My historical romances are all set in Britain, during the Regency period — so called because King George III was suffering from a mental disorder and so his son, the Prince of Wales, was named as ruler — regent — in his place. The Regency period formally ran from 1811, when the king descended into madness for the last time, until 1820 when he died and the Prince of Wales became King George IV. The Regency period roughly coincides with the Napoleonic Wars and includes the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States.
The Regency was a period of great contrasts — tremendous wealth and desperate poverty, glittering society and horrible battles, manors with hundreds of bedrooms and hovels where shared blankets were the norm. Among the aristocracy, marriages were often made to further alliances of money and power, and had little to do with love. But in the world of the Regency Romance, all those contrasts are used to further our lovers’ desires.
I like to write romances set in a timeless present, featuring interesting characters and stories which endure. I believe that classic romances will always remain popular.
Sometimes, however, the world moves on… and some stories become dated. Usually that happens because technology changes. I’m old enough to remember when a hard drive meant ambition and not computer storage, and when cell phones came in bags or looked like a big block of cheese, and when architects used pencils and rulers (and thought an electric eraser was a big advancement) instead of computer-assisted design. But attitudes have changed as well.
In republishing my early books, I have opted not to update the technology or the characters’ outlooks but to leave the story as written. These stories are categorized here as “accidental historicals” — because though they were set in the current day when they were written, times have changed enough to make certain aspects seem quaint.
List of titles and characters in Leigh’s contemporary romances