Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Edwardian Era

Following Queen Victoria’s death, her son Edward VII assumed the throne. So the years of 1901-1910, were referred to as the Edwardian Era. The social norms during this time became a bit more relaxed, daily fashions were less formal, and women became more active (as in out of the house). The Great War, which was during this time, marked a decidedly change in society. 

The industrial revolution was in full swing, bringing new amenities. Cars, phones, and electricity were available to most families for the first time. Most homes were starting to have indoor plumbing. It was truly a time of change and modernization. 

The last Saturday before advent was called ‘Stir Up Sunday’. The plum pudding batter was prepared and family members took turns stirring the batter. A coin would be added and whoever found in it their serving on Christmas Day was to have good fortune. The batter was steamed for 6 hours then put aside for a month for the flavors to ripen. Before serving it on Christmas Day it was steamed once more for an hour and a half, brandy was added and it was lit before serving. The flames were supposed to represent Christ’s passion. Fowl (a goose or turkey) was stuffed with chestnuts, pork, apple stuffing. 

A rolled cake called Bunche de Noel was a popular dessert.

As in the Victorian era, houses were decorated with holy, ivy, and mistletoe along with yew, laurel, ribbons, and paper chains. The Christmas tree did not go up until Christmas Eve.

Father Christmas left gifts for the children in their stockings on Christmas Eve. Christmas cards remained popular. Christmas crackers were opened before the Christmas meal and everyone wore their paper hats. Gramophones were popular, but only for the wealthy who could afford them. 

Image result for edwardian era christmas

The 1909 Christmas catalog for Copeland & Lye, a Scottish department store read:
"Furs as gifts are acceptable to ladies" was the message on one page of the catalogue. Fox, sable, beaver and squirrel were among the species whose coats went to provide stoles and coats "for evening and street wear" and also "an immense variety of fur lined coats for driving and motoring."

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