Then, Georgette Heyer's Regency World by Jennifer Kloester caught my eye from its perch on the shelf for new books at BHPL. It's an illustrated guide to upper-class life during the early 19th century. Publishers Weekly says it addresses everything "from the inside-out details of period costume to the different methods of harnessing horses to carriages and the proper method of table service".
But the book that I actually checked out is the historical novel Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, the 2009 Booker prize winner. In case you've been living under a rock, this is the gist of the book:
In 1520s England, the Tudor Dynasty is threatening to unravel. King Henry VIII has yet to produce a male heir in twenty-year-marriage to his first wife. However, his pursuit to annul his marriage and court his wife's lady-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn, threatens the stability of all of England and sets forth a chain of events that alters the course of history.Oooh, thrilling. There are other copies available right now, including an audiobook, so I'm not hogging.