When I think of the Edwardian era, I do not think of the thickening shadow of the Great War looming on the horizon. I do not think of the work of Albert Einstein or Max Planck, and the experiments in radioactivity. I do not think of women as second-class citizens, or the ongoing Boer War reducing humanity into a condition of caged animals.
When I think of the Edwardian era, I think of long, soft summer afternoons with a warm breeze sweeping over the lawns against which the ladies’ ivory petticoats swish as they sway towards the woods with a glass of champagne in one hand and a beau in another. I think of the early notes of jazz, uplifting fizzy drinks and the sparkling wits with nothing better to do with their time than speed on their recently acquired automobiles from one party to another. I think of Evelyn Waugh, the brightness of the youth, long cigarette holders, and the older generations sighing “preposterous” as they watch the young ones. I think of the childish yet amusing snobbery, and the society of the Titanic – just before it sunk.
Not much is left of the Edwardian era: It was a short, bright, somewhat innocent moment in time. A glimpse of make-belief paradise before the fall.
Not much is left of the Edwardian era: the books of the time are collecting dust on the book mongers’ shelves, the cars shining lonely in museums. Cigarettes are doomed by the health-grazed socialites, jazz isn’t shocking anymore and the fizzy drinks come in two-liter plastic bottles. Only the long and lonely summer nights’ breeze rattles the dry leaves in these forgotten ruins of Edwardian era.
And they are all that remains; and in their corridors, the distant echoes of the sparkling, dizzying, mind-numbingly brilliant, exhilarating era.