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(Kindle) ⚢ The Age of Decadence õ eBook or E-pub free

Reviewed in the New Statesman At nearly 900 pages including index , notes and bibliography this is a real door stop of a book and took me ages to read I can t imagine how the writer managed to martial all the strands that he deals with such as the decline of Victorian certainties , the change in a woman s role particularly the fight for the vote , the rise of worker s unions , Ireland which I don t understand , the death of God , education for all , the development of a middle class , Empire etc The title is deceptive Obviously in trying to question the popular belief that the Edwardian era was all about sunlit garden parties and the grandeur of Empire , Simon Heffer or his publisher picked a title that suggests terrible moral turpitude What in fact it means is that all was not plain sailing and it was a time of change and struggle I enjoyed plowing through it with the reservation that there is too much detail about parliamentary in fighting and various bills such as those relating to Free Trade , Death Duties and the right to strike which were obviously important at the time but left me totally confused I had no idea who was who amongst the Asquiths , Churchills and Lloyd Georges and other sundry politicians I preferred the chapters on nostalgia , Empire and the Rise of the Pooters.Very good but not for the fainthearted. A worthy good solid read. This is an immersive narrative history of the major events in British domestic history in the quarter century before the start of the First World War It is unsparing in its detail and I applaud Simon Heffer s mastery of the information and his ability to describe the events so clearly For a thorough narrative of events such as Irish home rule, the fight for female suffrage, the Great Unrest the major labour conflicts of 1911, 1912 etc , this would be an excellent source.I have only two points of negative criticism such as to stop me giving this 5 stars First, there is at times so much detail that I did get a bit bogged down the chapter about Bradlaugh and the oath being a particular example and so perhaps some tightening of the narrative would have been helpful.The second point is that although Simon Heffer seeks to link these various events as a way of illustrating Britain becoming a decadent nation a sort of reserve Whiggism , this was not justified when describing each of the set piece events Britain was undergoing major social change at the time but to characterise events as of all of piece with decadence, was not argued through in the book In fact, unusually for this author, the book was light on analysis for much of its 800 plus pages.That said, it is a most readable and informative account and while not as impressive as the previous volume High Minds , is well worth tackling and readers will find this a rewarding experience. An extremely well done book that gives great insight and detail of those times not the good old days at all It is shocking to see how workers, women and different ethnicities were treated little better than animals Times have so changed It s a bit dry and repetitive at times, thru no fault of the author, but has great authority and command of facts and of the attitudes of the time as the story is told Some great stories but surely one of the greatest figures of all time is Emmeline Pankhurst for the wonderful struggle she and her family, and others, did against a powerful, repressive government and a totally male dominated society Women have so much to thank her for, as do society in general, and she and her fellow fighters struggles are Olympian in their courage and sacrifices She is up there with the Churchill of the war years. This took almost four months to read although I did put it aside for a while back in April and May For the most part, it is very good, immaculately researched and well argued However, it is also too long at times with enough detail about parliamentary debates, conversations and correspondence between certain politicians for a book of its own within this book And because of its thematic approach, I did occasionally get confused between Churchills and Chamberlains Sr and Jr in the first chapter on Home Rule, Churchill Sr for example and in the later Home Rule chapter Churchill Jr and same with tariffs protectionism between Chamberlain father and son I didn t really want to read about parliamentary debates in such detail, nevertheless it was still interesting Parts 2 and 3 I found particularly good and I ve learned a few things overall For example, I don t think I ll ever be able to look at HG Wells in the same light again since learning about his pretty shocking attitude towards women. Finally finished, this one of the most detailed history books I ve read covering every aspect of British life during that period Really interesting and engaging I found the sections on politics hard going, complicated with too much detail the detail I loved in every other section A list of political personages and their affiliations would have been useful as it got quite boring and I just lost the thread. I love a big history book that you can really sink your teeth into, and Heffer delivers in spades He goes into incredible detail about this period, and while exhaustive, it is also interesting and captivating Well worth the effort (Kindle) ì The Age of Decadence Ä The Folk Memory Of Britain In The Years Before The Great War Is Of A Powerful, Contented, Orderly And Thriving Country She Commanded A Vast Empire She Bestrode International Commerce Her Citizens Were Living Longer, Profiting From Civil Liberties Their Grandparents Only Dreamt Of, And Enjoying An Expanding Range Of Comforts And Pastimes The Mood Of Pride And Self Confidence Is Familiar From Elgar S Pomp And Circumstance Marches, Newsreels Of George V S Coronation And The London S Great Edwardian PalacesYet Things Were Very Different Below The Surface In The Age Of Decadence Simon Heffer Exposes The Contradictions Of Late Victorian And Edwardian Britain He Explains How, Despite The Nation S Massive Power, A Mismanaged War Against The Boers In South Africa Created Profound Doubts About Her Imperial Destiny He Shows How Attempts To Secure Vital Social Reforms Prompted The Twentieth Century S Gravest Constitutional Crisis And Coincided With The Worst Industrial Unrest In British History He Describes How Politicians Who Conceded The Vote To Millions Men Disregarded Women So Utterly That Female Suffragists Public Protest Bordered On Terrorism He Depicts A Ruling Class That Fell Prey To Degeneracy And Scandal He Analyses A National Psyche That Embraced The Motor Car, The Sensationalist Press And The Science Fiction Of H G Wells, But Also The Arts And Crafts Of William Morris And The Nostalgia Of A E Housman And He Concludes With The Crisis That In The Summer Of Threatened The Existence Of The United Kingdom A Looming Civil War In IrelandHe Lights Up The Era Through Vivid Pen Portraits Of The Great Men And Women Of The Day Including Gladstone, Parnell, Asquith And Churchill, But Also Mrs Pankhurst, Beatrice Webb, Baden Powell, Wilde And Shaw Creating A Richly Detailed Panorama Of A Great Power That, Through Both Accident And Arrogance, Was Forced To Face Potentially Fatal Challenges Interesting social history pA very well.write social history It touches on aspects of life From the Boys Own Magazines to theatre and early film and votes for women to the impact of the First World War which changed lift Excellent.