Good-bye Good Ton?

Probably. Almost.

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.

GoodReads

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.

Rakehell.com

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 Romances at
A Regency Repository

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.

Regency Reader Blog

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.

Regency Romance Writers

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.

Christian Regency

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

Historical Novel Society

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

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.

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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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27 Responses to Good-bye Good Ton?

  1. haha, yes, finding a good regency can be hard – I picked one up in a charity shop with 3 novellas by different authors, and the first one had me grinding my teeth – not at being a bit too raunchy for my tastes, which was only mildly boring, but the anachronistic language. This was an author called Julia Justiss who appears on your list but who has HAD it from me as a potential customer.

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      Ah, yes, Julia Justiss. I do understand what you mean. I find her work very uneven. When it is good, it is really good. I have read a few of her romances which are delightfully heart-warming and satisfying, while others either leave me cold or just seriously tick me off. Overall, the majority of her books which I have read have been good, which is why she is still on my list. If the balance tips the other way, I will take her off.

      If you are willing to give her another chance, there are a couple of books from her backlist which I really enjoyed, A Most Unconventional Match, and Society’s Most Disreputable Gentleman. Both are part of her ongoing series on the Wellingford family, but there is no need to have read the other novels in order to enjoy either of these.

      Happy New Year!

      Regards,

      Kat

      • Thanks for that, Kat, I will look out for them – her style between the irritating parts was solid enough, without quite tipping into turgid though it threatened at times. We’re all spoiled by growing up on Heyer, I suppose… I would recommend Carola Dunn as well, who also incorporates children very well into some of her stories. She’s one who writes without anything racy at all, a lot of research, and dare I say it, a lightness of touch that almost recalls Heyer.

  2. Thanks for this very useful collection of links for both readers and writers!

    I’m curious about the Christian Regency category you mention. Do they tend to present a faithful (pun intended!) picture of the lived experience and beliefs of Christians in that time and place? My impression of most “Christian X” books is that the Christian elements are written through a purely contemporary, usually conservative evangelical, Christian lens projected onto the culture portrayed in the book.

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I am glad you found the list useful.

      I am afraid I cannot give you more details on the Christian/inspirational Regency sub-genre, as they are not really up my street. I have a friend who reads them from time to time, and from what she says, the majority tend to be stories with Regency settings but modern-day religious philosophies.

      My sense is that they are written, as you noted, for those of the conservative evangelical Christian persuasion. Which is a bit ironic, really, since most people were fairly lax when it came to religious issues during the Regency. But one must accept that these novels are written to entertain modern readers and both authors and publishers who know their niche market must write for that demographic, or they would soon find themselves out of business.

      Regards,

      Kat

  3. trojanwalls says:

    Reblogged this on golpo and commented:
    Here’s a blog post that’ll help you find good traditional georgian era romances to suit your tastes and your particular trope preferences.
    You’re welcome. =)

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      I appreciate the thought, but none of the sites listed here are specifically targeted to Georgian novels. Folks will have to troll through them in order to find novels set in that era. But, then again, as they browse, they may find other books of interest, so hopefully, their efforts will not be wasted.

      Regards,

      Kat

      • trojanwalls says:

        You know, the above *comment* was not supposed to be a comment on this blog at all but an addendum to my re-blogging of this post. Cause as a comment here it takes on a tone of presumption that is making me cringe… I didn’t mean “You’re welcome” to you, but to my friends who read my blog.
        Actually I went through most of the links and I found a large number of traditional historicals (some of which are familiar and some of which are not my type), and I’m pretty sure that with a little effort my friends can find something they like there too. I found three that I’m hunting down for now. I’ll jump in for more later.
        Thanks for the post!

        Oh as a thank you, a friend recently recommended Jude Morgan’s *Indiscretion* and I wanted to recommend it to you. I haven’t read it yet but it sounds promising.

        • Kathryn Kane says:

          No worries about the comment. The first time I read the “You’re welcome,” I did think it a bit presumptuous, but then I realized the comment was meant for your blog, not mine. 🙂

          I am very glad to know you found a lot of traditional Regencies on those sites. I have to admit I only gave most of them the once-over, since I am still relying primarily on the Good Ton archive to find old trads.

          Thank you for the recommendation. I have not heard of Jude Morgan, but I will give it a try.

          Regards,

          Kat

      • trojanwalls says:

        ps. It just occurred to me that what you were saying was that there aren’t too many “georgian” era books to be found in these sites, as in the eras before Regency. I usually use the word georgian because I like the stories that fall both in Regency’s short, charmed period and the decade just before it. But you’re right, others would probably think I’m talking about the half century before that.

        • Technically I suppose the Georgian era ends with the death of George IV after the end of the Regency [er, 1827? I think William reigned 10 years…]. I certainly, however, tend to think of Georgian as, well, mid 1700’s, despite really being better informed than that… the period of These Old Shades and Masqueraders to cite a couple of Heyers. I think most people tend to view ‘Regency’ as the ‘Long Regency’ ie from around 1790 to the Victorian era [because everyone always forgets poor old William IV]. Stylistically fashion wise the period really covers about 1790-1822, with the early adoption of muslin, albeit in the pouter pigeon style gown and still with big hair at the early end, and with waists slipped to a normal place but not yet totally ridiculous corsetting and HUGE SLEEVES at the other end. Moreover though the period saw some technological changes, it was not the huge leap of [a] the Industrial Revolution preceding it or [b] the great age of engineers that followed it. The Recency era may technically be 1811 to 1820 but de facto it extends before that certainly and to some extent through George IV’s reign.

          • Kathryn Kane says:

            If you want to be very precise, the “Georgian” era would be 1 August 1714 to 26 June 1830, from the accession of George I to the death of George IV. But most historians consider the Georgian era to run from 1714 to 1837, which covers all of the Hanoverian kings who followed the Stuarts. Then comes the Victorian era, into which some historians even lump the reign of her son, Edward VII.

            You are right about the “Long Regency” running from 1785-90ish until the accession of Victorian in 1837, in the view of most historians. Certainly art and fashion historians use those dates, since that is the range of years in which the Prince of Wales came of age and had such enormous influence over British art and fashion. Though he was outrageously spoiled and self-indulgent, he did have extremely good taste, and all the arts flourished in Britain under his influence.

            Regards,

            Kat

        • Kathryn Kane says:

          Most historians consider the Georgian Period to run from 1714 to 1837. The first King George came to the English throne in 1714, and the reign of poor William IV, as Sarah noted, tends to be marginalized and lumped in with the first four Georges. Authors like Georgette Heyer, Jo Beverly, and Kat Martin, among others, have written historical novels set in the Georgian era, most of them during the reign of George III, while the Prince of Wales was still a child. Of course, that was an age of much less refined manners and attitudes, so these novels, while well-written, tend to be less delicate and refined than novels set in the Regency.

          Regards,

          Kat

          • MC Beaton has written a highly amusing and not to be taken too seriously [but historically well researched nonetheless] regency series called ‘the school for manners’ where the difference between Georgian and more refined Regency manners are highlighted with a pair of Georgian spinsters polishing ‘difficult’ girls. Now I can’t STAND Agatha Raisin but I do enjoy Beaton’s Regencies, and the way this highlights women with racy speech left over from a previous age is quite amusing.

            • Kathryn Kane says:

              Thanks for the reference. Another author who is new to me. It sounds delicious. I will seek it out.

              Regards,

              Kat

              • there are 6 books in the series which comes to a satisfactory conclusion, as does the 6 book series ‘the travelling matchmaker’ whose main character is an upper servant who has come into some money and decides to see the world from the stage coaches she watched pass her place of work for so many years. I think she may have written other regencies as well, I haven’t tried her Edwardian ones. Apparently she’s written some under her maiden name Marion Chesney as well. Yup, just checked, there’s the ‘a house for the season’ series and ‘the six sisters’ series – she seems to develop characters over 6 books and then stop before they get tedious, which seems sensible, her Hamish Macbeth books started to get a bit ‘samey’. I’ll keep an eye out for those I haven’t read too!!

              • Kathryn Kane says:

                I have read several books by Marion Chesney, though it was some years ago. I thought she had stopped writing, since I have not seen any books with that author name for a long time. I am very glad to know she is still writing. Now that I know her new author name, I will certainly seek out her books.

                Thanks,

                Kat

  4. Kathryn Kane says:

    Sarah – Thanks for the referral to Carola Dunn’s novels. I am not at all familiar with her work, but I will keep an eye out for them.

    I know what you mean about Heyer, there really is nothing like her work. Though I may be considered blasphemous, if it comes down to it, I prefer Heyer even to Austen.

    =^..^=

  5. modernflapper says:

    Thank you for the link to the internet archive! I downloaded all the webpages from Good Ton, so at least I can reference the old thing I have.

  6. Anne Glover says:

    Thanks for the shout out. The Good Ton will be sadly missed, as it was an excellent resource for Regency Romance lovers. I endeavor to continue in the tradition of resources, reads, and all things Regency all the time!

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      My pleasure! There are so few Regency resources on the net that I thought it might help others with similar interests to provide a list of those resources.

      Your blog has a wonderful mix of information, so there is something for everyone there. I hope your blog will remain online for many years.

      Regards,

      Kat

  7. vandafield says:

    Hi Kathryn,

    A coment from “trojanwalls” mentioned the author Jude Morgan. As an introduction to his works (JM is a psuedonym for Tim Wilson) I would recommend his 1st Trad Regency, “An Accomplished Woman”.

    This novel is as good as Heyer at her best. (Not said lightly – I am a Heyer afficianado from way back and have ALL of her Regency and Historical works which I re-read regularly)

    The characters, the wit and and the language is all one admires in Austen/Heyer romantic comedies. The opening paragraph of the 1st chapter is brilliant in the way it immediately gives voice, character and personality to a heroine who is an absolute delight. Her hero protagonist is is a gem.

    And, as with Austen and Heyer, it’s all about the romance.

    Hope you get the chance to enjoy it.

    Cheers
    V

    • Kathryn Kane says:

      WOW!!! What a recommendation! Now I have to read some of these novels!

      So far as I know, I have never read a romance novel by a man, so this will be a new experience for me. Fortunately, my local library has a copy of both An Accomplished Woman and Indiscretion in their circulating collection. I have requested copies of both, and will read them as soon as time permits.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your recommendation.

      Regards,

      Kat

  8. Pingback: The Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine | The Regency Redingote

  9. 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!

    =^..^=

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