England in the Edwardian Era

I am lucky enough to live just a short 30-minute drive from the famous city of Bath, England. A city which holds its place in history as much as cities such as London, Liverpool and Bristol.

Each city has its own historical links, but Bath easily holds its place as a ‘must see’ destination of historical interest. A city of incredible social attraction during the Georgian, Regency and Edwardian periods, not to mention the expected and believed powers of its healing waters, Bath offered everything its visitors expected of an exciting and expanding metropolis.

Edwardian England was not alone in being an era where the class divide and hunger to climb the ladder was held in a young person’s mind as much as any other daily struggle. These elements of life and history continually fascinate me. Social advancement is featured quite often in my books as there are so many different types of people who wanted advancement for any number of reasons.

It wasn’t always about money for this people – it was often about gaining opportunities otherwise closed to them. Respect. The need to make a difference. Having more for their children than they had themselves.

There are many motivations a writer can explore.

My books are all about romance, inspiration and female empowerment so when I decided to write the Pennington’s Department Store series, I knew the female characters would be the main focus.

In A Rebel At Pennington’s, I deal with the most prominent women’s issue of the Edwardian era – women’s suffrage.
During the early 20th century, the passion and extremes women were prepared to face was growing at a phenomenal rate and, for the government, at a very scary speed. At the time, the suffragists (peaceful) were of a higher number than the suffragettes (militant), but there was an underlying feeling of the scales tipping.

Women were frustrated, angry and determined to be heard – Edwardian England was in the grip of a campaign that was not likely to disappear, and, in turn, this uprising meant other things were bound to be challenged and, ultimately, change.

Edwardian England was a time when women were beginning to find their way out of domestic service and into shops. Out of having no marital rights to a few. Change was afoot and it’s this growth and development that is prevalent in my books.

Nothing inspires me more than exploring the real-life women who paved the way for the freedoms we enjoy and, sometimes take for granted, today.

However, propriety and convention were still present. Dress and decorum still expected. Money for some and poverty for others. All these things are true of Edwardian England, but the period was about so much more than manners, clothes and wealth.

It was a period of change, philanthropy and women forging forward – hence why I’ll never tire of writing about it!

Happy Reading,
Rachel x

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