You can't get away from it – well, not here in the UK
anyway. The Olympics are everywhere, and even when I retreat into my Regency
writing world those darn games still get in!
August sees the launch of the Castonbury Park series – 8 books
by 8 authors, a sort of Regency Downton Abbey – for me taking part in that seemed like a marathon
in itself, but we will all be blogging and tweeting about it over the coming
weeks and months so I thought today I would take a little time out and indulge
in a little fantasy of how the Olympics might have looked in Regency times
(well, my Olympics, anyway).
We all know that the Regency bucks were mad on sport and I think the Prince Regent would have loved the idea of the games! It would have to be held at Brighton, of
course – just imagine the Pavilion as the venue for the opening ceremonial ball
and then, perhaps a beacon at Beachy Head plus a dance at the assembly rooms and a fair or two for the common people .And of course Prinny would want to design the uniform for the
British athletes… he might ask Brummell to help. On second thoughts, probably not. Brummell's
designs would be far too elegant and tasteful.
All those Regency Corinthians would be in their element, for
we could have boxing (bare fists, of course)
and we could make use of those duelling skills that all Regency heroes
seem to have, so there would be fencing and shooting.
And swimming – how about Byron to represent us? After all he
was a good swimmer and swam the Hellespont (and men swam naked in
those days, so wouldn't that be fun!)
Horse racing, of course and possibly curricle racing. In one
of my Melinda Hammond books, Autumn Bride, I had curricles racing along a flat, sandy beach with the tide
hurtling in, adding an extra element of danger. Great stuff, but no good on
Brighton's pebbles, so perhaps that would have to take place on the Downs
somewhere. Then there's rowing, and sailing - Fencing
and shooting of course, making use of their duelling skills.
And for the ladies? Well, archery would be a suitable sport,
and riding was acceptable. After that, well perhaps we might have to include
tatting, or knotting a fringe. But perhaps we could have a team event of dancing, after all those country dances are fiendishly complicated, and the participants deserve medals (especially those heroes and heroines who can make such delicious conversation whilst taking part in the dance). NOT the waltz, though, that might upset those of a more sensitive disposition.
What do you think? Is there anything -or anyone - you would like to include in these fantasy Regency olympics? Do let me know.
Sarah Mallory/Melinda Hammond
The Illegitimate Montague - book 5 in the
Castonbury Park Series - is published in December 2012
Labels: Brummell, Byron, Corinthians, Melinda Hammond, Olympics, Regency, Regency Sport, Sarah Mallory