After ten long years of war and revolution,
the Peace of Amiens has given Europe time to breathe.
While some might disparage the terms of the peace and warn of the
ambitions of the First Consul of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, Britain's
new Prime Minster, Henry Addington, knows that his exhausted country
desperately needed an end to the conflict.
In celebration of this new European order, the young Tsar of Russia is
in London on a state visit. At the same time the French, Spanish and
American ambassadors have arrived to represent their fine nations. It is
a time for celebration, pomp and ceremony - as well as for intrigue and
espionage, as the nations of Europe each vie for position and for the
spoils of the last war...
More importantly it is the start of the
London Season. The beginning of a whirlwind of balls, concerts, parties
and sporting events. It is a time to be introduced into society; to be
seen promenading in all one's fashionable finery, and a time to find a
suitable husband or wife.
It is an exciting time to be in London. The
gentlemen of the Fancy have made sport, and especially boxing, a
British obsession and a national characteristic. And while the
Patronesses of London Society try to maintain a veneer of strict
respectability, the Dandies and Corinthians of the Ton
parade their Mistresses and Courtesans as badges of
honour, and wager crippling sums of money on anything from Cards &
Dice to Life & Death!
But, away from salons and ballrooms of
High Society, all is not well... The King is mad, and
Parliament is divided on whether his decadent son should be declared
Regent or not. The Irish Question remains a running sore,
and the Slave Trade divides the nation. While in the countryside,
trouble is brewing at the mills and factories, as General Ludd
challenges the relentless advance of industry and innovation.
Regency Cant - a guide to
Regency words and phrases