The Edwardian period or Edwardian era in the United Kingdom is the period 1901 to 1910, the reign of King Edward VII. It is sometimes extended to include the period to the start of World War I in 1914 or even the end of the war in 1918.
Perhaps because of the King's fondness for travel, the period was marked by an enthusiasm for the art and fashions of continental Europe.
Socially, the Edwardian era was the period during which the British class system was at its most rigid. This would change rapidly in the aftermath of the first World War.
The upper classes embraced leisure sports, which led to rapid developments in fashion, as more mobile and flexible clothing styles were needed. The corset was modified; its everyday wearing was gradually abandoned.
The Edwardian Period was also known as the "Belle Epoque" - meaning beautiful era. Art Nouveau was a huge influence during this time on the whole of everyday life. Art has never dominated the aesthetics of an era so thoroughly as it did during this time.
A selection of significant events