Site Update

Typist

I haven’t abandoned you–my poor laptop of seven years has reached its limits! Either a replacement or a repair is necessary, so–unfortunately–until then, I cannot update Edwardian Promenade. :(

If you need to get in contact with me, send me a tweet @evangelineh or a message on Facebook, where I can then share my other email address, which shoots directly to my phone.

Until then, have a happy summer!

Society: June 1914

In an odd twist of fate, the days of 2014 almost match the days of 1914, and exactly 100 years ago this Saturday (Sunday in 1914), the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg in Sarajevo set the world ablaze. Or, in the immortal words of British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey–”The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” But let’s backtrack to the week of the assassination, when the London Season remained in full swing. Like now, society had just attended Ascot Week, the “most fashionable race-meeting in the world,” as The Sketch duly noted in its weekly issue (which hit newsstands Wednesday, June 24). The cover of this issue featured a cheeky illustration about The Midnight Cocktail made special for the Midnight Ball held at the Savoy on June 25 to benefit the National Institute for the Blind: 1/3 French Vermouth, 1/3 Italian Vermouth, 1/3 Gin, add a few drops of Orange juice and one spot of Absinthe.

Ascot - June 1914

Here are some strange fashions on display at the races!

Ascot fashions - June 1914

In threatres at the time were Pygmalion, at His Majesty’s Theatre (owned by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree–who was Henry Higgins), starring Mrs. Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle. The listing says Every Evening at 8:30 punctually. Matinee Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:30. The Merry-go-Round at the Empire, a popular music hall, shared billing with the newfangled Bioscope motion pictures. At the London Opera House, “Cinemazoo,” a “unique African Hunt and adventure film,” heralded the gradual creep of cinema houses over what were once music halls and opera houses.

Some interesting ads

Burberry overcoats

Colgate shaving stick

REVIEW: World War I: The Definitive Visual History by R.G. Grant

World War I: The Definitive Visual History by RG Grant
R. G. Grant
World War I: The Definitive Visual History
DK Adult / April 21, 2014 / $40.00 $30.32 print

2014 marks the centennial of the start of World War I — DK will mark the occasion with the publication of World War I: The Definitive Visual Guide, a vividly illustrated, in-depth account of the Great War.

Written by historian R. G. Grant, and created by DK’s award-winning editorial and design team, World War I charts the developments of the war from a global perspective. Using illustrated timelines, detailed maps, and personal accounts, readers will see the oft-studied war in a new light. Key episodes are set clearly in the wider context of the conflict, in-depth profiles look at the key generals and political leaders, and full-color photo galleries showcase the weapons, inventions, and new technologies that altered the course of history.

A vivid portrait of the confrontation on land, sea, and sky, World War I: The Definitive Visual Guide offers readers a bold and thoughtful new look at this complex and explosive moment in history.

Author R.G. Grant, along with consultant Richard Overy and the Smithsonian Institution, have created a smorgasbord of WWI history in this text. Each page is lavished with maps, charts, photographs, and illustrations to compliment the fascinating and well-written history, thus lifting what for some may be well-trod facts to an engrossing level.

Seven chapters take readers from the origins of WWI–starting in 1870 and the unification of the German Empire–to the aftermath of the war, 1919 to 1923, when nations began to shake off the lingering shadows of WWI and a pacifist movement took hold. Our one hundred year old hindsight lends this last chapter a particular poignancy, for we know that twenty years after the Treaty of Versailles was signed, the world was engulfed in yet another–and far deadlier–war.

But to bring the focus back to this book and its topic, the combination of personal biographies, timelines, battle descriptions, diplomacy, social history, first hand accounts, and artifacts bring WWI brilliantly to life. Each chapter details the war, step by step, army by army, battle by battle, and person by person, leaving no stone of fact or legend unturned. It also manages to give a balanced glimpse of all battlefronts and nations involved, ranging from the ANZACs to the mostly forgotten battles that raged in Africa. I did wish for a little more “break out” sections about women’s roles and the presence of colonial troops (this truly was a global war, with Indians, Native American/First Nations, Indigenous Australians, Africans, etc participating on the Western Front!), but Grant ably drew everyone into this already jam-packed book.

The sturdiness of the pages and the binding is worth the price alone! I’ve had this for about two months and it’s been passed through hands less reverent of the written word than mine, yet it’s still in top condition. Those new to the war, as well as WWI buffs and historians will find much to appreciate in this book, and it is a commendable addition to the spate of books that have been published in the centennial year of the First World War. Bravo to its author, its publisher, and its contributors.

Buy from:

Amazon | B & N | Book Depository | B-A-M | Chapters | IndieBound | Powells | VRoman’s | DK.com

FTC Disclosure: the publisher provided a copy for an honest review

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