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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Regency: Buildings and Architecture

When you look down an English street these days and see those long beautiful buildings that seem to take up the entire street are originally Regency style. I started researching this for a contemporary erotica, my Countess Curvy story. But the more I looked into it, the more I loved the style and structure, and the more I realized how little I put of that into my Regency stories.

That will change. Mostly because, according to British Express, it seems that everyone was in a state of remodeling during the early years of the 1800s. I've used home improvement in contemporaries, but I'm certain the headaches were similar in the Regency, even if the owners of those homes never so much as knew what a hammer looked like.

From British Express's article on Regency Architecture:

The period of architecture we can loosely term Regency spans the first thirty years of the 19th century. In many respects it is a natural continuation of the Georgian style which preceeded it...

There were two major streams of architectural styles popular in the Regency period. The first, which lived on far into the Victorian period, was one of medieval revival. This is often termed Victorian Gothic, or more accurately, Gothic Revival

The second, and more popular style of Regency architecture, was classical in nature. That is, it used the philosophy and traditional designs of Greek and Roman architecture. The typical Regency upper or middle-class house was built in brick and covered in stucco or painted plaster. Fluted Greek columns, painted and carefully moulded cornices and other decorative touches, were all reproduced in cheap stucco. The key words to describe the overall effect are "refined elegance".

The Regency period saw a great surge of interest in classical Greece, popularized by men like Lord Byron and his outspoken advocacy of greek nationalism. A whole generation of aristocratic amateur archaeologists from Britain scoured the Greek world - and occassionally absconded with classical Greek remains. The resulting popularity of Greek style reached beyond architecture to include painting, furniture, interior decoration, and even dress design.

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