There has been considerable debate about the parameters of the Edwardian period since Richard Ellmann's essay ‘Two Faces of Edward’, which drew attention to this decade. The period takes its name from its monarch Edward VII and strictly speaking is confined to 1901–10; but the word ‘Edwardian’ is commonly used to describe the period 1900–14. The purpose of this book is in part to define ‘Edwardian’ for the study of poetry and to discover if a characteristic style can be identified. The present study attempts to sharpen critical awareness of the Edwardian period and to establish what is unique about it. The following chapters offer a revision of literary history and a reassessment of some of the poetry of the early 20th century.
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