World History Roy Hattersley The Edwardians

ISBN 13: 9780859892520

The Edwardians

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9780859892520: The Edwardians

Edwardian Britain has often been described as a golden sunlit afternoon---personified by its genial and self-indulgent King. In fact, modern Britain was born during the reign of Edward VII, when politics, science, literature, and the arts were turned upside down.

In Parliament, the peers were crushed for the first time since Magna Carta. Irish nationalists and suffragettes took politics out on to the streets. Home Rule and Votes for Women were delayed, not precipitated, by the First World War.

Great parliamentary stars such as Lloyd George and Winston Churchill typified an era in which personalities dominated the headlines of the new tabloid newspapers. It was the age of Rolls and Royce, Scott and Shackleton, Edward Elgar, Shaw, the Pankhursts, and Mrs. Alice Keppel, whose social life was reported without mention of her relationship with the King.

The theater of ideas superseded drawing room dramas. Novelists of genius---from Henry James to D. H. Lawrence---produced a masterpiece each year. A London gallery caused a sensation with an exhibition of "Postimpressionists." Edward Elgar was the first English composer for two hundred years to stand comparison with the continental European masters. In sport, Victorian chivalry was replaced with unashamed professionalism.

Man flew for the first time and the motorcar became a common sight on city streets. Physicists examined the structure of the atom and philosophers disputed the traditional definition of virtue. The churches tried, without success, to confront and confound a new skepticism. Explorers sought to prove that men could live, and die, like gods.

Drawing on previously unpublished diaries and letters, Roy Hattersley's The Edwardians is a beguiling account of a turbulent and frequently misunderstood period. It is a full and often humorous portrait of an era that he elevates to its rightful place in British history.

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About the Author:

Roy Hattersley is a former deputy leader of the Labour Party and former Cabinet minister. He stood down as a Member of Parliament in 1997 and has been a member of the House of Lords. He has written biographies of Nelson, William and Catherine Booth, John Wesley, and a history of Britain since the First World War. He has also written three novels.

Review:

"There is a vacancy for the role in [British] culture of a senior politician who can write a proper history.... The main contender is...Roy Hattersley." ---The Sunday Times (London)

"This is well-judged narrative history, shrewd and stirring in equal measure.... Edwardian imagination, Edwardian true grit, and the sheer effort and ingenuity they put into being modern all receive acknowledgment in this rewarding book." ---David Trotter, The Guardian

"Roy Hattersley is now carving a niche as a master of popular history and biography.... Hattersley carries off his chapters with a magnificent swagger.... This splendid popular history will confirm Hattersley's status as one of the most interesting writer-politicians of our time." ---Daily Express

"This is a handsome book. Written with style, grace,and wit, it is informative and perceptive, and for the first time brings the whole history of Edwardian Britain into a single focus for the general reader. The task required an author of wide accomplishments, ranging from practical insight into politics, a historian's skills, and literary talent; and here it has abundantly found them." ---The Independent on Sunday

"Roy Hattersley, in his thorough and informative new history, gives the social whirl of the aristocracy its due. But he pays much more attention to what really mattered . . . a readable and very wide-ranging history, taking in everything Edwardian." ---The Daily Mail

"What makes this book is not just the quality of its social and political analysis, but the breadth of detail and the quality of its gossipy anecdotes . . . [a] fascinating book." ---The Glasgow Herald
"Intricate, self-assured and insightfully anecdotal account of British social and political history from 1901 to 1914... A convincing account of a watershed epoch, Hattersley's concise yet comprehensive history casts new light on a much-misunderstood era."---Publishers Weekly

"Intricate, self-assured and insightfully anecdotal account of British social and political history from 1901 to 1914... A convincing account of a watershed epoch, Hattersley's concise yet comprehensive history casts new light on a much-misunderstood era."---Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)

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