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Mad and Bad

Mad and Bad

Real Heroines of the Regency

A feminist pop history that looks beyond the Ton and Jane Austen to highlight iconoclastic women of the Regency period who succeeded on their own terms and have largely been lost to history.

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.
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Genre: Nonfiction / History / Women

On Sale: June 9th 2020

Price: $17.99 / $22.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 272

ISBN-13: 9781538701010

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


"This is not the Regency you thought you knew! Bea Koch's Mad & Bad is an important and enlightening new look at this classic era."—Maya Rodale, bestselling author of historical romance
"A unique and lively perspective on the women who ran the Regency."—Roy and Lesley Adkins, authors of Jane Austen's England
"Bea Koch's Mad and Bad is a marvelous work of joyful feminist triumph that paints a nuanced picture of the British Regency era as women experienced it. From Caroline Lamb to Annie Lister to Mary Seacole, Koch's lovingly rendered biographies illuminate fascinating narratives of power, inequity, ambition, and passion. What a gift to have at our fingertips this excellent archive of mad, bad heroines, all of whom demand bother remembrance and careful study. I will return to its pages often, grateful for the historical tapestry Koch has gracefully woven."—Rachel Vorona Cote, author of Too Much
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