Why are Regency romances gaining in popularity? There may be many answers.
Regency romances seem to trend every 30 or so years. In the past, they peaked in the mid-1950s and mid-1980s. We’re due for another surge.
In general, historical romances have gained recent interest thanks to the popularity of shows such as Downton Abbey.
And, as Chip MacGregor reminded us, “In a lousy economy, people want a book that’s an escape to a simpler time, so historicals were doing well.”
Currently, whether we look at some areas of the economy, or the political scene, or even recent weather patterns, we see reasons people may want to escape to a happier time.
Most Regency romances are set in a world where economic woes may be resolved by an advantageous marriage… always for love, of course.
Social rules in Regency romances tend to emphasize politeness to an extreme.
Will the current trend last? As a surge of interest, probably not. One need only skim the 2008 Popular Fiction Report to see how quickly popularity can shift.
However, a casual survey of popular romance subgenres will show a steady, loyal readership for Regency romances. I doubt that it will ever dip as low as 1000 True Fans, but the audience is there. Always.