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General Regency topics

Book Review – Britain Against Napoleon

Britain Against Napoleon – The Organization of Victory 1793-1815, by Roger Knight.

In spite of its main title, the book covers the French Revolutionary War (1793-1802) as well as the Napoleonic War.

Britain was at war from 1793 until 1815, with only a couple of intervals. During this time there were changes in the way the army and navy were organised, supplied, and paid for, changes in politics and government, and an increase in production (both manufacturing and agricultural). It was also a period when attempts were made to reduce corruption.

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Pile of non-fiction history books

TBR list – non-fiction

I thought I’d share a pic of some of my TBR list of non-fiction books about the Georgian and Regency era. Quite a few of these are about Wellington and the Peninsular War. Others are about everyday life, including historical gardening, death and disease.

Two of the books in the pile are about women who ‘followed the drum’, and one is the diary of the wife of a soldier – as opposed to an officer. They will make fascinating reading, and I’m looking forward to blogging about them afterwards. There are also several memoirs or diaries of officers serving with Wellington – quite poignant, some of these, when we know the writer was killed not long afterwards.

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Man-traps and poachers

Game laws

My novel, The Mrs MacKinnons, involves a poacher and mantraps, in a small way, so I looked into what the law was on these subjects at the beginning of the 19th century.

The rural poor in England could, at one time, legally graze cows or sheep on common land, or take the occasional rabbit. Some resorted to poaching game on private land to feed themselves or to sell the game for profit.  During the Regency period and earlier, man-traps were one of the inhumane methods used to trap poachers on private land.

There were many laws introduced over the centuries aiming to prevent the poor taking game from private land. For example, an act passed in 1671, in the reign of Charles II, decreed that the following people were not allowed to have guns, bows, hunting dogs or ferrets, nets etc:

“..all and every person and persons, not haveing Lands and Tenements or some other Estate of Inheritance in his owne or his Wifes right of the cleare yearely value of one hundred pounds per ann. or for terme of life, or haveing Lease or Leases of ninety nine yeares or for any longer terme, of the cleare yearely value of one hundred and fifty pounds, other then the Sonne and Heire apparent of an Esquire, or other person of higher degree”

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