Little Englanders: Britain in the Edwardian Era (Hardback)
  • Little Englanders: Britain in the Edwardian Era (Hardback)
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Little Englanders: Britain in the Edwardian Era (Hardback)

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Hardback 400 Pages
Published: 22/02/2024
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Waterstones Says

Reflecting on the Edwardian era as a period of profound social change, the historian and author of All In It Together provides an insightful and entertaining portrait of the age of the suffragettes, Irish unrest and the birth of modern Britain.

'There have been plenty of books on the Edwardians before, but never one as richly enjoyable as this ... nobody has done a better job of capturing what ordinary people thought and cared about more than a century ago' Dominic Sandbrook, Book of the Week, Sunday Times

'In Little Englanders, Alwyn Turner reveals striking parallels between Britain in decline at the start of the 20th century and our own divisive age ... [a] page turner of a popular history' Andrew Marr, New Statesman

'The very best sort of panoramic portrait' David Kynaston

'The Edwardians have long been the lost decade of British history, yet they are that history at its climax. Alwyn Turner sets the record straight, bringing its characters, strains and stresses brilliantly to life' Simon Jenkins

'Britain's most electrifying contemporary social historian conjures the forgotten country of more than a century ago ... fiercely recommended' Alan Moore

When Queen Victoria died in 1901 it was the end of an era. Britain's dominance stretched across seven continents and its ruling classes were wealthier than ever before. Many later remembered the decade or so that followed as the long afternoon of an empire where the sun never set. Yet the Edwardians themselves were acutely aware that the country was in a state of flux; the seismic change that they felt would transform modern Britain forever.

In Little Englanders, Alwyn Turner reconsiders the Edwardian era as a time of profound social change, with the rise of women's suffrage and the labour movement, unrest in Ireland and the Boer republics, scandals in parliament and culture wars at home. He tells the story of the Edwardians through music halls and male beauty contests, the real Peaky Blinders and the 1908 Summer Olympics. In this colourful, detailed and hugely entertaining social history, Turner shows that, though the golden Victorian age was in the past, the birth of modern Britain was only just beginning.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781800815308
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 618 g
Dimensions: 147 x 234 x 38 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

There have been plenty of books on the Edwardians before, but never one as richly enjoyable as this ... Because he has read so widely, voraciously consuming newspapers, magazines, stories and songs, he is brilliant at spotting patterns ... other books about the Edwardians are available. But they are rarely as clever and not remotely such good fun. Above all, nobody has done a better job of capturing what ordinary people thought and cared about more than a century ago. - Dominic Sandbrook, 'Book of the Week', Sunday Times

Amusing and engaging ... [a] portrait of a poignant interlude in British history - Andrew Martin, Observer

In Little Englanders, Alwyn Turner reveals striking parallels between Britain in decline at the start of the 20th century and our own divisive age ... [a] page-turner of a popular history of the period, crammed with humour and striking quotes - Andrew Marr, New Statesman

Little Englanders hums and thrums to the texture and tone of everyday Edwardian life - Christopher Bray, Daily Mail

Alwyn Turner has achieved the remarkable feat of shedding new light on the Edwardian era ... his research is impressive and [Little Englanders] is consistently stimulating - Literary Review

Engrossing ... Alwyn Turner is an assured guide to this brief but dramatic era - Daily Telegraph

Well written, often fascinating ... Alwyn Turner draws on popular culture to show how violent protest and unrest followed the old queen's death, making nonsense of the fabled Edwardian golden summer - Simon Heffer, Spectator

A welcome contribution to an oft-overlooked period ... Turner smashes the mythologies of the age ... a remarkable yet accessible read ... what Turner does so well is capture the cultural landscape, treating us to the leisure, the stories, the songs and the movies of the era ... Ultimately, Turner paints a vivid picture of a tempestuous age: an emerging modernity Britain battling for stability and order - BBC History Magazine

The Edwardians have long been the lost decade of British history, yet they are that history at its climax. Alwyn Turner sets the record straight, bringing its characters, strains and stresses brilliantly to life - Simon Jenkins

The very best sort of panoramic portrait, full of vivid characters, emblematic anecdotes and telling social detail, all underpinned by penetrating historical judgement. The Edwardians have fascinated readers for more than a century, yet even those who think they know the period will find much to discover and savour in Alwyn Turner's sometimes unsettling but always life-enhancing pages - David Kynaston, author, A Northern Wind

Britain's most electrifying contemporary social historian conjures the forgotten country of more than a century ago ... to reveal a strikingly foreign world which nonetheless holds up a dusty mirror to our own. A magnificent triumph over cultural amnesia, brimming with insight and impossible to put down. Fiercely recommended - Alan Moore

Every page grips and delights as Alwyn Turner presents a deeply researched yet gorgeously entertaining double vision of something now almost fantastical - a United Kingdom in full Imperial glory - yet unnervingly familiar - James Hawes, author, The Shortest History of England

Alwyn Turner is a wonderful raconteur of historical eras. He has a sense for character, and story, and bizarre anecdote, that makes an epoch come alive and makes you feel, at times, that you're living in Edwardian times, albeit with much better food. This is history written from below, and above, and all milieus in between - Simon Kuper, author, Chums

Alwyn has the happy knack of making history slip down like a pint of Best. The facts and references and context are all there, yet the whole thing flows like an ideal conversation between two or three well informed friends, teasing out the truth from the half remembered myths of the recent past - Simon Evans

There is something fascinating and fleeting about the Edwardian era. It is both an ending and a beginning. Little Englanders captures the period perfectly, in all its confidence and uncertainty - Adrian Tinniswood, author, Noble Ambitions: The Fall and Rise of the Post-War Country House

An interesting social history of a time that proved much more significant than simply a transition between the reign of Victoria and what we now refer to as Modernity - Bookmunch

A wonderful and rollicking account of the popular culture of Edwardian Britain, based on a massive amount of reading of the popular literature of the period. It is as entertaining as it is perceptive - Vernon Bogdanor, Professor of Government, Kings College London, and author, The Strange Survival of Liberal Britain

How the Edwardians shaped 20th century Britain ... a readable new account - Scottish Legal News

Praise for Alwyn Turner - :

Hugely engaging ... Turner's genius lies in finding the odd little stories that get under the nation's skin and reveal what people were really thinking ... He writes with a tremendous sense of fun. - Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

Alwyn Turner is a master of the telling detail ... ravenously inquisitive, darkly comical and coolly undeceived - Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

Turner writes with great fluidity, his tone underpinned by a prevailing sense of irony: even the footnotes are enjoyable - TLS

Turner's seductive blend of political analysis, social reportage and cultural immersion puts him wonderfully at ease with his readers - David Kynaston

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“Hugely informative and entertaining”

Little Englanders is a history of the Edwardian age, the start of the 20th century in Britain, and is a hugely interesting and entertaining study of an era we often tend to overlook. There is an emphasis on social... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 6
Dave at Hastings

“Just fabulous!”

Little Englanders is a truly brilliant history of Edwardian Britain, it is full of wonderful detail and insights into the period but is also an absolute riot! It is probably one of the most entertaining history books... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

“An enjoyable read!”

Little Englanders tells the story of Edwardian England through the lives of the people. A brilliant social history covering topics ranging from the beginnings of cinema to the suffragettes to immigration. It gives an... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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