Friday, 27 February 2015

Issues of Time Periods: Dates and Nomenclature

You often hear people referring to Georgian Dance or Baroque Dance or Regency Dance or Jane Austen Dancing.

The Georgian period covers some 116 years from 1714 to 1830 some writers also talk of the long eighteenth century as being anything up to1660 to 1830. The Baroque period is more difficult to pin down as it refers to a style rather than a period but authorities seem to agree it that in terms of music, certainly in England, it refers to a period from about 1600 to 1750. The Regency, i.e. when Prince George was actually Regent, ran from 1812 to 1820 however people frequently apply the term from much earlier than this as the Prince of Wales influence on fashion and style began to grow from about the time of the Regency Crisis of 1788 and some run the period up to the Prince's death as George IV in 1830.

References to Jane Austen dancing are even more confusing as far as we know Jane Austen attended her first ball in Basingstoke Town Hall in 1792 at the age of 16, she seems to have attended her first Bath Assembly in 1797 and many of her novels also seem to be set in the 1790's. However, most of the films of Austen novels seem to be set much later, usually around the date of publication i.e. 1811 - 1817 but often use dances and dance music from much early such as Mister Beveridge's Maggot which has its origins in Playford's publications of the late 17th Century.

This blog tries to avoid much of this by referring to the dancing of particular decades within the long Eighteen century.

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