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on 3 April 2006
Whenever I thought of the Edwardian era, the images I had tended to be of the genteel world of Upstairs, Downstairs, or of the supremely wealthy first class victims of the Titanic. Yet this amazing book immediately dismissed those ridiculously limited ideas. For here are the real Edwardians, in their own words, and what comes across most strongly is that their lives were, by and large, ones of hard labour and early death, of few pleasures and grinding, relentless, poverty. I was amazed at their descriptions - the conditions they lived in seemed more relevant to the eighteenth century than the twentieth. Max Arthur has chosen the accounts for maximum impact - and what an impact they have. An immensely moving read, I can recommend it highly - not just to those with an interest in social history, but to anyone curious to know how their near ancestors lived.
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on 21 August 2017
I borrowed this book from the library and enjoyed it so much that I ordered a copy to keep. It is an exceptional collection of the first hand experiences of ordinary people in the Edwardian period. Very rare, as a lot of historical information tends be influenced by the views of the educated and upper classes or to be second hand gathered from writings. For those of us who have a rather romantic notion of the period this is a real eye-opener!
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on 11 July 2011
Another fascinating read from Max Arthur.
This book is a wonderful insight into the opening years of the 20th century.
It is written using the accounts of the people who lived in the Edwardian era from children, miners, factory workers, sailors, farm workers to the landed gentry, and covers all aspects of what life was like from 1901-10.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about this period in history.
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on 30 April 2017
Good read
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on 25 August 2017
One of my desert island books. Absolutely absorbing and sparkling with honesty, immediacy and many revelations. Everyone needs to hear these voices.
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on 30 June 2011
In view of cutbacks in education, health care, and threatened pension reductions for public sector employees in today's Britain, this book makes for sober reading. Here the reader hears the voices of people from various walks of life who lived in Britain as it was during the Edwardian Age (1901-1910).

In that era, life for poor and working class Britons was hard, brutish, and usually short. There was no public health service, no pension programs for most employees. Indeed, it was up to the discretion of the employer if a worker was to receive any recompense for his/her services upon retirement.

If one wasn't well-to-do, monied, or of the aristocratic class in Edwardian Britain, one was expected to eke out a living by the sweat of his/her brow. Housing was squalid, especially in the cities. Diseases like tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and measles were rife and many children died from these diseases. Educational opportunities were limited. Indeed, it wasn't until the latter part of the Edwardian Age (with the introduction of the 1909 Peoples' Budget by David Lloyd George, then Secretary of the Exchequer) that the British government increased taxes on luxuries, liquor, tobacco, incomes, and land to finance welfare programs for the sick and infirm. (This marked the beginning what would later develop into a social revolution in Britain with the election of a Labour government under Clement Atlee in July 1945.)

For anyone with an interest in social history and economic justice, I highly recommend that they read "LOST VOICES OF THE EDWARDIANS
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on 16 June 2010
This book fully comes up to my expectations. It clearly illustrates the different conditions experienced by the various classes - on the one hand the rich enjoying excessive luxury at the expense of the majority who were suffering excessive deprivation.
I wonder what similarities a current book of todays voices would record. The extremes may well be less severe, but the same principles remain.
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on 2 April 2006
This is a superb book, a window on the lost world of our grandparents and greatgrandparents. For those like myself, whose grandparents lived and worked in Britain in the years between the death of Queen Victoria (Kipling's 'Widow at Windsor') and the death of her son Edward VII (known to the caricaturists as 'Tum-tum'), the recollections of several hundred ordinary men and women - and children - will bring vividly to mind an era that, with its squalour and its splendour, laid the foundation of our own world almost a century later.
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on 18 May 2010
I loved this book and found it fascinating to read about the life and times of my grandparent's era. The diary excerpts were mostly short and were enlightening and entertaining in equal measure. I will be purchasing more from this series and highly recommend this one.
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on 21 April 2006
My parents were both born during the Edwardian period - my mother is keeping going for her telegram! To me, it is almost a lost decade nestling between Victorian times and WW1 when the world really changed. Very little is known about it and it was an eye-opening experience to read this masterful book that explaims the world into which Mum & Dad were born. Only a 100 years ago and, yet, so different. I bought a second copy that my mother's carer is reading to her. Stephen Fry was right in saying "An extraordinary and immensely moving book." Thank you Max Arthur.
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