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Level X

History | The Edwardians: A Gilded Age of Peace and Prosperity (1900-1914) – Autumn Term


Viewed nostalgically as a golden age, Samuel Hynes described it as ‘A leisurely time when women wore picture hats and were not allowed to vote, when the rich were not ashamed to live conspicuously, and the sun never set on a British flag’;. But it was much more than that and also a time of huge inequality.

We study this fascinating period at the beginning of a new century which experienced enormous technological and social change -; ongoing legacy of the Industrial Revolution.

The short “Golden Age” of the Edwardians was defined by the privileged wealthy and upper classes, able to flourish due to the labours of their servants and workers; when conventions of class were still rigidly adhered to -; when everyone knew their place and there was a place for everyone.

Much was new and exciting. Luxury, progress and indulgence in cuisine, culture, art, fashion, homes, entertainment and travel. We compare this opulence and excess for the wealthy with the degrading social conditions, poverty, slums, working and domestic life of the poor.

Illustrated with PowerPoint slideshows.

N.B. History courses may contain outdated attitudes, cultural depictions and language which cause offence today. They have to be viewed from an historic perspective. When discussing the content these views are not those of the tutor.

Tutor: Sarah Tobias. This course runs on a Monday afternoon 1330-1530


Suitable for all abilities


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