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The Edwardians (VMC) [Paperback]

Vita Sackville-West , Juliet Nicolson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

2 Oct 2003 VMC (Book 615)

At nineteen, Sebastian is a duke and heir to a vast country estate. A deep sense of tradition binds him to his inheritance, though he loathes the social circus he is a part of. Deception, infidelity and greed hide beneath the glittering surface of good manners. Among the guests at a lavish party are two people who will change Sebastian's life: Lady Roehampton, who will initiate him in the art of love; and Leonard Anquetil, a polar explorer who will lead Sebastian and his free-spirited sister Viola to question their destiny.

A portrait of fashionable society at the height of the era, THE EDWARDIANS revealed all that was glamorous about the period - and all that was to lead to its downfall. First published in 1930, it was Vita Sackville-West's most successful book.

Frequently Bought Together

The Edwardians (VMC) + All Passion Spent (VMC) + Portrait Of A Marriage: Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson
Price For All Three: 20.27

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Product details

  • Paperback: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (2 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0860683591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860683599
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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*'Informative and always easy to read . . . Hattersley has done a fine job (Andrew Lycett, SUNDAY TIMES)

Well written and wide ranging book . . . his account of the period is consistently enjoyable (Piers Brendon, DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Hattersley makes a riveting case . . . a bold, sweeping synthesis . . . full of gleaming nuggets and offbeat points redolent of hours hunched over neglected papers. It is no surprise to readers of his journalism that it is superbly written, gleefully but wryly highlighting the absurdities and pomposities of the age . . . Hattersley's prose flows smooth as the port at a Sandringham shooting party. 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 (Colin Donald, HERALD)

[A] solid book . . . Hattersley writes entertainingly . . . He is a clear and vigorous writer (Anne Chisholm, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Book Description

* A bestseller in 1930, this is a brilliant portrait of fashionable society at the height of the Edwardian Era, revealing, through the lives of Sebastian and Viola, all that was best in it - and all that was to lead to its downfall

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AMONG the many problems which beset the novelist, not the least weighty is the choice of the moment at which to begin his novel. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a perceptive account of a lost world 2 April 2001
By A Customer
This book was rather better than I expected: Vita-Sackville-West is well known for her life and garden rather than her talent as a writer. The book is set in a time of transition and deals with the conflicts between generations and classes as the new order asserts itself. (J. Mordaunt Crook's 'the rise of the nouveau riche' makes interesting parallel reading). It is the detail of a lifestyle which has disappeared and the humanity with which the characters are portrayed that give the book it's strength. The gossipy nature of the narrative, with the official line and reality at odds with one another, is fascinating. A must for anyone interested in the Bloomsbury set, generational conflicts and the lure of older women.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
I disagree with the previous reviewers account of what makes this book great. (I read an earlier edition.)
Indeed this book was not written to sentimentalize its own time and place, but as a call to action out of it! Sackville-West felt the limitations of her sex and lineage, and couragously, if not narcissistically, (through writing,travelling and relastionships of all sorts) took risks and made every attempt to live to the fullest and not just consume it. The first paragraph pretty much says it all and if you don't give a damn about Sebastian after it, you're dead. Although descriptive of homes that are castles with ancient rugs on the walls, these illustrations are merely necessary to the story and matterof fact. The character dynamics are much more interesting than the genre.
I found the writing style refreshingly rich and unprententious, and for once felt that the author really should write for a living. We're just starved for this stuff over here!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this! 24 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well-written,very witty in parts, although I found the subservience of the servants and their endurance of insults etc difficult to accept - but i guess it is accurate for the time! I have only seen one episode of Downton Abbey - but would suggest that this is a better written and more believable version of the way the 'upper classes' behaved at that time!
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