In Regency Britain: Three Lives in One Day, we will lift the lid on a typical day of three typical Regency-era people - a female housemaid, her gentleman master and a young upper middle class woman - through a combination of expert testimony and reconstructed moments.

Synopsis

The Regency era is one of the most eventful periods in British history, encompassing huge changes in our culture and society. The Napoleonic wars, the assassination of a prime minister and the publishing of key works by Byron, Blake, Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley and, of course, Jane Austen: all of these occurred during the frenetic nine years that make up the Regency period.

So much for the big historical and cultural events of the era. But what was life like lived on the ground? In Regency Britain: Three Lives in One Day, our team of experts take viewers through 24 hours in the life of three Regency era individuals via impressionistic evocations of key moments in their daily life.

In three separate films, we follow the typical activities of a man whose upper-class social standing would have been roughly equivalent to that of Darcy in Austen's Pride and Prejudice (one of the most enduring fictional characters of the Regency era), a young lady of similar status to Elizabeth Bennet, and a lowly housemaid who is employed in the gentleman's home.

Our three-pronged approach reveals starkly contrasting sides of life in early 19th century Britain. Our wealthy gentleman character would have been on an income roughly equivalent to Darcy's reputed £10,000-a-year (about £350,000 in today's money). In contrast, a housemaid would have had an income of around £12 per year: even when adjusted for inflation, that amounts to just £400 a year.

Regency Britain: Three Lives in One Day is an immersive and revealing insight into one of the most fascinating and endlessly appealing periods of British history.

Programme Info

  • Available in HD

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