And so goes the way of the ton - which comes from the French term, le bon ton - pronounced more like tone than ton as in the measurement. The phrase le bon ton, meaning good manners or "in the fashionable mode" were characteristics held as ideal by the British ton. The ton dictated all that was acceptable in regards to fashion, etiquette, manners, social customs and nearly every aspect of social life among the aristocracy of 19th Century England including the monarchy.
A young lady would have been presented to society, usually at a ball, and only danced with respectable gentlemen who had been approved by her parents or guardian. She would have worn white in proper manner and gloves so that she never touched the skin of any gentleman to whom she was introduced or partnered with for a dance. Such were the rules of social interaction between single men and women under the watchful eye of the ton.
Jane Austen was without a doubt the inspiration for all Regency Romance Novels written today for hers were the first and foremost in Romantic Literature stemming from the 19th Century. She lived that world and wrote about it. She created characters like the Bennett sisters as well as other strong female characters with whom every female reader could relate on some level and gentlemen like Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley, and Mr. Wickham with whom every male reader could reflect upon to emulate or despise.
If you haven't read Regency Romance but are a fan of history, period piece movies, or just good stories, I hope you'll stay with us over the next month as we explore the elegant, well-mannered, yet under the surface steamy, world of Regency Romance Novels. I promise, in addition to beautiful romance stories, you'll also meet spies, rakes and men you'll find yourself imagining in your daydreams. Oh, fellas, if you're willing to take a ride with us, you'll meet some sword wielding, gambling, always ready for a fist fight kind of guys who might make you rethink the genre as well. There are even some comedic moments that will have you laughing out loud.
Join us next time when we meet one of those Regency Romance writers who will have you rushing to upload or rushing to your bookstore to get a copy or two. In the meantime, I'm wondering which of Jane Austen's works is your favorite?
I love all of Jane's works and even though PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is one of my favorites as I'm sure it is for most of us as we all wish to be as outspoken as Lizzie Bennett - I have a special place in my literary heart for EMMA. Perhaps because it was Jane's last completed work or because I seem to relate to her the most of all of Jane's ladies.