Hi, Jo Bev here with a quick blog as I'm traveling.
My next book The Viscount Needs a Wife, and the one I'm working on, are both triggered by the death of Princess Charlotte in November 1817. That leads them straight into winter. I blogged back in December about winter cold, and here we are now on the edge of spring, in England at least. (We won't mention Australia and other southern hemisphere places, which are heading for colder times.)
In most of my books my characters are fond of their country residences. In some books, claiming, holding onto, or restoring the country seat is a main part of the blog. In A Scandalous Countess, for example, the hero is willing to marry Georgia in order to get the money to restore his ruined family estate. It's not an uncommon plot line.
In TVNAW I knew the hero didn't like the country and didn't want a country seat, but I was surprised to find that Kitty felt the same. As a result, I was exposed to the charms of London in the winter and the horrors of the frigid, bleak countryside.
Yes, indeed. Most of the nobility fled to London or possibly some other cosy town once Christmas was done with. In Town, they lived in a small, easily-heated house (and most Mayfair homes were small) and they only needed to travel short distances to visit friends, the theatre, shops, and various other places of business.
The men could also attend Parliament, which was the original reason for the "Winter Season" but by the Georgian and especially the Regency period, there was so much more to it. All the same, most of the nobility spent most of the year on their country estates. London was noisy, crowded, and very polluted by coal fires. It was also a breeding ground for disease, and not considered a healthy place in which to rear children.
This pattern of living had much to do with Britain avoiding revolution, for despite the Winter Season and the later Spring one, the British nobility were country based. London in the summer was unpleasant, and harvest time was important, so they spent most of their year on their rural estates, taking care of them and in contact with their workers and tenants. In France, by contrast, the nobility had been encouraged to spend all their time at Versailles, so they were out of touch.
The book I'm writing now is also triggered by Charlotte's death, so it's wintery, too, but though the plot hinges on the country estate, Boxstall Priory, the characters do spend most of their time in Town.