A couple of years ago, I posted a review here on a wonderful web site called Good Ton, which was without doubt the best resource online for those interested in traditional Regencies. Though most publishers dropped their traditional Regency lines several years ago, there are still many of us who enjoy reading them. And with Good Ton, we could find lists of authors and book titles which enabled us to acquire used copies of novels we had not yet read.
Sadly, Good Ton winked out this past summer. Initially, it seemed that perhaps the site owner had simply overlooked the renewal of the domain registration. But after more than six months offline, it does appear that Good Ton is gone for good. Almost.
How to find the remnants of the Good Ton site, and a list of other sites which may be of interest …
The Good Ton domain, thenonesuch.com, appears to have been sold, and now redirects to a page which lists sponsored links to various types of romance novels. But this new page is certainly not the treasure trove of traditional Regency information provided by the original Good Ton site. However, older versions of the Good Ton site are still online, if you know where to look. In some browsers, when you run a search on either "Good Ton," or "thenonesuch.com," at the bottom of the search result listing is a small blue link labeled "Archive." Clicking that link with launch the Internet Archive’s WayBack Machine, which looks like a calendar. But it is much more than that. Each blue circle on a date on the page is a link to an archived copy of Good Ton which was made on that date. The most recent archived version of Good Ton is dated 25 July 2011.
However, not all browser/operating system combinations include the "Archive" link in the search results. So, for the convenience of those who would like a more direct path to the WayBack Machine page for archives of the Good Ton site, I will include the link here. The URL http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://thenonesuch.com will take you to the Internet Archive WayBack Machine page for archived versions of the Good Ton site. On that page, just click any of the dates with blue circles to see the version of the site which was archived on that date. Even though the last archive is dated a year before the site winked out for good, the bulk of its valuable information is still there for those who find it useful.
Author’s Note: The Internet Archive WayBack Machine is the portal to the archives of a great many web sites which have either disappeared from the Internet or have changed radically over time. However, to use it, you do need the exact domain name of the site for which you would like to see older versions. Just enter the URL in the search box at the top and click the "Take Me Back" button.
Over the past six months, I have corresponded with several people who were very upset at the disappearance of the Good Ton site. Some of them have searched the web for other sites which might help fill the gap left by the loss of Good Ton and have kindly shared their finds with me. I am providing a list of those alternate sites below, for those who may be interested. However, fair warning, these sites do not limit themselves to traditional Regencies, most of them cover a wider range of novels within the Regency genre.
The GoodReads site is one of the largest on the web where readers of all interests can share their recommendations and post reviews on books they have read. The site offers reader opinions on books in a vast array of topics, including Historical Romance. Within that genre you can filter your results to sub-genres such as Georgian, Regency or Victorian Romance, among others.
The Rakehell site is devoted solely to reviews of Regency novels, from sweet and traditional to mildly spicy all the way to explicitly erotic. However, the reviews make it clear into which category each book falls, so it is easy to determine which books you would like to read. Rakehell.com is a community of those who enjoy Regencies, and those who enjoy writing book reviews. There is a link on the site by which one can apply to become a reviewer.
Regency novels are not reviewed on the page. However, it does provide a long list of links to many Regency author sites and other online resources for those who are interested in the Regency genre.
This is the blog of Regency author Anne Glover. Not only does she write Regency novels, she reads and reviews the Regency novels of other authors and posts them at her blog. This blog offers a long list of links to the web sites and blogs of other romance authors, where you may discover a new author or two. In addition, Glover also provides information on various aspects of Regency history for those who would like to know more about the period.
This site is part of the EyeOnRomance web of romance sites. There are links on the home page of the Regency Romance Writers site where you can browse for books by Author, Topic, Character Type, Hero/Heroine, among others. Within the Topic category you can find a host of Regency sub-categories from Adventure to Marriage of Convenience to Mistaken Identities to Tutor – Pygmalion effect, and many more in between. For those who like to review books, this site also offers the option to become a reviewer.
Though the bodice-rippers which were so prevalent at the end of the last century have fallen out of favor, many Regency novels of today are still just too spicy and explicit for some readers. The Christian Regency site offers a substantial list of inspirational Regency novels, along with reviews of each, and an interesting ranking system. This site also offers a number of links to articles on various aspects of Regency history
The Historical Novel Society reviews many historical novels across a wide range of settings. A particularly convenient feature of their site is the series of buttons at the top right of each page by which one can browse reviews by Author, Genre, Period, Century and Publisher. As of this writing there are over 250 reviews of novels with a Regency setting. This is an active site so that number will continue to grow.
Open Letters Monthly offers reviews on books of all kinds. They do have reviews on a number of Regency novels, but they do not provide any links to browse for those reviews by genre or period. However, by entering "Regency" in the Search box, you will be presented with a list of reviews on both fiction and non-fiction books related to the Regency.
None of these sites will replace all of the useful pages which were available at Good Ton. However, they will help those interested in novels with a Regency setting to learn about new books in that genre, and if they choose, interact with other readers with similar interests. Since these are all active sites, they will continue to add more book reviews and other information on Regency novels going forward.
Though all but the Good Ton archive is gone, the site will never be forgotten by those of us who love traditional Regencies. I offer my grateful thanks to the unknown creator of that site, as do many others with whom I have corresponded. It may have been a lot of work, but, if, on the off chance you are reading this, please know that there are many who do appreciate your efforts.