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‘A riveting account of the pre-First World War years . . . The Age of Decadence is an enormously impressive and enjoyable read.’ Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times ‘A magnificent account of a less than magnificent epoch.’ Jonathan Meades, Literary Review 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 palaces. Yet 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 more 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 1914 threatened the existence of the United Kingdom – a looming civil war in Ireland. He 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. ‘A devastating critique of prewar Britain . . . disturbingly relevant to the world in which we live.’ Gerard DeGroot, The Times ‘You won’t put it down . . . A really riveting read.’ Rana Mitter, BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking
Amid the ongoing Brexit crisis, both sides are appealing to Britain's past relationship with Europe to justify their positions. But much specious history is presented to argue for either the closeness or distance of our political, cultural and economic links with 'the Continent'. We urgently need a dispassionate account of how Britain's history truly fits into a European context. How similar has Britain been to other European countries, and in what respects? Do Brits feel European, and have they taken an interest in events on the Continent, or has their distance from Europe led to insularity and xenophobia? Finally, how involved in European affairs has Britain been over the last several hundred years? Jeremy Black's fresh and trenchant analysis sets an increasingly politicised British history in its real European context.
This is the first comprehensive biography of Clarence Charles Hatry, 1888-1965, an enigmatic and charismatic public figure. Hatry was the son of Jewish immigrant parents who became a company promoter and whose companies collapsed in 1929, leading to a crash on the London stock exchange. He was brought down by a desperate fraud. At his trial three months later, the judge said that he could not imagine a worse crime. Analysing transactions in detail, the book reveals Hatry’s brilliance as a manipulator and a world-class networker and persuader. It also demonstrates his vain belief in his ability to overcome any risks and his insecurity which led him to surround himself with sycophants who would not challenge his ideas. It shows how others used Hatry to make money, and, as he destroyed himself, as a scapegoat who distracted from the City’s failings. Despite his deepest ambitions, he remained an outsider. Until now there has been no full biography of Clarence Hatry, which may be attributable to the lack of records, as his business papers are believed all to have been destroyed. This comprehensive biography is based on examination of the memoirs of Hatry’s contemporaries, the archives and records which they and their companies preserved, and press reports of Hatry’s activities. Marking the 90th anniversary of Hatry’s collapse, this book will be important reading for academics and researchers looking to gain a greater understanding of the context of the 1929 crash, or of financial crises generally.
Belgium was a major hub for transnational movements. By taking this small and yet significant European country as a focal point, the book critically examines major issues in modern history, including nationalism, colonial expansion, debates on the nature of international relations and campaigns for political and social equality.Now available in paperback, this study explores an age in which many groups and communities – from socialists to scientists – organised themselves across national borders. The timeframe covers the rise of international movements and associations before the First World War, the conflagration of 1914 and the emergence of new actors such as the League of Nations. The book acknowledges the changing framework for transnational activism, including its interplay with domestic politics and international institutions.By tracing international movements and ideas, the book aims to reveal and explain the multifarious and sometimes contradictory nature of internationalism.
This five volume set is a comprehensive collection of primary sources on sports in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. At the beginning of the period few sports were regulated, but by the outbreak of the First World War organized sports had become an integral part of British cultural, social and economic life. Specialist Martin Polley has collected articles from a wide range of journals including "Blackwood's Magazine,"" Nineteenth Century," "Fortnightly Review" and "Contemporary Review," all of which reveal changing middle-class attitudes to sports. The five volumes cover the varieties of sports being promoted, sports and education, commercial and financial aspects, sports and animals and the globalization of sports through empire.
This collection of essays, with an extensive introduction, is a comprehensive assessment of the period, including chapters on Unionist Ireland, the role of gender in parliament, and the development of British socialism.
Presents career biographies and criticism of writers from three and a half centuries of Danish literature. The literary genres range from fiction and fairy tales to philosophy.

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