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This book brings an engaging cast of Regency characters vividly to life through a vigorous combination of words and pictures. Biographical sketches accompany portraits from the collections of the National Portrait Gallery with the whole introduced by an original and thought-provoking essay from Richard Holmes. Together they illustrate all the diversity and exuberance of Regency England - its triumphs, dramas, paradoxes, successes and excesses. It was a period of seismic political change, of revolutionary scientific discovery, of towering artistic achievement, of military triumph and of social scandal. From American Independence to the shocking trial of Queen Caroline, from vaccination to the Battle of Waterloo, from Don Juan to the Abolition of slavery, this book offers a fascinating portrait of a thrilling period in British history.