Black Friday and Cyber Monday—Regency Style

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Julia Justiss highlights shopping!

costermonger-300x269 Guest Author Highlighting History The frenetic pre-Christmas shopping rush used to be typified by US residents leaving their Thanksgiving Thursday dinners to camp out at midnight, the better to score early-bird shopping bargains on Black Friday morning. With the advent of technology, the madness expanded to the on-line shopping bonanza of Cyber Monday.

Skipping over the fact that Christmas gifts in the Regency would most likely have been home-made, far less extravagant than current gift-giving (a Lexus or a Mercedes for Christmas, anyone?) and generally not given on Christmas day itself, but on Boxing Day or Twelfth Night, let’s take a quick look at the realm of Regency shopping.

berry-seller-300x288 Guest Author Highlighting History Tradesmen had been keeping shops since medieval times (often, in towns, having their living quarters over the shop,) but department stores featuring a number of different types of goods were unknown. Covered shopping areas that gathered a number of shops together under a single roof were not introduced until after the “true” Regency period; Burlington Arcade in London opened in 1819.

The closest our Regency purchaser would have come to the conglomeration of shops to which modern shopper is accustomed would be the farmer’s markets set up in large squares, like Covent Garden. But more likely, many of the household’s purchases would be made from itinerant venders who called at the house, hawked their wares from carts or barrows wheeled through residential neighborhoods, or from a street market.

rabbit-seller-1805-246x300 Guest Author Highlighting History One such market was held in Tottenham Court Road. In my September release, SECRET LESSONS WITH THE RAKE, heroine Ellie Parmenter rescues a homeless orphan and pickpocket, offering her a chance for a better life in her newly-established school for indigent girls. To express her thanks for Ellie’s gift of education, street-smart Artis takes Ellie and hero Christopher to the market to point out the best places to obtain food and necessities at bargain rates.

The description of the market Artis reveals is a composite drawn from sketches of London’s street markets in “Mayhew’s London,” (London: Bracken Books 1984, a composite of the 1861 edition edited by Peter Quennell.) Street hawkers with fish, walnuts, oranges, combs vie with stalls selling knives and hatchets, old shoes, bonnets, second-hand gowns. As some of the illustrations show, it was a vibrant and diverse assembly!

What is your favorite way to shop? On-line in your p.j.s in the comfort of home? At an elegant upscale shopping mall? From small-town shops or an outdoor, weekly farmer’s market? Whatever your preferred venue, may your holidays be merry!

About the Book

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Pursuing a role in Parliament, Christopher Lattimer needs a virtuous marriage to make society overlook his roguish past. When beautiful and disarming Ellie Parmenter offers to reform and refine him, he’s too tempted to say no.

Once a courtesan, Ellie knows a thing or two about polishing a diamond in the rough. She has no designs on Christopher—or any man in search of a wife—but their best-laid plans begin to unravel once lessons in respectability turn to seduction.


  • File Size: 2302 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Historical (September 1, 2017)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2017

Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.

  • UK Paperback: 368 pages

UK Publisher: Mills & Boon (24 Aug. 2017)


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AUTHOR-PHOTO Guest Author Highlighting History About the Author

Award-winning historical romance author Julia Justiss has written more than twenty-five novels and novellas set in the English Regency and the American West.

A voracious reader who began jotting down plot ideas for Nancy Drew novels in her third grade spiral, Julia has published poetry and worked as a business journalist.

She and her husband live in East Texas, where she continues to craft the stories she loves. Check her website for details about her books, chat with her on social media, and follow her on Bookbub for notices about her latest releases.


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Caroline Warfield, Author

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