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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 10 April 2009
This review is from: The Edwardians: Biography of the Edwardian Age (Paperback)
`The Edwardians' by former Labour MP Roy Hattersley describes the period in England between 1900 and 1914. England is after Queen Victoria's death at the zenith of its power and seems to rest on its laurels. Hattersley makes a convincing case that our perception of the period as one of quiet and silence before the storm of the First World War is incorrect. The Edwardian era was turbulent in its own right and formed the basis for our 21st century social democracy in England.

The first part of `The Edwardians' is mainly a very detailed description of parliamentary debates and is only interesting for students of parliamentary history. I found these chapters tedious, the topics obscure and debates incomprehensible. Fortunately the second part of the book addresses, amongst others, women voting rights, the arms race with Germany, the expeditions of Scott and Shackleton, the invention of the car and aeroplane and the development of spare time and sports. These chapters are more appealing for a casual, non-English reader as I am.

In summary, `The Edwardians' seems to be written for two completely different audiences and Hattersley's writing style is not always accessible. Only the second part was worthwhile reading for me.
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