Everyone who lived during the reign of Edward VII was an Edwardian, not merely the rich, the literary or the scandalous. In this classic work, Paul Thompson records the life stories of some five hundred Edwardians born between 1872 and 1906 in a pioneering use of oral history, which captures a unique record of their times. Domestics, labourers, skilled and semi-skilled workers, professionals and high society men and women describe their work, their families, their politics and their leisure. The Edwardians establishes and describes the most important dimensions of social change in the early twentieth century: class structure, gender distinctions, age distinctions - urban and rural - and regional differences. It also evaluates the forces for social change in the period: economic pressures, religious and political conviction, feminism and socialism, patriotism and the war, to reveal how near and how far Edwardian society was to revolution in this time of critical social change. By giving a voice to the contribution and experience of ordinary people, Paul Thompson brings the Edwardian era vividly to life. This new edition, is substantially revised and includes a new chapter on Identity and Power, to take into account major historiographical and social changes since its publication in 1975. It has new photographs and an up-to-date bibliography.
`An ambitious and exciting enterprise.' - Times Literary Supplement
`Must be regarded as an important step in rescuing Edwardian history from what he rightly calls "an academic limbo" … combines the qualities of readability, breadth of focus, willingness to explain.' - Times Educational Supplement
`Quite the most readable and illuminating piece of historical sociology to have been published in a long time.' - The Observer