Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
How to Get Exiled From 18th-Century English High Society
Everything these days is Edwardian-era England this, World War-era England that; how come nobody ever talks about the years of George I, George II, George III and George IV, from the early 1700s until 1830? Those were some high-class English people who knew how to dress, decorate, and party. In her new book The Beau Monde, Hannah Greig examines the extravagant way the upper crust lived during the period that saw England experiencing unprecedented social change, the Industrial Revolution, as well as the evolution of fashion in the country. Well-researched and with enough gossip to keep the book from becoming a dry history lesson, The Beau Monde shows us the glamorous way the wealthy and titled lived in the era of the Georges, with a strong eye for details such as the custom of decorating houses with lots of candles (ones made from beeswax and sperm whale oil were more desirable) and the type of jewelry that was trendy at the time. The clothes were great, the public gardens were gorgeous, and the opera was the place to be — but like any good era in English history, there was plenty of controversy. More