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  • Writer's pictureJon Ruwolt

Ostentatious Glamour - Edwardian Style

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

Colac house in Edwardian style "Light and Airy"

As an architectural style, 'Edwardian' refers to the period 1900 to 1918, also the Federation Era in Australia.

The Gables, East Malvern by Ussher and Kemp

The beginning of the Twentieth Century experienced tremendous technological and social change.​

  • The wonders of the modern world, which had only sprang into being in the Victorian Empire of the 1880s and 1890's brought the first rewards of modern industrialization and mass-produced abundance.

  • It was a time where Britain was at its imperial height and one in three of the world's population were her subjects ("Pink" on the world map).

  • On the other side of the Atlantic, Americans were experiencing new-found wealth and indulging in cuisine, fashion, entertainment and travel as never before, the fruits of the "Gilded Age".

  • Perhaps the Edwardian era was best captured in the English series 'Downton Abbey' and in the decoration of the passenger liner 'Titanic', the grand ocean liner which embodied human progress, opulence, and the excesses of the time.

The Edwardian era is viewed nostalgically and often called the "Gilded Age". In Britain, it was a time of peace: sandwiched between the Boer War (1899-1902) and the First World War which broke out in 1914.

  • In the words of Samuel Hynes, it was a 'leisurely time when women wore picture hats and did not vote, when the rich were not ashamed to live conspicuously, and the sun really never set on the British flag'.

  • It was also a time of great inequality, in which the privileges of the rich were made possible by the labour of their servants,

  • an age when the inequalities of wealth and poverty were starkly delineated and

  • the conventions of class were still rigidly defined - there was a place for everyone and everyone knew their place.

  • Read much more at the page Edwardian Style

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