Edwardian Hegemony in Tressell and Sassoon
Ostensibly, all that connects Robert Tressell's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1914) and Siegfried Sassoon's Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (1928) is that their authors lived in south-east England during the early 1900s and wrote about their experiences. Otherwise, they came from the opposing ends of British society, and their novels were written nearly twenty years apart. That the two works correspond in their portrayals of English society – one as invective, the other as eulogy – is revealing of coeval attitudes, especially of views and behaviour based on social class. Reading other novels and plays of the time shows to what degree concepts of what was socially appropriate held sway over Edwardian fiction.