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23 June 2010

~Historical Places~ Almack's Assembly Rooms

(This is another crossover post, incidentally, my original "Regency Wednesday" post from my author blog. I've decided to post it here, as an extensive scene from Deception takes place within the hallowed walls of Almack's.) 


Almack's Assembly Rooms


Almack's was a social club attended only by the crème de la crème of Regency Society. Located in King Street, St James, London, it was ruled by six or seven patronesses at any given time during the Regency. In 1814, they were Mrs. Drummond Burrell, Lady Esterházy (who was Princess Esterházy after 1833), Lady Jersey, Lady Cowper, Lady Castlereagh, Lady Sefton, and Lady Lieven (who was Princess Lieven after 1826). Balls were held every Wednesday night during the Season.

To attend, one had to apply for vouchers at a cost of ten guineas. Eager attendees were allowed in only if they had one of these coveted vouchers. Being denied vouchers for any reason could ruin the social aspirations of the seeker. If one received vouchers only to lose them later, one may as well pack one's bags and leave London.


The outer appearance of Almack's was nothing special but neither was the interior. The patronesses wanted the focus to be on the Society within, the people and manners, not the amenities. It was a social club to the core, a place to see and be seen.

Dancing was the premiere entertainment at Almack's with gossip running a close second. Reputations were made and broken with shocking regularity.

Almack's was an important part of Regency history. The famed novelist Georgette Heyer often mentioned it in her Regency romances. At times, she is even credited with having invented Almack's. It was a real place, however.

If anyone has something about Almack's they'd like to share, please leave a comment. Even if all you want to do is point out where I've erred.
In Deception, Aurora attends Almack's with her companion, Miss Ellison. While there, Aurora helps ward off a scandal involving the hero, Lord Greville. But the Duke of Derringer takes matters into his own hands, ruining one woman's chance of ever marrying well and damaging Aurora's reputation in the process.

*Dates were taken from the Wikipedia article Almack's.

4 comments:

  1. I love the "facts from your fiction" (borrowed from author, Sharon Cathcart). As one of the few who has actually had the honor of reading "Deception" I was especially intrigued. Thanks for sharing this fascinating bit of information.

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  2. I love anything England. Your novel sounds quite intriguing and I'll keep a watch on it. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Linda:

    I was tempted to call it Facts From My Fiction but didn't feel right doing it since that's Sharon's clever title. However, that's what it is, LOL.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed my little bit of trivia on Almack's. Thanx for stopping by!

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  4. Deanna:

    I'm so happy you think Deception sounds interesting! I hope you do check it out. It's set for release July 15 but is available for pre-order now from TreasureLine Books.

    Have a great day and thanx for stopping by!!

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