I would like to nominate Hermione Granger as an associate member of the Romantic Novelists's Association so that she can come with me to RNA events like the Regency Day held on Saturday. Her skills would remove the need for decision making. A panel discussion on Sense and Sensibility or a talk on Regency clothing? Regency Dancing or Regency Scents? A talk about Sex and the Georgians or Parlour Games? No problem. With Hermione and her magic medallion, I could have attended them all.
The Regency Celebration took place at the Royal Overseas League just off St James's Street, and another choice item on the agenda was the chance to go on a guided walk of the area to discover what it was like in that period. In the afternoon I, along with 50 others, plumped for Afternoon Tea at the East India Club (pictured below).
It is in this building, indeed in the room below, that the Prince Regent received the despatch sent by the Duke of Wellington announcing the allied victory over Bonaparte at Waterloo.
The story of how that despatch reached London was given in readings by novelists Sophie Page and Elizabeth Hawksley. Entering into the fray in his regimentals was despatch rider Major Percy aka Miles Barden. Below Sophie Page starts off proceedings.
For me this was the highlight of the day, and there was more than one historical novelist present who, witnessing the re-enactment, experienced a lightbulb moment regarding a certain eagle!
The day was organised to celebrate Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer and their work. In an afternoon discussion the question was asked if there was something we could change about a book by either of them, what would it be? I couldn't think of anything at the time, but on the way home on the train from Paddington, the answer where Heyer is concerned was obvious - ditch the exclamation marks! I was reading 'Bath Tangle' and there were so many of them that by the time I arrived at Westbury Station I had a headache from all that 'shouting'.
For a detailed report of the events and some fantastic photos of the day, do pop over to the Romantic Novelists' Association blog. A real treat.