After the death of Queen Victoria, Edward VII reigned from 1901 till 1910. Scientific and industrial progress during the previous century had brought great material benefits to much - but not all - of the population. With its great Empire and invincible Navy, Britain was the most powerful country in the world. People looked to the future with confidence, assuming that this progress would continue and that Britain would remain supreme. But with the cataclysm of the First World War, the world and Britain with it were to change for ever.
Using the material of Arthur Mee's famous "Children's Encyclopædia", first published in 1910, Michael Tracy's book throws new light on attitudes to childhood and the state of education, on scientific knowledge, on attitudes in matters of class, race and religion, on imperialism and on contemporary views on other countries.
This book shows that the benefits of material progress were enjoyed by a prosperous middle class, who looked forward confidently to continued scientific, technological and economic advances. Conditions for the working classes, especially in the towns and cities, were much less favourable; some social reforms were enacted by a Liberal government during this period.
Illustrations play an important role in the Encyclopædia: some examples are shown here in miniature.
"A delightfully presented book - a treasure house that does Arthur Mee credit. His contributors and artists emerge again across a century. This book is as easy to browse in as the originals, and could become a special gift." Pamela More on Amazon
Those interested in this period will find a mine of information on http://www.britishempire.co.uk/
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