This is the history of the Regency period as seen through Heyer's books, but the nice thing is that you needn't have read all (or any) of her novels to grasp what's going on in the references. I've only read one Heyer book but that wasn't a problem.An example:40% in: "...In The Foundling, it was to Sydney Gardens that the Duke of Sale sent his young friend, Tom Mamble, to while away several hours enjoying all the famous attractions such as Merlin's Grotto, the Hermit's Cot, the 'Ruined Castle,' waterfalls, the echo reverberating from the distant cliffs of Beacon Hill and - most famous of all - the Labyrinth, touted in a Bath guidebook as being 'nearly twice as large as that in the gardens of Hampton Court.' For those who found their way to the centre of the hedge-lined maze (maps could be purchased showing the path), there was the added attraction of Merlin's Swing, a ride which apparently operated on 'Archimedian principles.'That's the Sydney Gardens in Bath, by the way.This was a book I found myself setting aside and picking back up again, so there were parts I was less interested in. While sometimes the history seemed more like a listing of facts, once and a while a subject would pop out and present information that was unique and interesting. Well, to me, anyway. For instance, I've read a little about the dances of the period, but this bit was new:27% in "...When it was first introduced the quadrille proved difficult for many unwary dancers and so cards were produced with directions for the correct execution of the various figures and changes. Almack's provided dance cards for for those less expert dancers but, although a useful device, it was also an unwieldly one when used during the actual dance.I had no idea they handed out cheat sheets for the dances! For some reason I'm delighted with the idea - and now of course I'm wondering if there's a book on the history of dances that might have photos of such cards. (In the meantime, this website has more on the period dances and will have to tide me over, along with whatever else I can find on the web.)One problem with working the Heyer characters in with the historical ones is that it's not always entirely clear who's fictional and who's not. Especially if you're not familiar with the Heyer book that's cited. For instance:63% in "...Some among the nobility, such as Sir Richard Wyndham in The Corinthian, were privileged enough to strip to the waist, don a pair of boxing gloves and engage in a sparring contest with 'Corinthian Jack,' and many famous Regency men, including Lord Byron, learned this art of self-defense at his Bond Street rooms. Charles Rivenhall in The Grand Sophy sparred there regularly and Jackson was wont to say that he could have made him a champion if he had not been an aristocrat."Wyndham and Rivenhall are Heyer creations - Lord Byron and John Jackson were real people. While the books that contain each are noted, it makes things a slight bit confusing when Jackson, historical figure, is noted as admiring the boxing ability of Rivenhall, fictional creation.Note to self: interesting, look up quotes later (I didn't know about the "apes in hell" bit):83% in, in section of definitions "....an ape leader: a woman beyond marriageable age; so-called because of a proverb that says their failure to increase and multiply dooms them to lead apes in hell. Also used by Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing II.i.41 and The Taming of the Shrew II.i.34."While the book does have a multiple page bibliography, there are no footnotes here, so no way to find out specifically where any of the information was found. So although I'd say this was great reading for those interested, it's a bit harder to say it'd be useful as a scholarly reference.