Monthly Archives: September 2020

New Book – Rebellious Writing

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Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following title:

The Edwardian era is often romanticised as a tranquil period of garden parties and golden afternoons in which everyone knew their place and nobody questioned the order of things. The reality, however, was quite different. The years between 1901 and 1914 were a highly turbulent period of intense social conflict marked by a heightened awareness of class consciousness, inequality and poverty. The increasing mobilisation of the lower classes and women was often countered with violent means while anybody considered the ‘other’ – immigrants, lunatics, the poor, homosexuals – became the target of widespread discrimination. For many of these groups, the only way to fight back was through writing, which they used to voice resistance and contest traditional power structures. 

Rebellious Writing: Contesting Marginalisation in Edwardian Britain brings together the work of scholars across the world to explore the ordinary writing of marginalised groups in Edwardian Britain (1901–14)  and how it could be used to carry out acts of creative disobedience that challenged the inequalities and injustices of early twentieth-century society. In recent years, ordinary writing – ubiquitous writing that is part of everyday life, yet is often invisible or transitory in the sense of discardable  – has been explored predominantly within two research traditions: New Literacy Studies and ‘New’ History from Below. Although these two traditions have overlapping aims and share similarities in terms of their ethnographic and ethnohistorical methodologies, there has been little interconnection between them. This volume aims to open up a dialogue between New Literacy Studies and ‘New’ History from Below by presenting twelve chapters that are united in their focus on ordinary writing used by disenfranchised Edwardians, yet ground themselves in a range of disciplines, methodologies and theoretical concepts from history, linguistics and literature to politics, cultural studies and art. Through an exploration of such material artefacts as postcards, diary entries, pamphlets and book inscriptions, Rebellious Writing will unearth voices that have been silent throughout history, transmitting new narratives on such important issues as suffragism, Irish nationalism, the labour movement and pauper insanity. 

Rebellious Writing can be purchased directly from Peter Lang at https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/70483?tab=subjects 

Waiting for News

Grimshaw, Louis Hubbard; Anxious Hearts, Awaiting the News outside Buckingham Palace, 1902; The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Culture Service, Leighton House Museum;

As visitors will have noticed, the Edwardian Culture Network has been very quiet over the last few months. This is partly due to the fact that the founders of the network have been very busy, and it has been difficult to organise events, let alone keep the website updated. We have also been considering how best to take the network forward over the next few years.

These discussions are ongoing, and we thank you all for your patience. We very much hope to be able to host a conference next year. In the meantime, we may be making changes to the website. Do e-mail us at edwardianculture@hotmail.co.uk if you have any questions.