Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency

Developing the Regency Brand

Series 1 - Episode 2 Developing the Regency Brand

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Review

Lucy Worsley’s colourful and direct delivery makes this survey of Regency culture an absolute treat. It’s packed with stories of grand building schemes, and she delights in the uncompleted projects, as well as the triumphs.

This second instalment is all about buildings, from the Brighton Pavilion to London’s Regent Street. It’s a tale of a fantastic explosion in British design following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, creating something new from picking over classicism and borrowing from the Orient.

Worsley gives us a perfectly pacy programme with a mischieviousness that might mirror the mood of the period – though that’s no excuse for the background music that continues to labour the connection between the Regency and the 1960s. The Doors for Sir John Soane’s house? Pink Floyd for the Elgin Marbles?

Summary

Lucy Worsley explores why British construction experienced a boom following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, and charts how architecture and design were transformed during the period, visiting Brighton Pavilion and Waterloo Bridge. She also tries her hand at waltzing and decorative cake-making, and tells the story of London's Regent Street, which was intended to provide a ceremonial route to the Prince Regent's palace but did not quite live up to expectations.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Lucy Worsley
Director Rachel Jardine
Executive Producer Michael Poole
Producer Rachel Jardine
Education