Google+ The Art that Inspires Writers and Readers: The summer of 1901

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The summer of 1901

Dear ladies:

Just in time for summer mood an other classic book of illustrations by John S Goodall: The Edwardian Summer

The death of Queen Victoria in January 1901 and the succession of her son Edward to the throne marked the beginning of the Edwardian era. A period  sometimes imagined as a romantic golden age of long summer afternoons and garden parties, basking in a sun that never sets on the British Empire.

                                                  Eduard the seventh (1841 –1910) 
                                           son of queen Victoria and Prince Albert
                                                 as a kid and at at his coronation
In truth the Edwardian era stands out as a time of peace and plenty. There were no severe depressions and prosperity was widespread. Social unrest only started near the end of the era.  Who better to tell us about it than a witness: Harold Macmillan in an except of  the beautiful forward of the book.

"Why do we look back with such indulgent nostalgia upon the brief era of Eduard the seventh, the period depicted in this book, for it is not, perhaps, one of the more exiting periods of our island history? 
For those of us who remember it, the Edwardian Summer was an Indian summer, the last 'warm spell' of the Victorian Pax Britannica before the First World War engulfed as all and almost destroyed our generation"

John Strickland Goodall (1908 – 1996) was a British artist and illustrator best known for his wordless picture books that contained no words beyond the title page. In addition to his children's books, Goodall produced books of Victorian and Edwardian scenes. These too were an enormous success, and are to be found in the spare bedrooms of almost every country house in England. They reflect not only his meticulous research, but also Goodall's genuine feeling for the spirit of the Victorian and Edwardian age. He was, after all, an Edwardian himself.

In The "Edwardian Summer" He paints a world that was already disappearing when he was born.  A nostalgic feast and a treasure because it shows the life a kid from a family like his would have lived. He came from a long line of doctors and his father reluctantly agreed that he could study drawing.

In the spirit of keeping and celebrating the legacy of everyday life I share with you " An Edwardian Summer"



references: Wikipedia & John S Goodall's obituary by Cristopher Wood ( The Guardian, 1996)