Good Ton — The Traditional Regency Resource

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.

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About Kathryn Kane

Historian with a particular interest the English Regency era.   An avid reader of novels set in that time, holding strong opinions on the historical accuracy to be found in said novels.
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24 Responses to Good Ton — The Traditional Regency Resource

  1. Christine DeAngelis says:

    I’d like to know if there are any authors of Regency novels who wrote around the same time as Georgettte Heyer became popular, in the 1930’s and 40’s.

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      Not that early. Georgette Heyer invented the Regency romance genre in 1935, when she published her novel, Regency Buck. For the next decade or so, she had the field to herself.

      Barbara Cartland began writing in the 1920s, but she does not appear to have started writing historical novels until well into the forties, and few of them were Regencies until the fifties.

      By the late 1950s and early 1960s, publishers finally figured out there was a solid ongoing market for Regencies. It was only then that they actually began to market them as a separate genre to the type of historical romance once known as “bodice rippers.”

      Most of the novels which are now considered “traditional” Regencies were light-hearted, with the emphasis on romance, rather than sex. The majority were written between 1960 and the late 1990s, when they were phased out by publishers.

      There were a lot of traditional Regencies published during the last few decades of the last century, and many of them can be found at used book stores and at online booksellers. That is why Good Ton is such a great resource. The site lists thousands of novels by both author and title, making it easier to seek them out in an online search.

      Regards,

      Kat

  2. Jamie says:

    I adore this site, and yet when I tried to search on it today, it seemed to put out a lot of errors. I hope it is temporary because I confess, when I search for traditional regency novels, I use “The Good Ton” so much!!!! I would feel lost without it! It is the best resource. I really hope it is not lost.

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      Sadly, I got the same result you did, that the page was not found. However, I have seen this before. It usually happens when the site owner forgets to renew their domain license. I can only hope that is the case here and that the site will soon be back online. It is a tremendous resource for those who love traditional Regencies and its loss would a great blow.

      Let us all hope this is simply an administrative glitch and not the end of one of the most useful sites on the web for those of us who love Regency novels.

      Hopefully,
      Kat

  3. Evelyn says:

    Thanks goodness for your post (I was in a state of mourning!) and to know that others are dismayed by the current unavailability of “Good Ton” pages – I checked again this morning. I have referenced the Good Ton site constantly since moving from a diet of 19th C. English Classics – Austen/C Bronte/Gaskell/Eliot – to Georgette Heyer and then a short step from Georgette Heyer.com to the Nonesuch.com for many, many hours of traditional Regency reading pleasure. How else would I ever have discovered Good Ton favorites Dinah Dean, Joan Smith, Elizabeth Mansfield, early works of Mary Balogh and Carla Kelly when the older (thinner) Romance publications such as Signet are hard to find even at local used bookshops? Thank you Regency Redingote. If the Good Ton doesn’t return, I am at least thankful for the many years the Good Ton’s companionship and look forward to your site now enhancing my Regency reading experience. Best wishes to you, Evelyn

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I am glad the Redingote has been of value to you.

      I remain hopeful that Good Ton will return to the web. If it is a case of forgetting to renew the domain license, it can take a couple of months or more to sort that out and get the site back online. If it happens that someone else has grabbed the domain, Good Ton may have to come back online with a different domain name. I will periodically run some web searchs to see if that has happened. If it does turn out that Good Ton has a new online home, I will post it here as soon as I know.

      I, too, will be in mourning if it is gone for good. It was the only resource of its kind on the web and I often used it to find the authors and titles of traditional Regencies I had not yet read.

      Regards,

      Kat

    • Jamie says:

      I totally agree with everything you said! I have found so many authors that are out of print and FABULOUS through the good ton. have any of you heard of the ebook publisher regency reads? they have a pretty good selection, especially of Joan Smith!

      thank you regency redingote for letting us talk about it here, your site is wonderful!!! and I will for sure keep a look out for any new info of The Good Ton!

  4. ann says:

    I found the reviews I use every month at rakehell.com. I searched all the different pages until I found the right one. Hope it returns soon!!

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      I hope so, too. I have gotten several emails from people who are very sad at the loss of this site.

      If you know who owns the site and can email me, I would appreciate it. If it is a simple matter of paying the domain license, there are a few people, including me, who would be willing to help out with funds. We just don’t know who to contact.

      Regards,
      Kat

  5. ann says:

    A good site for authors is FantasticFiction.com. I use it for all book lists. Old and new!!

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      Thank you for the information about the site, but they definitely do not replace Good Ton. They have a lot of listings, but so far as I can tell, they do not have any kind of category for “Romance,” and certainly nothing for Regencies. 😦

      Regards,
      Kat

  6. Pingback: Good-bye Good Ton? | The Regency Redingote

  7. modernflapper says:

    Have you heard any more information on Good Ton? The domain is for sale, but I wondered if they had come back under a new name. Thanks!

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      So far as I can tell, they have not. Sadly, there was a comment posted in an Amazon forum a few months ago by someone who said that the lady who was maintaining the Good Ton web site was finding it too much work and had to give it up. The person posting the comment gave no further details, but if it is true, I think that Good Ton is really gone for good.

      All that remains now is the archived version of the site from 25 July 2011, in the Internet Archive. The week before last, I posted a new article, with a link to the Internet Archive page for Good Ton, as well as a list of alternate sites which were sent to me by some of those who visit here. None of them are as good as Good Ton, in terms of traditional Regencies, but they do track more recent publications, some of which are the traditional Regencies so many of us enjoy.

      You can read more at Good-bye Good Ton?, if you are interested.

      I do still keep hope alive that someone will yet decide to create a site like Good Ton, perhaps in homage to the original site, and to track recent traditional Regencies, which seem to be making a comeback as eBooks.

      Regards,

      Kat

      • modernflapper says:

        Thanks for the reply! I found an archive for the site from Feb 7, 2012 at the internet archive – funny that I didn’t remember that site as I use it frequently for recipe blogs – and downloaded every single page of the site. That might be something other may want to do, either to have as their own reference or use the information to build their own site.

        The links you posted on your blog post led me to some other great sites, thank you for that! 🙂

        Thank you again for the reply, and the tip about the archive. I’m sorry to see that site go, I really enjoyed it. I got out of reading regencies when Zebra stopped publishing them and Signet stopped doing the yearly Christmas anthologies. I’m slowly finding my way back, through ebooks primarily. I just wish they would go back to the old Zebra and Signet books and make e-versions. 🙂

        • Kathryn Kane says:

          Thanks for the update about the later version of the Good Ton archive. I can imagine that others might want to download all the pages of the site, but the Internet Archive is a solid site that is in it for the long haul, so I think the archive should be available there for sometime to come. The real problem is that not all browsers provide the “Archive” link when one searches for an old site. Without that, it is harder to find these old archives. That is why I provided a direct link in my more recent post on Good Ton.

          I am glad you found some of those other sites useful, since they will be the best source for “new” traditional Regencies now that Good Ton will no longer be updated.

          You might be interested to know that your wish has already been granted, regarding eBook publication of traditional Regencies. If you do not yet know about Aurora Regency you definitely should. Musa Publishing acquired the Aurora Regency imprint from Aspen Mountain Press some time ago and they are now specifically publishing traditional Regencies. Some of them are books from the back lists of authors from Zebra and Signet, among others. Elaine Golden is the editor, and you may know her name, as she has written a number of Regencies herself, so she knows the genre. Check out the site, you may find some old favorites there.

          Thanks for stopping by and sharing your knowledge.

          Regards,

          Kat

  8. Kathryn Kane says:

    For all of you who were so sorry to see the end of the web site, Good Ton, very good news!!!!

    The site is back online at http://thenonesuch.org/, though apparently under new management. Regardless, the vast resources which had been compiled there on novels with a Regency setting are once more available online. And, it looks like the new owner is planning to maintain the site.

    Good News for all who loved Good Ton!

    =^..^=

    • Chris says:

      I’m glad you’re excited about thenonesuch.org – I was wondering if anyone was still interested. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to improve the site.

      • Kathryn Kane says:

        At this point, I think most of us are just glad to know it is back. Thank you for taking up the mantle of the Good Ton!

        WordPress protects the email addresses of those who post comments to protect them from spanners. Therefore, those email addresses are only visible to me. Chris has kindly provided the email address for sending suggestions regarding improvements for the Good Ton, but only I can see it. If any of you have suggestions for Chris as to how the Good Ton site might be improved, you are welcome to post them as comments here, which I will forward to Chris. Or, if you prefer, you can email them to me privately (my email address can be found in the right navigation column, near the bottom) and I will forward your emails on to Chris.

        Again, Chris, thank you for restoring the Good Ton to the web. Long may it live!

        Regards,

        Kat

      • Chris says:

        Sounds great :). Good point – I added the email address to the site itself, but here it is as well: goodton2[at]gmail.com

        – Chris

  9. modernflapper says:

    I was hoping someone would resurrect it. The old site set up with information, but that’s fine! It’s been greatly missed.

  10. Pingback: Good Ton Is BACK! | The Beau Monde

  11. Ann says:

    A pleasant surprise!!!

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      It certainly is! Especially since the new web master is planning to not only maintain all the original material, but also begin adding new traditional Regency romances as well.

      Regards,

      Kat

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