Tuesday, December 17, 2019

History Geek Christmas Wishlist, 2019

My goodness. By some fortuitous stroke, the publishing world has released a slew of books this fall that are setting the heart of this history geek to going pitter-pat. If you too happen to proudly claim the history geek moniker, it might not be too late to ask Santa to make some of these appear under your tree.

Dress in the Age of Jane Austen by Hilary Davidson

Just released in November from Yale University Press, this is a look at the clothes worn by all classes, male and female, during the “long Regency”, 1795-1825. It’s lavishly illustrated with formal portraits, fashion plates, amateur sketches and drawings of the era, and photos of extant examples. Awesome book; I already got a copy (yay for Barnes and Noble coupons!) and I’m making myself wait till the day after Christmas to dive in, because I know I will be totally engrossed.

The Regency Years: During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern by Robert Morrison

Published in April, here’s another broad overview of the history and culture of the Regency in England (covering the actual Regency years, 1811-1820). There have been a few of these published in the last five years or so; reviews are generally good, but I haven’t yet had a look at it. Anyone?

Gentlemen of Uncertain Fortune: How Younger Sons Made Their Way in Jane Austen’s England by Rory Muir

I’m very much looking forward to reading this one. Fiction is full of dashing young noblemen who will one day (or already have) inherited their family titles, wealth, and properties...but what happened to their younger brothers who might receive a small inheritance (perhaps from their mothers) but who, overall, usually had to make their own ways in the world? From the book’s description: “If they were to remain ‘gentlemen’, only a few options, such as joining the Church or the army, were available to them. Each of these careers had its own attractions, drawbacks and peculiarities, and Gentlemen of Uncertain Fortune is the first exploration of the lifestyle and prospects afforded by these different professions.”

Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern

I love me a good graphic novel...and even more, I love me a good, funny, Regency-set graphic novel featuring a vampire-hunting Lord Byron and a motley fellowship including an adventure-hungry young debutante and a mysterious bounty hunter and their increasingly outlandish escapades. This one I may crack on Christmas night, after the dishes are in the dishwasher and the leftovers tucked away in the fridge.

How about you? Any good history geekish books you’ve got on your wishlist?

Have the happiest of holidays, dear readers!

1 comment:

QNPoohBear said...

Nice finds! Dress in the Age of Jane Austen is on my wish list too. I bought myself Vol. 3 of Jane Austen's juvenilia in her own handwriting when I was on vacation in Williamsburg. I planned my trip just after the JASNA meeting on purpose (couldn't afford to go during JASNA) and was thrilled to find the book on sale. I also asked for the second volume of the Keep the Home Fires Burning novels since the TV show left us hanging. I plan to order Heyer Society from B&N along with Never Borrow a Baronet with the remainder of a gift card I've had for ages. I just need to see which books I get for gifts.

I'm trying to turn tween nieces into history nerds so I ordered 11 year old a graphic novel about Harriet Tubman and one called No Girls Allowed. A graphic history book with profiles about women who were forced to disguise themselves as men or present themselves as men to participate in male occupations. The timeline covers the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt to the Civil War. I may take them to see Little Women and give them an abridged version of the novel.