Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Romancing the Regency: Fantasy, Reality, and “The Ton” in Early Nineteenth Century London


Price: $25 for OLLI Members      $35 for non-members

Dates & Time: Wednesday, May 22nd  2:00-3:30

Class Type: Online

Instructor:  Dr. Julie Taddeo

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Course Description

In Regency England, the London season—from the end of January, when Parliament reopened, until July—brought members of the titled peerage into the city to conduct government. Meanwhile, their wives held balls and parties to network. Known as the “Ton,” they were comprised of a few hundred wealthy families whose strict codes of conduct, fashion, and social customs dictated who and what was socially acceptable. They were the celebrities of the early 19th century, engaged in what was described as “a business of pleasure.”

In this lecture, historian Julie Taddeo examines the men and women who lived “in the fashionable mode” and whose lives were tightly circumscribed. Exacting rules guided members of the Ton and their families, from what they wore, when they debuted, how they courted, who they married to where they lived, and what work men did—or didn’t do. It was not easy to gain entry to this elite circle, as fans of the popular “Bridgerton” series know, and anything done beyond its rigid proscriptions was enough to render the offender ignored—or worse. Why does this brief moment in history (1811-1820) continue to fascinate us, and what do film and TV adaptations of Jane Austen or  the Bridgerton series, among others,  ignore about the political, economic, and social realities of  this era?


Additional information

Course Term

Spring-Summer 2024

Day of the Week



Dr. Julie Taddeo, Ph.D. History, University of Rochester

Event Type


Event Details

Date: 2024-05-22

Start time: 02:00 p.m. PDT

End time: 03:30 p.m. PDT

Venue: Online


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