beside their spouses on all suitable occasions. They went to Harriette for life, ease, and wit. It would be ridiculous to say that she provided the tripe and cow-heel suppers after the decorous dinners at home, but there was a flavour of nostalgie de la boue about her crowded evenings, with the stairs thronged from top to bottom with noble company, and life belowstairs lapping over into the drawing-room. Harriette, too, was an excellent mimic and an expert in the cut-and-thrust of fashionable badinage. She had the spirit of the age in her gusto and mischief. Her high spirits, rude vigour, and frank enjoyment, lent a quality unique among the great courtesans of history. The life of that small, profligate and extremely expensive world which centred upon Mayfair and the Steyne bore little resemblance to either the brittle brilliance of la vie parisienne or the lush romanticism of Sunset Boulevard. Even the bawdy of the Regency, while it lasted, was fun. Harriette Wilson Memoirs must always rank as a serious, if disreputable, historical document.


Further Reading
H. S. Altham, A History of Cricket
Correspondence of William Beckford (Translated by Boyd Alexander)
Leslie Branch, The Game of Hearts (Memoirs of Harriette Wilson)
Thomas Burke, Murder at Elstree
Roger Fulford, King George the Fourth
Captain Gronow, Reminiscences

-116-

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Life in Regency England
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgment x
  • The Illustrations xi
  • I - Regency England 1
  • Further Reading 20
  • II - The Lower Classes 21
  • Further Reading 42
  • III - The Middle And Upper Classes 43
  • Further Reading 61
  • IV - London 62
  • Further Reading 84
  • V - Politics 85
  • Further Reading 101
  • VI - Manners and Morals 102
  • Further Reading 116
  • VII - Scenes from Provincial Life 117
  • Further Reading 136
  • VIII - The Puritan Revival 138
  • Further Reading 150
  • IX- The Dawn of the Age Of Seriousness 151
  • Further Reading 167
  • Index 169
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