Georgette Heyer, 1948. Not as witty or farcical as some of her books, but possibly with the best character development, and interesting stuff on the tyranny of affection. The Duke of Sale wants to be “plain Mr Dash, of Nowhere in Particular”.
Some good phrases and Regency slang from the book:
“I think he classes you with park-saunterers, and other such ramshackle persons” (reminded me of Larkin’s Toads Revisited)
“If you had as much sense as a pullet”
“If it’s a bit of home-brewed you’re wanting, you herring-gutted, blubber-headed clunch, put up your mawleys!”
“Tom, no sufferer from matutinal moroseness, enlivened the [breakfast] board with a ceaseless flow of conversation.”