I have had a link to Good Ton in my sidebar since I first began publishing The Regency Redingote, more than two years ago. But I have been remiss in not posting a review of the site here until now. It was one of the first sites devoted to Regency novels that I came across when it dawned on me I could find such resources on the web. I had drifted away from reading Regencies after graduate school, but renewed my interest in them when I gave up working as a curator and had more time to myself. I was disappointed to find that once the twentieth century came to a close, it became more and more difficult to find the traditional Regency novels I had enjoyed during my college years. One day, I Googled "Regency romance novels," and Good Ton was one of the first listings in the search results. What a treasure trove of information!
What I like about Good Ton …
The section I tend to use most frequently is "Tomes of the Ton," an extensive listing of literally thousands of traditional Regency titles, in alphabetical order by author. In many cases these listings also include a brief description of the plot of the story, and sometimes a link to the author’s web site. Many of the listings include the names of the hero and heroine, which is a nice jog to the memory when trying to decide if I have already read a particular book. Many are also rated, sometimes with notations on particulars of history.
I have found this resource invaluable, with the many used book sites now online from which I can purchase copies of the books which interest me. Most used book sites are best searched via the use of author name and title to find the books available for sale. The keywords "traditional Regencies" or similar variations do not often turn up a good selection of those charming novels, so having a list of such books, with author names and titles is a great help in finding copies of traditional Regencies that I want to acquire.
One of my favorite sections is "Favorite Plots," where one can see listings of books by the types of plots which are of particular interest. Do you especially enjoy stories about marriages of convenience, relish romances between a young lady and her guardian, or are tales of mistaken identity your cup of tea? You can make your selections on this page and get a listing of all the novels which incorporate those subjects into their plots. You can also search for novels based on their settings. Are you in the mood for a Regency set in Bath, do you prefer London, or would you rather an exotic setting like Russia or Egypt? Just click the locale which piques your interest to see which novels take place in your setting of choice.
The "Classic Regency Reviews" pages provide reviews of Regencies which were published prior to 1996. I regularly take advantage of the reviews offered in this section, as the older traditional Regencies are becoming more expensive, even used. It is very helpful to be able to read a review of an older novel when I am trying to make a decision as to whether or not I want to purchase a particular title. These reviews make it much easier for me to decide it I want any book enough to search for it, and if I am willing to pay the price when I find it.
Even for those who are not avid readers or collectors of traditional Regency novels, the Good Ton offers an invaluable resource. The "Regency Lexicon" page has an extensive listing of definitions for a great many words and phrases from the Regency era. The etymology, or origin, of a number of the entries is also provided. This lexicon is particularly valuable, as it includes both a Dictionary, or alphabetical, listing of the Regency terms as well as a Thesaurus, or listing by subject. The next time you run across an unfamiliar word or phrase in a Regency novel, there is a good chance you can visit the Regency Lexicon page to find out what it means.
Last, but not least is the "Eligible Connections" page. Here you can find links to a number of Regency-related web sites, review pages, sites from which to purchase Regencies, a list of Regency author sites and a couple of sites which offer eBook re-issue editions of some traditional Regencies. As you read through the list of author sites, you might be surprised to see that a number of authors popular today got their start writing traditional Regencies. At Good Ton you will find the titles of those early works, should you care to search the web in order to add them to your library.
If you enjoy Regencies but have not yet taken the time to peruse the Good Ton site, you are doing yourself a disservice. Click on over to the Good Ton to find out more about traditional Regencies and/or the colorful language of that era.