Though I haven’t written any stories that take place in the Regency period, it is one of my favorite eras to read about, especially if romance is involved. I don’t like modern romances, but I love to dip into a historical romance now and again.
There’s something intriguing about a woman trapped in a socially rigid society with only her wits and whatever natural charm and abilities she possesses to find happiness. Perhaps I like the idea of a simpler time and true love winning in the end. Perhaps I love a social underdog.
Along with general Regency stories, I also love the sort of books that follow up on the Darcys, the Bennets, the Bingleys and the rest of the characters from Pride and Prejudice. It’s so much fun to follow up with those characters, and the books below are among the best.
Georgiana Darcy’s Diary
Waterloo to Pemberly by Anna Elliot
These two books detail the story of Georgiana Darcy maturing and falling in love. Very sweet and very well done.
Georgiana may be shy and introverted, but she is not dull. We get to spend more time with her in this book, and we also get a healthy dose of the wonderful Colonel Fitzwilliam, cousin to Mr. Darcy and Georgiana, who comes back from the war traumatized.
Kitty Bennet’s Diary by Anna Elliott
Kitty was frivolous and air-headed in Pride and Prejudice, and had a lot of growing up to do. And grow up she does, maturing into someone we can actually respect.
An Assembly Such as This
These Three Remain
Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan
These three books form a trilogy detailing Darcy’s slow process of change from the arrogant pain-in-the-neck we meet early in Pride and Prejudice to the very different man we discover later.
Charlotte Collins by Jennifer Becton
Poor Charlotte. She chose to marry the odious Mr. Collins, and willingly sets herself up for a life of misery. In Pride and Prejudice, she serves as a foil to Elizabeth, who wants to marry for love. We witness her fate and pity her, but we also are disgusted by her lack of standards.
In this book, she stands alone, making her way in life without beauty, fortune or the ability to charm and beguile. Yet, she is steadfast and good-hearted. Thankfully, the unfortunate woman doesn’t end up counting matchsticks and going insane while stuck with Mr. Collins. She earns her happy ending.
But enough of the good guys. Everyone can love Mr. Darcy and his sweet sister, Giorgiana, just as liking Jane and Elizabeth Bennet is easy. We can admire Charlotte and her stoicism. Even Kitty isn’t a really wicked or heartless character. No, it’s the bad girls who steal the scenes, and they get their own treatment.
Caroline Bingley by Jennifer Becton
Caroline is the nastiest character in Pride and Prejudice. Conniving, vicious, and yet accepted into society because she is rich and adept at playing the necessary social games.
At the end of Pride and Prejudice, Caroline’s role in trying to separate Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley is revealed, and she is shamed. Becton does an expert job keeping true to the character while making her sympathetic. She’s headstrong and a bit of a pain, but we still end up loving her.
Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe
Lydia! You are the most selfish, empty-headed one of the bunch. Your complete lack of remorse for nearly ruining your sisters is unforgivable.
But forgive her we do, because in the hands of Jane Odiwe, Lydia learns her lesson. But how can she go on to find happiness while married to the terrible Mr. Wickham?