The Age of Decadence

Britain 1880 to 1914

Author: Simon Heffer

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473507588

Category: History

Page: 912

View: 6346

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‘A riveting account of the pre-First World War years . . . The Age of Decadence is an enormously impressive and enjoyable read.’ Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times ‘A magnificent account of a less than magnificent epoch.’ Jonathan Meades, Literary Review The folk-memory of Britain in the years before the Great War is of a powerful, contented, orderly and thriving country. She commanded a vast empire. She bestrode international commerce. Her citizens were living longer, profiting from civil liberties their grandparents only dreamt of, and enjoying an expanding range of comforts and pastimes. The mood of pride and self-confidence is familiar from Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance marches, newsreels of George V’s coronation and the London’s great Edwardian palaces. Yet things were very different below the surface. In The Age of Decadence Simon Heffer exposes the contradictions of late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain. He explains how, despite the nation’s massive power, a mismanaged war against the Boers in South Africa created profound doubts about her imperial destiny. He shows how attempts to secure vital social reforms prompted the twentieth century’s gravest constitutional crisis and coincided with the worst industrial unrest in British history. He describes how politicians who conceded the vote to millions more men disregarded women so utterly that female suffragists’ public protest bordered on terrorism. He depicts a ruling class that fell prey to degeneracy and scandal. He analyses a national psyche that embraced the motor-car, the sensationalist press and the science fiction of H. G. Wells, but also the Arts and Crafts of William Morris and the nostalgia of A. E. Housman. And he concludes with the crisis that in the summer of 1914 threatened the existence of the United Kingdom – a looming civil war in Ireland. He lights up the era through vivid pen-portraits of the great men and women of the day – including Gladstone, Parnell, Asquith and Churchill, but also Mrs Pankhurst, Beatrice Webb, Baden-Powell, Wilde and Shaw – creating a richly detailed panorama of a great power that, through both accident and arrogance, was forced to face potentially fatal challenges. ‘A devastating critique of prewar Britain . . . disturbingly relevant to the world in which we live.’ Gerard DeGroot, The Times ‘You won’t put it down . . . A really riveting read.’ Rana Mitter, BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking
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The Age of Decadence

Britain 1880 to 1914

Author: Simon Heffer

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781847947420

Category: Great Britain

Page: 912

View: 5765

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'A riveting account of the pre-First World War years . . . The Age of Decadence is an enormously impressive and enjoyable read.' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times 'A magnificent account of a less than magnificent epoch.' Jonathan Meades, Literary Review The folk-memory of Britain in the years before the Great War is of a powerful, contented, orderly and thriving country. She commanded a vast empire. She bestrode international commerce. Her citizens were living longer, profiting from civil liberties their grandparents only dreamt of, and enjoying an expanding range of comforts and pastimes. The mood of pride and self-confidence is familiar from Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance marches, newsreels of George V's coronation and the London's great Edwardian palaces. Yet things were very different below the surface. In The Age of Decadence Simon Heffer exposes the contradictions of late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain. He explains how, despite the nation's massive power, a mismanaged war against the Boers in South Africa created profound doubts about her imperial destiny. He shows how attempts to secure vital social reforms prompted the twentieth century's gravest constitutional crisis and coincided with the worst industrial unrest in British history. He describes how politicians who conceded the vote to millions more men disregarded women so utterly that female suffragists' public protest bordered on terrorism. He depicts a ruling class that fell prey to degeneracy and scandal. He analyses a national psyche that embraced the motor-car, the sensationalist press and the science fiction of H. G. Wells, but also the Arts and Crafts of William Morris and the nostalgia of A. E. Housman. And he concludes with the crisis that in the summer of 1914 threatened the existence of the United Kingdom - a looming civil war in Ireland. He lights up the era through vivid pen-portraits of the great men and women of the day - including Gladstone, Parnell, Asquith and Churchill, but also Mrs Pankhurst, Beatrice Webb, Baden-Powell, Wilde and Shaw - creating a richly detailed panorama of a great power that, through both accident and arrogance, was forced to face potentially fatal challenges. 'A devastating critique of prewar Britain . . . disturbingly relevant to the world in which we live.' Gerard DeGroot, The Times 'You won't put it down . . . A really riveting read.' Rana Mitter, BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking
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The Ship of Dreams

The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era

Author: Gareth Russell

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501176749

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 4186

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“Gareth Russell has chosen a handful of passengers on the doomed liner and by training a spotlight on every detail of their lives, he has given us a meticulous, sensitive, and at times harsh picture of the early 20th century in Britain and America. A marvelous piece of work.” —Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey A riveting account of the Titanic disaster and the unraveling of the gilded Edwardian society that had created it. In April 1912, six notable people were among those privileged to experience the height of luxury—first class passage on “the ship of dreams,” the RMS Titanic: Lucy Leslie, Countess of Rothes; son of the British Empire, Tommy Andrews; American captain of industry John Thayer and his son Jack; Jewish-American immigrant Ida Straus; and American model and movie star Dorothy Gibson. Within a week of setting sail, they were all caught up in the horrifying disaster of the Titanic’s sinking, one of the biggest news stories of the century. Today, we can see their stories and the Titanic’s voyage as the beginning of the end of the established hierarchy of the Edwardian era. Writing in his elegant signature prose and using previously unpublished sources, deck plans, journal entries, and surviving artifacts, Gareth Russell peers through the portholes of these first-class travelers to immerse us in a time of unprecedented change in British and American history. Through their intertwining lives, he examines social, technological, political, and economic forces such as the nuances of the British class system, the explosion of competition in the shipping trade, the birth of the movie industry, the Irish Home Rule Crisis, and the Jewish-American immigrant experience while also recounting their intimate stories of bravery, tragedy, and selflessness. Masterful in its superb grasp of the forces of history, gripping in its moment-by-moment account of the sinking, revelatory in discounting long-held myths, and lavishly illustrated with color and black and white photographs, this absorbing, accessible, and authoritative account of the Titanic’s life and death is destined to become the definitive book on the subject.
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Staring at God

Britain in the Great War

Author: Simon Heffer

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473555965

Category: History

Page: 928

View: 4763

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'A brilliant history: The first serious and really wide-ranging history of the Home Front during the Great War for decades. Scholarly, objective and extremely well-written. Filled with surprising revelations and empathy. Heffer’s eye for the telling detail is evident on almost every page. A remarkable intellectual and literary achievement.' – ANDREW ROBERTS, TELEGRAPH _______________________________ A major new work of history on the profound changes in British society during the First World War The Great War evokes images of barbed wire and mud-filled trenches, and of the carnage of the Somme and Passchendaele, but it also involved change on the home front on an almost revolutionary scale. In his hugely ambitious and deeply researched new book, Simon Heffer explores how Britain was drawn into this slaughter, and was then transformed to fight a war in which, at times, its very future seemed in question. After a vivid account of the fraught conversations between Whitehall and Britain’s embassies across Europe as disaster loomed in July 1914, Heffer explains why a government so desperate to avoid conflict found itself championing it. He describes the high politics and low skulduggery that saw the principled but passive Asquith replaced as prime minister by the unscrupulous but energetic Lloyd George; and he unpicks the arguments between politicians and generals about how to prosecute the war, which raged until the final offensive. He looks at the impact of four years of struggle on everyday life as people sought to cope with dwindling stocks of food and essential supplies, with conscription into the Army or wartime industries, with air-raids and with the ever-present threat of bereavement; and, in Ireland, with the political upheaval that followed the Easter Rising. And he shows how, in the spring of 1918, political obstinacy and incompetence saw all this sacrifice almost thrown away. Throughout, he complements his analysis with vivid portraits of the men and women who shaped British life during the war – soldiers such as Lord Kitchener, politicians such as Churchill, pacifists such as Lady Ottoline Morrell, and overmighty subjects such as the press magnate Lord Northcliffe. The result is a richly nuanced picture of an era that endured suffering and loss on an appalling scale but that also advanced the emancipation of women, notions of better health care and education, and pointed the way to a less deferential, more egalitarian future. _____________________________ 'Staring at God is a vast compendium of atrocious political conduct. Refreshing. A trenchant history.' – GERARD DE GROOT, THE TIMES 'A magisterial history' – MELANIE MCDONAGH, DAILY MAIL
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How Political Eras End

1906 and 2017

Author: Eric Caines

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 1527547612

Category: Political Science

Page: 305

View: 1385

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This book examines the frequently expressed assertion by political commentators and historians that the UK is currently experiencing ‘the end of a political era’. It does this by analysing the seismic shifts in the way politics have been conducted in recent years, principally since the EU Referendum in 2016. It also considers these developments in the light of the relative political stability which lasted from the end of the Second World War, and it compares this with another discrete ‘political era’, spanning from 1832 to the 1906 election. Comparisons between the two periods make a compelling case for contemporary claims and also provide a broad definition of what constitutes a political era. The book will be of importance to historians and students of history, but in its broader treatment of such current issues as democracy, voter motivation, electoral systems, globalisation, national and local identities, and migration, it will also appeal to the politically-minded general reader.
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The Cowley Fathers

A History of the English Congregation of the Society of St John the Evangelist

Author: Serenhedd James

Publisher: Canterbury Press

ISBN: 1786221837

Category: Religion

Page: 640

View: 2413

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The Society of St John the Evangelist, otherwise known as the Cowley Fathers, was the first men’s religious order to be founded in the Church of England since the Reformation, as a result of the spread and influence of the Oxford Movement and its Anglo-Catholic spirituality in the 19th century. Established in Oxford in 1866, its charismatic founder, Richard Meux Benson worked closely with American priests and just four years later a congregation was founded in Massachusetts that flourishes to this day. The charism of the order embraced high regard of theology with practical service, fostered by an emphasis on prayer and personal holiness. Cowley, a poor and rapidly expanding village on the outskirts of Oxford, provided ample opportunity for service. At its height, the English congregation had houses in Oxford (now St Stephen’s House) and Westminster where figures such as C S Lewis sought spiritual direction. Now no longer operating as a community in Britain, this definitive and comprehensive history records its significant contribution to Anglicanism then and now.
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The History of Sport in Britain, 1880-1914: The varieties of sport

Author: Martin Polley

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 9780415231374

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 5

View: 4065

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This five volume set is a comprehensive collection of primary sources on sports in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. At the beginning of the period few sports were regulated, but by the outbreak of the First World War organized sports had become an integral part of British cultural, social and economic life. Specialist Martin Polley has collected articles from a wide range of journals including "Blackwood's Magazine,"" Nineteenth Century," "Fortnightly Review" and "Contemporary Review," all of which reveal changing middle-class attitudes to sports. The five volumes cover the varieties of sports being promoted, sports and education, commercial and financial aspects, sports and animals and the globalization of sports through empire.
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Cultural Excursions

Marketing Appetites and Cultural Tastes in Modern America

Author: Neil Harris

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226317588

Category: Social Science

Page: 453

View: 9266

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Neil Harris's scholarship of the past twenty-five years has helped to open up the study of American cultural history. This long-awaited collection gathers some of his rich and varied writings. Harris takes us from John Philip Sousa to Superman, with stops along the way to explore art museums and world fairs, shopping malls and hotel lobbies, urban design and utopian novels, among other artifacts of American cultures. The essays fall into three general sections: the first treats the history of cultural institutions, highlighting the role of museums; the second section focuses on some literary, artistic, and entrepreneurial responses to the new mass culture; and the final group of essays explores the social history of art and architecture. Throughout Harris's diverse writings certain themes recur—the redefining of boundaries between high art and popular culture, the relationship between public taste and technological change, and the very notion of what constitutes a shared social experience. Harris's pioneering work has broadened the field of cultural history and encouraged whole new areas of inquiry. Cultural Excursions will be useful for those in American and culture studies, as well as for the general reader trying to make sense of the culture in which we live.
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Art, Politics and Society in Britain (1880-1914)

Aspects of Modernity and Modernism

Author: Trevor Harris

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: N.A

Category: Art

Page: 143

View: 8995

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The oldest word in politics is "new". The oldest word in the writing of history may well be "modern": it is, without doubt, one of the most overworked adjectives in the English language. But the indeterminacy is perhaps just another way of saying that the difficulties raised are of a kind which simply will not go away... This collection of eight essays on aspects of modernity and modernism takes up the challenge of examining the complex, but fascinating convergence of aesthetics, politics and a quasi-spiritual dimension which is perhaps typical of British modernist thinking about modernity. This may have produced figures whom we now dismiss as eccentrics or "aesthetes", it none the less produced figures whom many still think of as in some sense embodying the national identity: what, after all, could be more "English" than a William Morris wallpaper design? Rather than towards socialism in any of its "scientific" guises, what the British modernist approach to modernity may have been pushing at was yet another mutation of liberalism: a libertarian-humanitarian hybrid in which indigenous radical and Evangelical legacies keep scientific socialism in check, where fellowship and domesticity edge out a larger-scale, more abstract "fraternity", and where citoyennetè or civisme give way to what George Orwell was later to define simply as "decency".
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