In view of cutbacks in education, health care, and threatened pension reductions for public sector employees in today's Britain, this book makes for sober reading. Here the reader hears the voices of people from various walks of life who lived in Britain as it was during the Edwardian Age (1901-1910).
In that era, life for poor and working class Britons was hard, brutish, and usually short. There was no public health service, no pension programs for most employees. Indeed, it was up to the discretion of the employer if a worker was to receive any recompense for his/her services upon retirement.
If one wasn't well-to-do, monied, or of the aristocratic class in Edwardian Britain, one was expected to eke out a living by the sweat of his/her brow. Housing was squalid, especially in the cities. Diseases like tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and measles were rife and many children died from these diseases. Educational opportunities were limited. Indeed, it wasn't until the latter part of the Edwardian Age (with the introduction of the 1909 Peoples' Budget by David Lloyd George, then Secretary of the Exchequer) that the British government increased taxes on luxuries, liquor, tobacco, incomes, and land to finance welfare programs for the sick and infirm. (This marked the beginning what would later develop into a social revolution in Britain with the election of a Labour government under Clement Atlee in July 1945.)
For anyone with an interest in social history and economic justice, I highly recommend that they read "LOST VOICES OF THE EDWARDIANS