Priestly's "Prince of Pleasure". But don't read this book.
Venetia Murray is clearly cashing in on the popularity of the Regency Market. She doesn't seem to know or understand the period so while the book might sparkle with good prose it is flat on fact. Now shouldn't that be what a non-fiction book should have as its primary concern? Fact? Sure make them nice to read, but they should be factual.
I see someone in a previous review has suggested that people who have written negative reviews must have some kind of agenda - or be amateur historians. Well there is that. I mean how do you know what reviewers backgrounds really are?
Well, unless you know the period well I would suggest that Murray's book is quite convincing. But it is her attention to detail that lets her down - and has caused her to make so many mistakes and to misinterpret events. I would suggest that the easiest way to confirm this for yourselves is a quick look through the index at the back of An Elegant Madness.
There are people that she hasn't fully named - they are just surnames - if she knows who these people are, why hasn't she fully named them. Check an index on a Hibbert book, or Amanda Foreman or any other reputable author and you will see a full name entry - with title and often with dates of birth and death.
Murray hasn't even bothered to match the correct pages in numerous cases - so looking for 'Hazlitt' she claims in the index that he is mentioned on pages 19, 24, 112, 128, and 277. Well a check through the book only shows him appearing on page 19.
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Format: Taschenbuch
What an enjoyable piece of fluff! I have read some of the negative reviews by other Amazonians, so I suppose it depends on what you are looking for in this book. I wasn't looking for a serious and scholarly historical work. I wanted to be entertained with some light social history and this is what I got. If you want to know what the upper classes ate and how they dressed and how they kept themselves occupied (I won't say in their "spare time" as they had nothing but!) you will find this book very interesting. Ah, those were certainly the days! A young dandy would get up in the morning and spend a good 2-3 hours at his toilette. (It took a lot of work to get that cravat looking just right!) If you went out to a nice restaurant they would have an area where live turtles were on display, similar to the way that restaurants in our time have live lobsters on exhibit, as back then they were crazy for turtles and couldn't get enough of them. Rich people would spend their summers traveling to the country estates of other rich people. As a welcome guest you would be entertained at no cost to yourself for a weekend or a week and all you were expected to do was to provide some interesting conversation. You would travel with your maids and valets and other servants and they would be provided for as well. The meals were enormous and the ladies especially had to make sure to bring plenty of clothing as you would need to change 4-5 times in a day. If you were one of the members of the nobility who had either gambled or just overspent yourself into debt, these country trips would be especially nice for the free room and board you would receive.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
While very interesting and raising some interesting points Venetia Murray's book "An Elegant Madness" is shockingly badly researched and very sloppily edited. Do not rely on this book if you are not familiar with the Regency period - and do not quote from this book as truth, always use a secondary source to back up anything read in this book.
Errors are continually repeated.
She seems to have a permanant state of confusion with the Spencer (Earl Spencer) family and the Cavendish family (the Duke's of Devonshire). The 1st Earl Spencer had two daughters, Georgiana and Henrietta. Georgiana married the 5th Duke of Devonshire and had two daughters, Georgiana and Harriet. Murray consistently and continually confuses these two generations and families despite listing seven separate books on the family in her bibliography and a number of other associated books that would provide information on them. I am starting to wonder if she read the books at all - if she read that many surely she wouldn't have made those mistakes.
She calls the Marquis of Queensbury "Old Q" in fact, 'Old Q' was the Duke of Queensbury, a completely different person.
Her description of Beau Brummell is based on entirely apocryphal and disproved events. She places their first meeting on a salacious and since disproved story by Captain Gronow. She says that the Prince and Brummell fell out at an event in 1814 when Brummell insulted the Prince by asking his companion, "Who is your far friend'. This was not the case. Not only did this even actually occur a year earlier in 1813, but it was probably at least a year after the Prince and Brummell fell out. She also fails to show the influence of Brummell on clothing.
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