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Edwardian Pictures

The Edwardian era in England was the apogee of Empire and the flowering of fun after the straight-laced Victorian years. The Prince of Parties himself, Edward VII, came to the throne and saw the Naughty Nineties almost through to the shock of the Great War

Edwardian pictures are particularly interesting as technical advances in printing allowed colour posters and graphics, often in the wonderful Art Nouveau style, for the first time to be printed in both quality and quantity. Remember that our Edwardian framed pictures come in all shapes and sizes, so you can have your print at the size you need, and framed in any way you want.

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The Edwardian period or Edwardian era technically lasted from 1901 (when Queen Victoria died) to 1910 (when King George V succeeded to the throne) - the reign of King Edward VII, but it is often regarded as a Belle Epoque starting in the Naughty Nineties and lasting until the Great War.

The Victorian period had seen swiftly growing British military might and Empire. This was matched by rapid economic and industrial growth. Britain entered the 20th century with a feeling of optimism and confidence in its power and influence. The Boer War was won in 1902. Theatre and music hall were thriving, significant new literature was coming from the pens of authors such as Joseph Conrad and Arnold Bennett, and the Arts and Crafts movement was at its peak. Throughout Europe, Russia and America Art Nouveau was de rigeur.

The Edwardian period was the apogee of amateur sport; it is known as cricket's Golden Age; rugby teams from the Dominions of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa first toured the Mother Country; C.B.Fry played for England at football and cricket, and held the world long jump record; and the 1908 Olympics were of course held in London. There were still unexplored parts of the globe to be claimed for the Empire; Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton went off to the Antarctic on expeditions which failed but are remembered even more fondly by the British for that than success. Technological advances came with bewildering rapidity. In 1909 Louis Bleriot flew across the English Channel. Fashion thrived and magazines reported on it.

In Britain the era was typified by a rigid class structure, but there were a number of underlying social and political pressures that would create conflict. Socialism was an increasingly important political force, giving rise to revolution in Russia in 1905. Women's suffrage was an increasingly important and divisive issue which would be brought into stark focus by women's contribution to the forthcoming war effort.

But political and military issues would bring this era to a tragic end. The origins of The First World War were complex, but growing nationalism and weak European empires, coupled with increasing militarism and military expenditure led to circumstances in which the Great Powers found it easier to condemn Europe to four years of war and the death of tens of millions than to maintain peace.