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  1. Divina Lenox

    Divina Lenox New Member

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    Language in Regency era England

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Divina Lenox, May 19, 2021.

    Greetings,

    I'm trying to develop a character that lives in Regency era in England and not sure were to look for resources for correct spoken/written language of that time period.

    Any direction or suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Regards.
     
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  2. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Contributor

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    Look at Regency-era authors. One such example would be Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
     
  3. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    I've written a lot of Regency. It's fun.

    Mary Shelley is Victorian so try Jane Austen. That is a good idea though. You can check which contractions certain characters will use. "Won't" and "don't" do appear back then. Just download "Sense and Sensibility" and do a search. Of course a polite character will be more mannered.

    For phrases/terms, look up "The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue." That's your standard from that era. It's actually written a generation before Regency times, but it carries over. It is filled with awesome lingo. The other thing I find indispensable is old newspapers from that era. Lots of those are online. You can pick up one of those articles and get a dozen ideas from it. I sometimes use The Edinburgh Medical Journal the same way, just finding phrases and themes of the day.
     
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  4. hyacinthe

    hyacinthe Senior Member

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    the early novels of Sir Walter Scott might help here.
    honestly you'll have to dig. the regency period was an eyeblink, for all the modern literature written about it.
     
  5. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    Austen is a good suggestion. And although I've never read any of her work, Frances Burney was a popular novelist in a similar vein as Austen. You might also try accurate modern works--O'Brian's sea novels are excellent and I believe the dialogue is quite accurate.
     
  6. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Contributor

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    Ahem - Frankenstein was published in 1818, the Regency period lasted from 1811-1820. The Victorian period started in 1837.

    :)
     
  7. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Contributor

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  8. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    I guess you're right. I don't know why I forgot about Byron and co.
     
  9. madhoca

    madhoca Contributor Contributor

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    There's also Sir Walter Scott, but you know, language didn't suddenly change at the end of the Recency.
    You can understand something of how they spoke by reading Dickens (London and Kent accent), the Brontes, Elizabeth Gaskell (Northern England) George Eliot and Trollope. Also Hardy has a lot of vernacular for the South West of England (Dorset mostly).
    By the way, even today there is a real difference in the way people speak in different regions of the British Isles--not just accent, but also vocabulary.
    In the Recency era (before the railways brought increased mobility) this speech difference was much more obvious, with even aristocratic people often having strong regional accents, not the "posh" RP speech we see in film adaptations of Austin!
     
  10. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Contributor

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    I thought about Byron, but as he was a poet, wasn't sure if he'd be good as research material for spoken dialogue.
     
  11. Divina Lenox

    Divina Lenox New Member

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    All very great suggestions, thank you.

    And @Naomasa298, thank you for posting Black Adder. It's my favourite sitcom!
     
  12. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    There is a story by Byron, at least a fragment of one. In fact it was the first real vampire story, and he invented it at the famous horror story contest shared between himself, Shelley, and Mary Shelley (and John Polidori). It's published in a book called the Penguin Book of Vampire Stories. Only 6 pages, but there is dialogue included. The book also includes Polidori's story The Vampyre, which was based on Lord Byron's unfinished story. 17 pages and also includes spoken dialogue.
     
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