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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Beyond the Garden Party: Rethinking Edwardian Culture

12th April 2013, 10:00 to 13th April 2013, 17:00, Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan's College, Durham, Professor Simon J James (English, Durham), and Dr Ysanne Holt (Art History, Northumbria)

A two-day conference held jointly at Durham (12th April) and York (13th April).

It must have seemed like a long garden party on a golden afternoon – to those who were inside the garden. But a great deal that was important was going on outside the garden: it was out there that the twentieth-century world was being made. Nostalgia is a pleasing emotion, but it is also a simplifying one; to think of Edwardian England as a peaceful, opulent world before the flood is to misread the age and to misunderstand the changes that were dramatized by the First World War (Samuel Hynes, The Edwardian Turn of Mind).

More than forty years since Samuel Hynes wrote these words, many accounts and representations of Edwardian England still invoke the image of the garden party. Building on recent critical reappraisals, such as The Edwardian Sense (Yale 2010), and coinciding with the major Edwardian exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art, this interdisciplinary conference seeks to examine this notion, and to explore the alternatives. Was there such a thing as a distinct Edwardian culture; if so, what were the forces behind it?

For more information, and to find out about the Edwardian Culture Network, please consult our website: http://edwardianculture.com/ or contact us directly at edwardianculture@hotmail.co.uk.

Contact n.j.carle@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

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