- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (2 Mar. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0349116628
- ISBN-13: 978-0349116624
- Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.5 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Edwardians: Biography of the Edwardian Age Paperback – 2 Mar 2006
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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)
Following on from the success of A N. Wilson's THE VICTORIANS, Roy Hattersley's major new appraisal of Edwardian Britain is his finest book to dateSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Like all the best non-fiction, this book made me reconsider even areas which I thought I knew well. For example, the characterisation of the Pankhursts showed me another side to the one which is usually portrayed. So successful is 'The Edwardians' in depicting these very human characters that I almost lost sympathy for their cause. Like their opponents I became frustrated with their side-stepping tactics and off-putting behaviour, but in the end the honesty about their shortcomings serves to put their successes in relief.
The well-known stories of Scott and Shackleton are also made fresh by an emphasis on the flawed preparation and feelings of animosity that preceded their expeditions. My respect for Scott was not diminished when I read about how bitter he was at Shackleton's success. These character flaws are outweighed by his determination and the motives behind his decisions. Before reading 'The Edwardians' I was not aware that Scott's determination not to use dogs to aid the expedition was based on his desire to celebrate human capabilities. My increased understanding of his aims only made the failure to reach the pole, or to survive at all, seem more moving and more dignified.Read more ›
Contrary to some of the `professional' reviews, I thought the book lacked Roy Hattersley's usual humour and in my opinion, and this is just my opinion, some of the factual areas' touched on by Hattersley are debatable - I'm making particular reference to the Scott v Shackleton juncture.
As this book is in no way an analysis of the Edwardian period I felt the narrative would have faired better had the author injected his usual humor and levity, without which, for me, the book lacks personality.
Having said this, the book still reads well and if you feel there is a knowledge gap in your twentieth-century `cerebral archive', then this book would be an excellent starting point and an admirable introduction.
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.
To be fair to Hattersley he deals with this latter, unsavoury aspect of Edwardian life in some detail. Equally, his brief character sketches are pithy and often amusing. However, his references to some notable figures (often Conservative politicians) are jarringly and curiously venomous. But even this good work is ruined by the same careless disregard for accuracy with which he blights the rest of the book. By the time I'd reached the end I was left wondering if the author derived some level of sadistic pleasure in frustrating his readers. Spelling and grammatical errors litter great swathes of the book. The question arises, "Did anyone proof-read this?" The historical errors are no less glaring, but they have been detailed in another review. The impression given is of a man writing in a hurry and the result does Hattersley's reputation as an author no favours.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As can be expected from Hattersley the book is well researched and gives plenty of detail. I found the text well written and congruent with the title.Published 7 days ago by michelle
Super price,what can I say 1p!!!!!!!! postage and condition of book very good.Published on 12 Oct. 2014 by jackie jones
Very detailed analysis of the period focusing on the political situation particularly regarding the power of the House of Lords, and the emergence of trade union power and the... Read morePublished on 22 Aug. 2014 by Stephen Hibbs
The Edwardians: Biography of the Edwardian Age Written with articulate clarity and great interest. Attention to details is breath-taking. Read morePublished on 29 May 2014 by Sara Jayne Stanes
More than happy with the condition of the book. First few chapters were very interesting but thereafter became very political, not what I was expecting so have not bothered to... Read morePublished on 28 May 2014 by Jenny fom andover
An interesting and topical account of the gap between the death of Queen Victoria and the outbreak of the first world warPublished on 3 May 2014 by Mr William H Couzens
Intelligent and well researched critique of the age. Helped readers to understand the profound social, political and economic changes that occured during this time.Published on 12 Oct. 2013 by Anne