As the Edwardian era ended, Rudyard Kipling wrote prophetically: 'There's a big smash coming, but it is the people in the third-class carriages that will save us.' 1914 was a monumental year for Britain: it saw the beginning of a historic conflict, the impact of which would change the fundamental identity of the nation, and indeed the world. By the time the First World War ended in November 1918 nearly a million British men had died. Ordinary women, too, had contributed as never before to the war effort. The cripplingly high price paid for victory can be measured economically, politically, financially, culturally, imperially, nationally, demographically and, of course, personally. Very little of this was foreseen as 1914 began. For those able to afford interests outside basic subsistence there were a host of other preoccupations. The Home Rule Bill and the rise of nationalism in India called into question the solidarity of the Empire for the first time, the birth of the Feminist movement radically challenged a staid society's conventions, and the consumer boom saw the revolution of shopping emerge as an attractive alternative to the hegemony of the church.
Indeed, as Britain danced to the newly-invented foxtrot she had little idea of the magnitude of the changes heading her way and the tremendous speed at which they would arrive.
Publisher: Haus Publishing
Number of pages: 320
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm