Friday, February 6, 2009

A Newmarket Regency

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Like many others, I fell in love with Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer at the age of twelve. I love the manners of the Regency era, the clothes, the humour, the heroes.

I'm also fascinated by the little people of history - grooms and actresses and solicitors and the chap that sweeps the road.

And places. I like to know what the houses looked like. I like to stand in a street and mentally wipe out the new houses so I can see in my mind's eye how the road would have looked in 1816.

I set Fair Deception in Newmarket because that's where I live now and many of the historic houses still survive. It was the elite horse-racing course in Regency times, but this book takes place between meetings. It concerns Susanna, an actress who has to escape from London for a while, and Kit, who needs a fiancee for the duration of a visit to his aunt.

So step into the pages and find out about the little people and the real Newmarket of history.
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13 comments:

Nicola Slade said...

What Jan is too modest to say is that Fair Deception is written with great gusto and is utterly enjoyable. I'm looking forward to more Newmarket Regencies.

David Young said...

I also really enjoyed reading this Jan. I bet you had great fun researching this. I often find myself standing somewhere and wishing I could jump back through time and witness the normal day to day life on that very spot.

Jan Jones said...

Aw, thank you both very much. The most popular item by far at my library talks in the area is my Newmarket town plan of 1780. As soon as I get that out I lose the audience completely because they all want to see the old road layout!

Also, my daughter did at one point stipulate that our research trips (as opposed to everyday shopping trips) should be done on foot because it was just so embarrassing when I kept slowing the car down to get a good look at the houses.

Elizabeth Hanbury said...

Hi Jan,

I'm still waiting impatiently for my local library to receive their copy of Fair Deception. At least I'm first in the reservation queue when it arrives - hurray!

Having read the excerpt, I can't wait to read Susanna and Kit's story :)

Old maps are fascinating, aren't they? I have collected a few (reprints not originals, I hasten to add!), mainly of London and the environs, circa early 1800s. I also have a road reference book from the period. It's extremely detailed and very well-thumbed - the Regency equivalent of an AA/RAC guide to the roads of England and Wales.

margaret blake said...

I like it that you include downstairs lives as well.

Lovely cover.

Loren Teague said...

I have recently discovered the regency times, having not been that interested previously, however, since there have been some movies on those times and that has really got me thinking about reading books of that era. So this will be another one I put on my reading list. Looks a great read, Jan.
Warm wishes, Loren Teague

Jan Jones said...

Thanks, Elizabeth - I really enjoyed writing Fair Deception, so I hope you enjoy reading it! And yes, I have to be dragged kicking and screaming (quietly, of course) from the British Library map room whenever I'm in London.

Margaret - not having been born with a silver spoon in my own mouth, I'm convinced the downstairs people were just as interesting as the upstairs ones!

Loren - hope you get hold of Fair Deception okay. It's a long way out to NZ!

Melinda Hammond said...

This one' on my to be read pile, Jan. Looking forward to it. I, too, think it's a lovely cover!

Jan Jones said...

Thanks, Melinda. It is a fab cover isn't it?

Beth Elliott said...

I'm saving this one up for a treat, Jan. The anticipation is enough for a while - then when I really need an escape, it'll be waiting.

Jan Jones said...

Bless you, Beth. I enjoyed yours, so I should think you'll like what Susanna and Kit get up to.

David Young said...

glad you liked the cover Jan. I don't usually do closer up figures (partly due to the low Hale budget) but I loved this scene in the book and thought it would make for a nice image. The reference for this involved having to take a photo of my wife and myself one evening with the camera on a timer, and hoping the candle wouldn't set the smoke alarm off (it's very sensitive and triggers off all the other alarms including ones in the kids bedrooms!) I then found the framed paintings and doorway elsewhere and put them all together.
We both like the regency period especially my wife, although I think Colin Firth has a lot to do with her interest :-)
David.

Jan Jones said...

I can understand that, David! I'm rather partial to Colin Firth myself!

Fascinating to hear how you set up the elements of the book cover. Have to say I fell in love with it as soon as I was sent the concept artwork. To me, it says that this is a book in which Something Happens. And the rich colours just add to the lusciousness of it. Even if I hadn't written it, it would be quite difficult for me to see it on a library shelf and not pick it up.

So - thanks again!

PS - if your wife would like a signed copy of the book (as opposed to the artwork), just let me know.
(jan at jan-jones dot co dot uk)