La Belle Epoque- 1906

1906 was a good year, unless of course you happened to be a moving and a shaking in San Francisco! It was La Belle Époque, the Gibson Girl reigned supreme, J.M. Barrie had introduced Peter Pan to the world, Alphonse Mucha's art was in full swing having already spawned an art movement called Art Nouveau and some of my favorite future Merchant Ivory films were being written by E.M. Forester.

The Edwardian Era, it's my time!  I love this era- sometimes I think it's the era I belong in. I love the clothes, the hair, the art, and the literature. I have an affinity for a few other time periods in history (which could be separate post entirely), but I really love this time in particular. So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon an article quite by accident about Edward Linley Sambourne, chief cartoonist for Punch and also an amateur photographer during the early 1900s. The article featured his series of photographs of the street style of the average Edwardian woman from 1906-1908. I squealed with excitement- okay I squealed inside but trust me in my head I whooped with joy! Finding these pictures was like handing me a box of chocolates and saying, "Here, you can eat the whole box and they have no calories!"  So, without further ado here are some of my favorite photos from his street style.

This is me on the inside! :) I LOVE this photo!! I just love everything about it! Her outfit, her hair, her hat and  how engrossed she is in her book!!

I love her casual stance as she strolls along.

Love the simplicity.

Books are the equivalent to the modern day mobile phone. Can't put them down, even when you're walking!

Again, loving the casualness of this photo.

See, you can even do sports in this outfit! I think I could Zumba!

Having a stroll.

My favorite film when I was younger was A Room With A View. I still have my original VHS copy of it. I watched it every. single. weekend. I was obsessed with Lucy Honeychurch and the world she lived in and her travels to Italy, which seemed so exotic! My first bit of Italian was learned watching this film. Many a time you could hear me muttering "Dove, Mr. Beebe?"

Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy Honeychurch. The lady and the film that started it all.

Love her evening gown. This costume is actually re-used in Downtown Abbey.

My other favorite dress she wears. And yes, I was was the dork who tried to make my hair like this late at night in the bathroom. :)

Edward Linely Sambourne photos Copyright held by: Library Time Machine, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.


  1. Maaaaybe my favorite post of yours yet. It makes me feel like you are a kindred spirit, who can see right into my history-nerd heart. Do all women secretly OBSESS over these gorgeous and romantic moments in history? I really hope so. If not, they're totally missing out. Have you seen ? I've spent so many hours on it. This is one of my favorite pages:

    1. This is why we're meant to be friends! We have the same nerdy insides! Genealogy, victorians/Edwardians, gnomes, terrariums, hula hoops, botanical prints, etc... The list kind of goes on! :)

      I love that website you linked! I've been checking it out! Also another great one is The Retroscope on FB. It's fantastic!

    2. Oh!!! I just looked and The Retronaut IS The Retroscope on FB! Great minds think alike once again!!!!


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