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Lost Voices of the Edwardians Paperback – September 28, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Max Arthur: 'An extraordinary and immensely moving book.' Stephen Fry 'The words are as fresh as if they were written yesterday...extraordinary.' Deborah Moggach 'What emerges from these hundreds of forgotten voices is not change but continuity - the essence of a national character which survived two world wars and survives today.' Daily Mail 'Another of Max Arthur's splendid oral histories, giving the undiluted voices literally of princes and paupers...this is a rich and informative read.' BBC History Magazine 'Fascinating and sometimes touching...Max Arthur vividly recreates the world of our great-grandparents...' Image Magazine 'Max Arthur is a researcher with a huge appetite for the almost forgotten..."Lost Voices" penetrates to the core of Edwardian Life - a marvellous evocation of a neglected era.' Oxford Times

About the Author

Max Arthur served with the RAF and he has written several best-selling oral history books about twentieth-century history in war and peacetime. He lectures on strategy and leadership and writes for the Independent. His previous books include 'Above All', 'Courage', 'Forgotten Voices of the Great War', 'Forgotten Voices of the Second World War', 'Symbol of Courage: A History of the Victoria Cross' and 'Lost Voices of the Royal Navy'.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins UK (September 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007216149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007216147
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ronald H. Clark VINE VOICE on November 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a rather interesting look at Edwardian England. The author specializes in reviewing archives on particular topics and then compiling selected extracts of these recollections under general headings. I had never quite before seen this technique, and it allows the reader to hear directly from those who lived the experiences under discussion. In this book, the topics include Childhood, Work, Home, Daily Life, Travel, Politics and Military to name some examples. One is struck repeatedly by the extreme poverty that is manifested in these recollections--particularly of children who struggled to get enough to eat or to find a pair of shoes. This was clearly a difficult period for those on the bottom on the totem pole. The book contains a number of contemporary photos which, when added to the written recollections, affords the reader a pretty effective insight into what was going on. However, this approach does have some problems. For example, a disproportionate percentage of the recollections are from lower and working class individuals--and the same individuals' comments appear under a number of topics (each comment identifies the individual making it). So, one wonders how representative these views are of Edwardians generally, or whether they are skewed due to (for some reason) the archives containing more comments from these folks than others more fortunate than they. Nonetheless, a valuable contemporary document of Edwardian England that adds to our understanding and often tugs at the reader's heartstrings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LegoGirl on February 17, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading this book---simply a compilation of remarks from people who lived through the times---was like sitting and chatting with your oldest relatives at a family reunion. Aside from a brief Introduction by the author, each section contains nothing but personal rememberances. Some remarks are quite brief, others go into amazing detail about the circumstances of the day and their feelings and struggles at the time.

I found the chapter on Childhood fascinating, and found myself shocking my own spoiled children with those tales. Daily Life, Work, Travels, and other chapters were enlightening as well. Most of the interviewees seem to have been from the lower end of the social and economic scale, with a few upper-class exceptions; this seems about right as a representation of that population as a whole.

Overall, a wonderful read! So simple in design---just snippets from interviews, arranged in categories---yet the result is a clear and interesting snapshot of the times.
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