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Literature of the 1900sThe Great Edwardian Emporium$
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Jonathan Wild

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635061

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635061.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Literature of the 1900s

Jonathan Wild

Edinburgh University Press

This introductory chapter stresses the importance of a re-examination of Edwardian literature. It briefly considers what Edwardian literature in its various forms meant to the Edwardians themselves, to try to understand those ‘differences and disagreements’ that made the period's writing so lively and variegated in its contemporary moment. The chapter explores the cultural, political, and technological context against the backdrop of which Edwardian writings had thrived, and draws parallels between many of the authors who had come to exemplify Edwardian writing and Harry Gordon Selfridge, the entrepreneur proprietor of the era's major new London department store. Here, the chapter argues that the ‘great Edwardian literary emporium’ was designed to profoundly transform the existing horizons of those who entered through its doors. In addition, the chapter considers a sampling of critical surveys and monographs on the subject of Edwardian literature.

Keywords:   Edwardian literature, Edwardian writings, Harry Gordon Selfridge, great Edwardian literary emporium, modernity, history of Edwardian literature

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