What do Edwardians do for fun?

by Kelsee Jackson, dramaturg

When the Victorian era ended in 1901, the Edwardian era began. It was short lived, lasting just until the beginning of WWI.

Misalliance takes place in 1909, right at the height of the Edwardian era. Not only did this era mark a period of peace before war broke out, it was well known as a period of change. This is evident in the activities they participated in in their free time. Here is just a glimpse into some of the fun things Edwardians would do when they had a spare moment!

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Girl Reading – Isaac Israëls – 1906

Edwardians enjoyed a traditional past time for many English people: reading. As you’ll notice in our production of Misalliance, reading for fun was common. It was something that both men and women could do, and it could be done alone or with other people.

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Gamblers – Anonymous – c. 1900

Gambling was another favorite past time of the Edwardians, especially those who had money to spare. For obvious reasons, this activity turned out to be rather dangerous and quite the problem. Not only was gambling addicting, it was usually mixed with drinking. It turned out to be quite the expensive activity, especially if you weren’t much good!

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Breton horses in the Finistère – Yvon Le Berre collection – c. 1900-1910

Horses were important to the Edwardian lifestyle, both for pleasure riding and transportation. In many cases, a horse was almost like another member of the family, and the death of a horse was not only an expensive loss, it was cause for much mourning. The companionship of a good horse was rewarding and filled much of the Edwardians’ spare time.

These types of activities would have been common for the Tarleton and Summerhays families. Don’t forget to come to the play to see hints of other Edwardian activities!

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