I'm reading Sylvester by Georgette Hyer, on loan from Inker Donna after a soujourn at Inker DJ's house. It has been refreshing after reading a very good, but emotionally heavy story followed by three other books that I started but did not care to finish.
What is it about the Regency period that makes these stories so good and enduring? Is it the lifestyles of the rich and famous aspect where we get to live vicariously as the wealthy of the period did, with nothing to occupy our days except riding in a phaeton or curricle or taking a leisurely stroll through beautiful countryside, attending parties and balls in London, studying music, art, and languages, and calling on friends. Certainly we sympathize with those characters who are not of the acceptable birth or wealth in society and are made to feel not worthy. However, for most there is almost always a happy ending.
Shannon Hale's Austenland revolves around a woman takes a Jane Austen themed vacation and gets to live the Regency life. I think Hale should take things a step further and create a Jane Austen theme park inspired by the book (a la the Harry Potter park). I could see it doing well because for whatever the reason, this era and the stories set in them speak to people (ok, mostly women). I haven't heard of plans for a real Austenland, but there is an Austenland movie coming soon...
BTW, I know the photo is not of Sylvester, but of Mr. Darcy. I can't help it.