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Miss Tavistock experiences a frightening crush at the Prince Regent’s palace (Carlton House) toward the end of the book which leads to a romantically pivotal scene. But many readers don’t know that what happened that day at the palace really happened.
Here’s the scoop:
The fete in June of 1811 was the Prince of Wales’ first real chance to celebrate his becoming Regent in February of that year in the lavish style he loved.
Like Miss Tavistock, many in the haut ton anxiously coveted invitations. At first reserved only for the peerage and their offspring, by the time of the event, more than 2,000 invitations had been issued to all classes. The details in the story regarding the enormous preparations really happened, and much, much, more.
Since our heroine was not able to garnish an invitation to the actual grand banquet, the extraordinary magnificence of the décor, food, and costume of that night had to be excluded from the book. But it was an unprecedented display, and both amazed and perplexed the guests.
The prince was so happy with his lavish spectacle that he wished to share it with the public. The unruly crowd described in the book happened on the third day following the banquet. It was reported that more than 30,000 people tried to crowd their way in that day. Men and women lost hats, bonnets, coats, shawls, shoes, and even their under clothing. London papers afterwards claimed there were great tubs at Carlton House filled with all the lost items. Our beleaguered heroine escapes with only her shoes and bonnet missing, but her stockings and gown are torn. Perfect situation to be rescued from!
Contemporaries both praised and harshly criticized the affair. It was described as “an assemblage of beauty, splendor and profuse magnificence,” by admirers, but as one of the princes’ “greatest follies and extravagances,” by detractors.3
If you’re not previously familiar with the Prince Regent (later George IV), this might give you an idea as to why I sometimes find him too irresistible a figure to leave out of a Regency novel. His extravagance, flamboyance and tempestuous lifestyle are just too ripe fodder to ignore. Though he doesn’t appear in Miss Tavistock, I have numerous scenes in my first Regency series where he interacts with Phillip Mornay, ‘the Paragon,’ and hero of the books.
NOTE: This post is an abbreviated account of the event, which is included in more detail at the back of the book.
Question: Have you ever been trapped in a crowd? What was it like?
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Remembrancy, October 1
Artistic Nobody, October 2 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Blogging With Carol, October 2
Labor Not in Vain, October 2
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The Book Chic Blog, October 3
Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 4
deb’s Book Review, October 4
Simple Harvest Reads, October 5 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
CarpeDiem, October 5
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 6
HookMeInABook, October 6
Splashes of Joy, October 7
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Godly Book Reviews, October 8
Romances of the Cross, October 8
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9
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