A Room with a View Historical Context

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Edwardian Age

King Edward VII, known as Bertie, ascended the throne at the death of his mother, Queen Victoria, in 1901. Bertie turned the monarchy into a national pageant. He opened the parliament in 1902, worked hard to improve foreign relations (including the entente with France that allowed for the Anglo-French alliance), and gave every encouragement to military reform. Domestically, Bertie championed tolerance by going out of his way to show that Jews and Indian princes were not, by nature, inferior to himself. Bertie's love of pageantry ensured that people noticed this attitude and British society grew more tolerant.

By 1906, Bertie's health showed signs of decline while a constitutional crisis brewed. The question arose as to whether the Lords or the House of Commons should deal with financing the arms race with Germany. As the dispute flared in 1909, Bertie vacationed in France although elections were imminent. He returned to political...

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