A Man’s World
The Age of Rakes, Rogues & Scoundrels
If you were a man, especially a man who lusted and drank, the Regency rocked. Men could marry for love, convenience, money or power—and were not expected to be faithful. Discreet, yes.
But manly indiscretion need not bar one from the ton. The Prince Regent was this generation’s Pied Piper, leading the way in almost every form of vice. The end result was textbook: When no one finds anything too extreme or opulent or expensive, how can you criticize anyone? And so excesses flourished.
The typical day for a London bachelor? Rise after noon, have a leisurely breakfast, dress, go to the club at 3, practice boxing at 4, promenade in Hyde Park at 5, and spend an evening with friends at the theater or opera, fashionable parties or masquerade balls, men’s club or gaming hall.
So what was expected of upper-class men during the Regency? The responsibilities were few but universal: Enhance the family’s wealth, power and prestige. Keep the family name respectable. Be elegant in dress and manner in public. If you were the oldest, marry and produce an heir. And, oh yes: Keep those extramarital affairs on the down low.