The University of Southampton
Courses

HIST1119 The Long Summer? Edwardian Britain 1901-1914

Module Overview

Edward VII's accession to the throne in 1901 began a transformative moment in British history, when Britain was arguably still the greatest world power and the terrible destruction of the First World War was still to come. Imperial pageantry, the Titanic hitting an iceberg, the elderly queuing for their old-age pensions are defining images of Britain between 1901 and 1914. So too are suffragettes fire-bombing politicians' houses and art nouveau (and modernist art). But what defined the Edwardian era? A legacy of Victorian confidence? Authentic ambitions for modernity? Long summers or deep-seated conflict? In this module you will examine Edwardian Britain from a range of vantage points that take in the political, social, cultural, economic and technological developments of these years. And you will consider how the Edwardian period has been commemorated and re-imagined since 1914.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- introduce you to key themes in the history of Edwardian Britain (1901-1914), and to the ways in which historians have studied it - develop your awareness of selected approaches used by historians to interpret the Edwardian era - consider how issues of debate in Edwardian Britain were related to contemporary understandings of modernity and to memories of the past - give you a sense of some of the political and cultural connections between Britain, Europe and the wider world in the early twentieth century - help you to understand the various ways in which we can think of Edwardian Britain as a period of history, as well as the problems of doing so

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • key cultural, social and political developments of the Edwardian era
  • different ways in which historians have written about the Edwardian period
  • an eclectic range of primary sources that provide evidence for historians for making sense of the period
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • contribute effectively to group discussions
  • improve your time-management skills
  • access and utilise textual and visual sources in the library and on-line
  • develop skills in giving presentations
  • tackle historical problems and express your own ideas effectively in talks and written reports.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • differentiate various approaches to writing about Edwardian Britain (and history in general)
  • explore some of the key historiographical issues associated with the Edwardian period
  • engage in critical analysis of a wide range of textual and visual sources and interpret those sources in the light of broader historiographical debates
  • put forward your ideas and arguments in group discussions, and consider the arguments put forward by your fellow students
  • present your interpretations and research findings in short talks and essays

Syllabus

Edward VII’s accession to the throne in 1901 began a transformative moment in British history, when Britain was arguably still the greatest world power and the terrible destruction of the First World War was still to come. Imperial pageantry, the Titanic hitting an iceberg, the elderly queuing for their old-age pensions are defining images of Britain between 1901 and 1914. So too are suffragettes fire-bombing politicians’ houses and art nouveau (and modernist art). But what defined the Edwardian era? A legacy of Victorian confidence? Authentic ambitions for modernity? Long summers or deep-seated conflict? In this module you will examine Edwardian Britain from a range of vantage points that take in the political, social, cultural, economic and technological developments of these years. You will consider the very different worlds of royalty and society and the working-classes. You will examine the politics of Whitehall and grass roots politics of disruption. You will investigate sexual and non-sexual relationships between men and women; the role of art and popular culture in national life; and transnational cultures. And you will consider how the Edwardian period has been commemorated and re-imagined since 1914. Together, we will look at the changing historical literature of Edwardian Britain and the rich evidence Edwardians have left behind in film, literature, paintings, posters, government records, political pamphlets and books, personal diaries, social surveys, oral histories, newspapers, photographs and cartoons. Topics to be studied include: - Introduction: locating Edwardian Britain - Edward and the Edwardians: monarchy, society and empire - The Franco-British Exhibition: imperialism or transnationalism - Class and poverty - The Liberal Party and New Liberalism, 1901-1914 - The Strange Death of Liberal England? - The Women’s Movement in Edwardian Britain - Art and aestheticism - Edwardians in film - Re-imagining the Edwardians: post-1914 perspectives

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: - weekly one-hour lecture and one-hour seminar - directed individual and group activities around primary sources - short presentations given by students on the module - group discussions including feedback from the tutor Lectures are designed to introduce you to key themes, historical debates and historians’ approaches. Further reading and seminar discussions of primary and secondary source material are designed to consolidate your knowledge and understanding. In seminar discussions you will be expected to engage in critical analysis of primary sources and to formulate and articulate arguments. And you will be encouraged to express your own ideas about a topic. Learning activities include: - independent study, reading and research in preparation for each seminar - putting together and delivering short presentations as directed by the lecturer - in-depth study of textual and visual primary sources - participation in small group and whole seminar discussions Learning and teaching activities are designed to help you investigate the main themes and issues of the module. These activities will include directed and self-directed study, for example through preparatory reading and library and on-line research. Particular attention will be paid to the different approaches historians have used, and the presentations you give will focus on getting to grips with these approaches, using the reading list of secondary literature provided at the start of the module. You will also study (on your own and in seminars) a wide range of primary written and visual sources. These activities will help you to prepare for the essay and examination exercises. You will receive feedback on your progress via seminar and group discussions and in responses to your presentations.

TypeHours
Preparation for scheduled sessions72
Completion of assessment task42
Seminar12
Lecture12
Follow-up work12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Lucy Bland (1995). Banishing the Beast: English Feminism and Sexual Morality 1885-1914. 

Boris Ford (ed) (1989). The Cambridge Guide to the Arts in Britain: Volume 8 The Edwardian Age and the Interwar Years. 

Ross McKibbin (1991). Class and Poverty in Edwardian England. The Ideologies of Class: Social Relations in Britain 1880-1950. ,0 , pp. 0.

Peter Clarke (2004). Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000 (chs. 1-2). 

Paul Thomspon (1975). The Edwardians: The Re-Making of British Society. 

Mitchell Sagar, Electronic Edwardians: The Films of Mitchell and Kenyon [DVD] (London: BFI Video, 2005).. DVD

Jose Harris (1994). Private Lives, Public Spirit: Britain 1870-1914. 

Ronald Hyam (1999). The British Empire in the Edwardian Era. The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century. ,0 , pp. 0.

Ronald Hyam, ‘The British Empire in the Edwardian Era’, in Judith Brown and William Roger Louis (eds), (1999). The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century. 

George Dangerfield (1936). The Strange Death of Liberal England. 

P. F. Clarke (1974). The Progressive Moment in England. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. ,4 , pp. 159-181.

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal feedback: - non-assessed oral presentations - tutorials to provide consultation on assessed essays - guidance and advice in class on preparation, completion and presentation of assignments - regular work with primary sources to prepare for the essay and examination exercises

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Commentary exercise  (1000 words) 50%
Essay  (2000 words) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×