#BookReview Mad & Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency by Bea Koch @GrandCentralPub #BeaKoch #GrandCentralPub Title: Mad & Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency

Author: Bea Koch

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 262

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

Discover a feminist pop history that looks beyond the Ton and Jane Austen to highlight the Regency women who succeeded on their own terms and were largely lost to history — until now.


Regency England is a world immortalized by Jane Austen and Lord Byron in their beloved novels and poems. The popular image of the Regency continues to be mythologized by the hundreds of romance novels set in the period, which focus almost exclusively on wealthy, white, Christian members of the upper classes.
 
But there are hundreds of fascinating women who don’t fit history books limited perception of what was historically accurate for early 19th century England. Women like Dido Elizabeth Belle, whose mother was a slave but was raised by her white father’s family in England, Caroline Herschel, who acted as her brother’s assistant as he hunted the heavens for comets, and ended up discovering eight on her own, Anne Lister, who lived on her own terms with her common-law wife at Shibden Hall, and Judith Montefiore, a Jewish woman who wrote the first English language Kosher cookbook.

As one of the owners of the successful romance-only bookstore The Ripped Bodice, Bea Koch has had a front row seat to controversies surrounding what is accepted as “historically accurate” for the wildly popular Regency period. Following in the popular footsteps of books like Ann Shen’s Bad Girls Throughout History, Koch takes the Regency, one of the most loved and idealized historical time periods and a huge inspiration for American pop culture, and reveals the independent-minded, standard-breaking real historical women who lived life on their terms. She also examines broader questions of culture in chapters that focus on the LGBTQ and Jewish communities, the lives of women of color in the Regency, and women who broke barriers in fields like astronomy and paleontology. In Mad and Bad, we look beyond popular perception of the Regency into the even more vibrant, diverse, and fascinating historical truth.


Review:

Light, insightful, and fun!

Mad & Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency is an informative, intriguing look into the importance and influence of a bold, noteworthy set of women from the regency period on the literature we indulge in and enjoy every day.

The writing is educative and descriptive. The characters are intelligent, independent, and driven. And the novel is a fascinating, enlightening tale about the intricacies of the higher echelons of Regency society and the women who were plucky enough to pave the way for the feminist ideals of today.

Overall, I found Mad & Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency to be a quick, easy, fascinating treat full of facts and illustrations of a group of women who were certainly ahead of their time and without a doubt an inspiration for us all.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                      

 

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bea Koch

Bea Koch is one of the owners of The Ripped Bodice, the only independent bookstore in the US dedicated to romance. In addition to being a groundbreaking bookseller, Bea graduated from Yale with distinction as the last Renaissance Studies major and received an MA in Costume History from NYU: Steinhardt. She is the proud mother of dog Fitzwilliam Waffles. He has more followers on Instagram than she does.

Photograph courtesy of Grand Central Publishing Website.

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