In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, its half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodist, the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked. Ideologically, the Victorian era witnessed resistance to the rationalism that defined the Georgian period and an increasing turn towards romanticism and mysticism with regard to religion, social values, arts.
Domestically, the political agenda was liberal, with a number of shifts in the direction of gradual political reform, industrial reform, the widening of the franchise. There were unprecedented demographic changes: the population of England and Wales doubled from 16.8 million in 1851 to 30.5 million in 1901, Scotland's population rose from 2.8 million in 1851 to 4.4 million in 1901. However, Ireland's population decreased from 8.2 million in 1841 to less than 4.5 million in 1901 due to emigration and the Great Famine. Between 1837 and 1901 about 15 million emigrated from Great Britain to the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia; the two main political parties during the era remained the Conservatives. These parties were led by such prominent statesmen as Lord Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Derby, Lord Palmerston, Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, Lord Salisbury; the unsolved problems relating to Irish Home Rule played a great part in politics in the Victorian era in view of Gladstone's determination to achieve a political settlement in Ireland.
In the strictest sense, the Victorian era covers the duration of Victoria's reign as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from her accession on 20 June 1837—after the death of her uncle, William IV—until her death on 22 January 1901, after which she was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII. Her reign lasted for seven months, a longer period than any of her predecessors; the term'Victorian' was in contemporaneous usage to describe the era. The era has been understood in a more extensive sense as a period that possessed sensibilities and characteristics distinct from the periods adjacent to it, in which case it is sometimes dated to begin before Victoria's accession—typically from the passage of or agitation for the Reform Act 1832, which introduced a wide-ranging change to the electoral system of England and Wales. Definitions that purport a distinct sensibility or politics to the era have created scepticism about the worth of the label "Victorian", though there have been defences of it.
Michael Sadleir was insistent that "in truth the Victorian period is three periods, not one". He distinguished early Victorianism – the and politically unsettled period from 1837 to 1850 – and late Victorianism, with its new waves of aestheticism and imperialism, from the Victorian heyday: mid-Victorianism, 1851 to 1879, he saw the latter period as characterised by a distinctive mixture of prosperity, domestic prudery, complacency – what G. M. Trevelyan called the "mid-Victorian decades of quiet politics and roaring prosperity". In 1832, after much political agitation, the Reform Act was passed on the third attempt; the Act abolished many borough seats and created others in their place, as well as expanding the franchise in England and Wales. Minor reforms followed in 1835 and 1836. On 20 June 1837, Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom on the death of her uncle, William IV, her government was led by the Whig prime minister Lord Melbourne, but within two years he had resigned, the Tory politician Sir Robert Peel attempted to form a new ministry.
In the same year, a seizure of British opium exports to China prompted the First Opium War against the Qing dynasty, British imperial India initiated the First Anglo-Afghan War—one of the first major conflicts of the Great Game between Britain and Russia. In 1840, Queen Victoria married her German cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield, it proved a happy marriage, whose children were much sought after by royal families across Europe. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand; the signing of the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 ended the First Opium War and gave Britain control over Hong Kong Island. However, a disastrous retreat from Kabul in the same year led to the annihilation of a British army column in Afghanistan. In 1845, the Great Famine began to cause mass starvation and death in Ireland, sparking large-scale emigration. Peel was replaced by the Whig ministry of Lord John Russell. In 1853, Britain fought alongside France in the Crimean War against Russia.
The goal was to ensure that Russia could not benefit from the declining status
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth
Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, England. Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city, it has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities, with 77% of its workforce working in the private sector. Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area, with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015. Leeds is ranked as a gamma world city by World Cities Research Network. Leeds is the cultural and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. Leeds is served by four universities, has the fourth largest student population in the country and the country's fourth largest urban economy. Leeds was a small manorial borough in the 13th century, in the 17th and 18th centuries it became a major centre for the production and trading of wool, in the Industrial Revolution a major mill town. From being a market town in the valley of the River Aire in the 16th century, Leeds expanded and absorbed the surrounding villages to become a populous urban centre by the mid-20th century.
It now lies within the West Yorkshire Urban Area, the United Kingdom's fourth-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.6 million. Today, Leeds has become the largest legal and financial centre, outside London with the financial and insurance services industry worth £13 billion to the city's economy; the finance and business service sector account for 38% of total output with more than 30 national and international banks located in the city, including an office of the Bank of England. Leeds is the UK's third-largest manufacturing centre with around 1,800 firms and 39,000 employees, Leeds manufacturing firms account for 8.8% of total employment in the city and is worth over £7 billion to the local economy. The largest sub-sectors are engineering and publishing, food and drink and medical technology. Other key sectors include retail and the visitor economy and the creative and digital industries; the city saw several firsts, including the oldest-surviving film in existence, Roundhay Garden Scene, the 1767 invention of soda water.
Public transport and road communications networks in the region are focused on Leeds, the second phase of High Speed 2 will connect it to London via East Midlands Hub and Sheffield Meadowhall. Leeds has the third busiest railway station and the tenth busiest airport outside London; the name derives from the old Brythonic word Ladenses meaning "people of the fast-flowing river", in reference to the River Aire that flows through the city. This name referred to the forested area covering most of the Brythonic kingdom of Elmet, which existed during the 5th century into the early 7th century. Bede states in the fourteenth chapter of his Ecclesiastical History, in a discussion of an altar surviving from a church erected by Edwin of Northumbria, that it is located in...regione quae vocatur Loidis. An inhabitant of Leeds is locally known as a word of uncertain origin; the term Leodensian is used, from the city's Latin name. The name has been explained as a derivative of Welsh lloed, meaning "a place".
Leeds developed as a market town in the Middle Ages as part of the local agricultural economy. Before the Industrial Revolution, it became a co-ordination centre for the manufacture of woollen cloth, white broadcloth was traded at its White Cloth Hall. Leeds handled one sixth of England's export trade in 1770. Growth in textiles, was accelerated by the building of the Aire and Calder Navigation in 1699 and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in 1816. In the late Georgian era, William Lupton, Lord of the Manor of Leeds, was one of a number of central Leeds landowners with the mesne lord title, some of whom, like him, were textile manufacturers. At the time of his death in 1828, Lupton's land in Briggate in central Leeds included a mill, manor house and outbuildings; the railway network constructed around Leeds, starting with the Leeds and Selby Railway in 1834, provided improved communications with national markets and for its development, an east-west connection with Manchester and the ports of Liverpool and Hull giving improved access to international markets.
Alongside technological advances and industrial expansion, Leeds retained an interest in trading in agricultural commodities, with the Corn Exchange opening in 1864. Marshall's Mill was one of the first of many factories constructed in Leeds from around 1790 when the most significant were woollen finishing and flax mills. Manufacturing diversified by 1914 to printing, engineering and clothing manufacture. Decline in manufacturing during the 1930s was temporarily reversed by a switch to producing military uniforms and munitions during World War II. However, by the 1970s, the clothing industry was in irreversible decline, facing cheap foreign competition; the contemporary economy has been shaped by Leeds City Council's vision of building a'24-hour European city' and'capital of the north'. The city has developed from the decay of the post-industrial era to become a telephone banking centre, connected to the electronic infrastructure of the modern global economy. There has been growth in the corporate and legal sectors, increased local affluence has led to an expanding retail sector, including the luxury goods market.
Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone was launched in April 2012 to promote development in four sites along the A63 East Leeds Link Road. Leeds was a manor and townshi
Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra
The coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions took place at Westminster Abbey, London, on 9 August 1902. Scheduled for 26 June of that year, the ceremony had been postponed at short notice, because the King had been taken ill with an abdominal abscess that required immediate surgery; the 1838 coronation of Queen Victoria, Edward VII's mother and predecessor, had been an unrehearsed and somewhat lacklustre event in the Abbey, though the newly extended street procession and celebrations around the country had been a great popular success. The success of Victoria's Golden and Diamond Jubilees had created the expectation that Edward's coronation would be an expression of the nation's status as a great imperial power. In December 1901, an Executive Coronation Committee was formed, whose leading member, Viscount Esher, worked with the King to set the agenda for the event. Esher had been responsible for organising the Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and was one of the driving forces behind the renewed enthusiasm for royal ceremonial.
The position of Director of Music was given to Sir Frederick Bridge, the organist and choirmaster at Westminster Abbey. Bridge had transformed the quality of music at the Abbey and had directed the music at the Golden Jubilee, for which he had been made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order. By the time of his accession, the 59-year-old Edward was overweight and fond of large meals and cigars, he launched himself into his new role, but his first busy months on the throne were bedevilled by a succession of illnesses and injuries. On 23 June, three days before the date set for the coronation and his wife, Alexandra of Denmark, returned from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace in preparation. Foreign journalists noted that he appeared "worn and pale" and was leaning on his cane; that evening, the King and Queen hosted a formal dinner for seventy British and overseas royal guests. On the following day at 12 noon, a telegram marked "OFFICIAL" was dispatched around the Empire, with the news that the coronation was postponed and that the King was undergoing an operation.
Shortly afterwards, a bulletin was released from Edward's medical team, stating that "The King is suffering from perityphlitis. The condition on Saturday was so satisfactory that it was hoped that with care His Majesty would be able to go through the Coronation ceremonies. On Monday evening a recrudescence became manifest, rendering a surgical operation necessary today", it was undersigned by, among others, Lord Lister and Sir Frederick Treves, who carried out the operation on a table in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace, to drain his abdominal cyst. On 26 June itself, a "solemn service of intercession" was held at St Paul's Cathedral, attended by many of the British and foreign dignitaries who were in London for the coronation. Although workmen received instructions to begin dismantling the wooden stands, erected along the route of the procession, Edward was insistent that regional celebrations and a planned "Coronation Dinner for the Poor of London" should go ahead. Organised by Sir Thomas Lipton, 500,000 dinners were served to Londoners on 5 July at 800 locations around the capital.
The King contributed £30,000 towards the cost and there were donations by commercial companies and wealthy individuals. The confectionery maker Rowntree's provided each diner with a tin of chocolate and a rather better one for the 60,000 people who had acted as stewards, on the grounds that they would "be of greater influence than the poor". Many people had intended to watch the coronation procession, rooms along the planned route had been rented out at high rates for the expected day of the coronation; the postponement of the coronation led to many demands for refunds on the rental contracts, resulting in the "Coronation cases", which set an important precedent in the doctrine of frustration of purpose in the English common law of contract. One unintended effect of the postponement was the departure of the foreign delegations; this made the coronation "a domestic celebration of the British race united by the influence of the Imperial Crown" according to J E C Bodley, the official historian of the event.
Among the 8,000 guests at the Abbey were the prime ministers of the British Dominions, thirty one rulers of the Indian princely states, the Sultan of Perak and the Litunga of Barotseland. The Times enthused that "King Edward is the first of our kings to be attended in his Coronation by an illustrious group of statesmen from our self-governing colonies, as he is the first to be accompanied by a number of the great feudatory Princes of India... They are bound to preserve the fabric of British polity and of British civilization." The contents of the service itself had been selected to ensure that its spiritual character was maintained, while keeping the ceremony as brief as possible. The draft was the work of Randall Davidson, the Bishop of Winchester; the service was conducted by the elderly and infirm Archbishop of Canterbury, Frederick Temple, who would be dead before the end of the year. He steadfastly refused to delegate any part of his duties and had to be supported throughout by two other bishops.
Because of his failing eyesight, the text of the service had to be printed in gigantic type onto rolls of paper called "prompt scrolls". Archbishop Temple provided most of the upsets in an otherwise splendid ceremony.
Clock Tower, Brighton
The Clock Tower is a free-standing clock tower in the centre of Brighton, part of the English city of Brighton and Hove. Built in 1888 in commemoration of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, the distinctive structure included innovative structural features and became a landmark in the popular and fashionable seaside resort; the city's residents "retain a nostalgic affection" for it though opinion is divided as to the tower's architectural merit. English Heritage has listed the clock tower at Grade II for its architectural and historical importance; the small fishing village of Brighthelmston was transformed into a fashionable seaside resort and thriving commercial centre after local doctor Richard Russell's treatise explaining the health-giving effects of drinking and bathing in seawater became a fad in the late 18th century. Royal patronage ensued—the Prince Regent moved into a farmhouse which became the lavish Royal Pavilion—and speculative residential and commercial development, encouraged by transport improvements, attracted large numbers of day-trippers and new residents throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
By the 1780s, North Street had become established as an important shopping street, its status as the commercial heart of Brighton grew over the next century. It first developed as a route in the 14th century, when it formed the medieval village's northern boundary, ran from west to east from the end of the main route from London towards the Royal Pavilion and the seafront. West Street, the ancient western boundary of the settlement, ran southwards towards the beach and seafront; the western section of North Street was renamed Western Road in the 1830s to match the rest of that road, built as an access route to the high-class Brunswick Town estate but became the town's main shopping street by the 1860s. The roads were widened in the second half of the 19th century, by 1880 the junction of North Street, Western Road, West Street and Queen's Road was a major landmark with a small, old waiting shelter in the middle; the site was ideal for redevelopment, in 1881 a competition was held for a replacement building.
Architects Henry Branch and Thomas Simpson were recorded as the winners, but their plans were never executed and the site stood vacant until 1888. Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 1887, many towns built Jubilee clock towers to commemorate the occasion. A local advertising contractor, James Willing, decided to commission one for Brighton, he donated £2,000. The town organised an architectural competition, won by a London-based architect, John Johnson; the tower was completed at the start of 1888 and was unveiled on 20 January 1888 on Willing's 70th birthday. Local inventor Magnus Volk—responsible for Britain's oldest surviving electric railway, an eccentric sea-based railway line, a pioneering electric car and Brighton's first telephone link—designed a time ball for the clock tower soon after it opened; the hydraulically operated copper sphere moved up and down a 16-foot metal mast every hour, based on electrical signals transmitted from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. The feature was disabled after a few years.
The tower was the focal point of several bursts of anti-Victorian sentiment in Brighton in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The tower is acknowledged as one of Brighton's main landmarks, it has been described as "the hub of modern Brighton"; the "nostalgic affection" felt by the city's population towards the structure, the difficulty of demolishing or removing it without great expense, have ensured its survival despite demands for its destruction. Criticism by architectural historians has sometimes been intense, although others have praised the tower. Nikolaus Pevsner and Ian Nairn dismissed it as "worthless", it has been likened to "a giant salt-cellar"; the Clock Tower was listed at Grade II by English Heritage on 26 August 1999. This status is given to "nationally important buildings of special interest"; as of February 2001, it was one of 1,124 Grade II-listed buildings and structures, 1,218 listed buildings of all grades, in the city of Brighton and Hove. The Clock Tower is a Classical-style structure with Baroque touches.
It rises to 75 feet, the mast for Volk's time ball adds a further 16 feet. The four clock faces have a diameter of 5 feet. James Willing and 1887 are inscribed on the clock faces; the square base is of pink granite. On each side, the tapering columns rise part way up the shaft and are topped by pediments with open bases, below, elaborately carved scrollwork and a protuberance designed to resemble the gunwale of a ship. Incised lettering on each ship indicates where they are pointing: clockwise from north, they show to the station, to kemp town, to the sea and to hove. Below these, each side has an arched recess containing a medallion-style mosaic portrait of a member of the Royal F
George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, styled as Lord Curzon of Kedleston between 1898 and 1911, as Earl Curzon of Kedleston between 1911 and 1921, was known as Lord Curzon, was a British Conservative statesman, who served as Viceroy of India, from 1899 to 1905, during which time he created the territory of Eastern Bengal and Assam, as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, from 1919 to 1924. Despite his illustrious success as both Viceroy and Foreign Secretary at the recent Conference of Lausanne, in 1923 Curzon was denied the office of Prime Minister in favour of Stanley Baldwin; this was because Curzon was a member of the House of Lords and because Lord Davidson—to whom Baldwin was loyal—and Sir Charles Waterhouse falsely claimed to Lord Stamfordham that the resigned Prime Minister Bonar Law had recommended that George V appoint Baldwin, not Curzon, as his successor. Curzon's character polarised opinion amongst his contemporaries: Winston Churchill said that Curzon "sow gratitude and resentment along his path with lavish hands".
He quarreled continually, his arrogance and inflexibility provoked the enmity of some in government. His biographers unanimously contend that the extent of his efforts for the British Empire was unrecompensed by the polity subsequent to his retirement from the office of Viceroy of India. Leonard Mosley described him as'a devoted and indefatigable public servant, dedicated to the idea of Empire'. Curzon was the eldest son and second of eleven children of Alfred Curzon, the 4th Baron Scarsdale, Rector of Kedleston in Derbyshire, his wife Blanche, daughter of Joseph Pocklington Senhouse of Netherhall in Cumberland, he was born at Kedleston Hall, built on the site where his family, who were of Norman ancestry, had lived since the 12th century. His mother, worn out by childbirth, died when George was 16. Neither parent exerted a major influence on Curzon's life. Scarsdale was an austere and unindulgent father who believed in the long-held family tradition that landowners should stay on their land and not go "roaming about all over the world".
He thus had little sympathy for those journeys across Asia between 1887 and 1895 which made his son one of the most traveled men who sat in a British cabinet. A more decisive presence in Curzon's childhood was that of his brutal, sadistic governess, Ellen Mary Paraman, whose tyranny in the nursery stimulated his combative qualities and encouraged the obsessional side of his nature. Paraman used to beat him and periodically forced him to parade through the village wearing a conical hat bearing the words liar and coward. Curzon noted, "No children well born and well-placed cried so much and so justly." He was educated at Wixenford School, Eton College, Balliol College, Oxford. At Eton, he was a favourite of Oscar Browning, an over-intimate relationship that led to his tutor's dismissal. A spinal injury, during his adolescence, whist riding, left Curzon in lifelong pain, which caused insomnia, required him to wear a metal corset for the duration of his life. At Oxford, Curzon was President of the Union and Secretary of the Oxford Canning Club: as a consequence of the extent of his time-expenditure on political and social societies, he failed to achieve a first class degree in Greats, although he subsequently won both the Lothian and Arnold Prizes, the latter for an essay on Thomas More, and, in 1883, received the most prestigious fellowship at the university, a Prize Fellowship at All Souls College.
Whilst at Eton and at Oxford, Curzon was a contemporary and close friend of Cecil Spring Rice and Edward Grey. However, Spring Rice contributed, alongside John William Mackail, to the composition of a famous sardonic doggerel about Curzon, published in The Balliol Masque: My name is George Nathaniel Curzon, I am a most superior person. My cheeks are pink, my hair is sleek, I dine at Blenheim once a week; when Spring-Rice was British Ambassador to the United States, he was suspected by Curzon of trying to prevent Curzon's engagement to the American Mary Leiter, whom Curzon married. However, Spring Rice assumed for a certainty, like many of Curzon's other friends, that Curzon would become Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs: he wrote to Curzon in 1891,'When you are Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs I hope you will restore the vanished glory of England, lead the European concert, decide the fate of nations, give me three month's leave instead of two'. Curzon became Assistant Private Secretary to Salisbury in 1885, in 1886 entered Parliament as Member for Southport in south-west Lancashire.
His maiden speech, chiefly an attack on home rule and Irish nationalism, was regarded in much the same way as his oratory at the Oxford Union: brilliant and eloquent but presumptuous and rather too self-assured. Subsequent performances in the Commons dealing with Ireland or reform of the House of Lords, received similar verdicts, he was Under-Secretary of State for India in 1891–92 and Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in 1895–98. In the meantime he had travelled around the world: Russia and Central Asia, a long tour of Persia, French Indochina and Korea, a daring foray into Afghanistan and the Pamirs, he published several books describing related policy issues. A bold and compulsive traveler, fascinated by oriental life and geography, he was awarded the Patron's Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical
Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics made in colored silks and with or without gold and silver threads. The name, related to the same root as the word "broccoli", comes from Italian broccato meaning "embossed cloth" past participle of the verb broccare "to stud, set with nails", from brocco, "small nail", from Latin broccus, "projecting, pointed". Brocade is woven on a draw loom, it is a supplementary weft technique. The purpose of this is to give the appearance that the weave was embroidered on. In Guatemala, brocade is the most popular technique used to decorate fabric woven by Maya weavers on backstrap looms. Ornamental features in brocade are emphasized and wrought as additions to the main fabric, sometimes stiffening it, though more producing on its face the effect of low relief. In some, but not all, these additions present a distinctive appearance on the back of the material where the supplementary weft or floating threads of the brocaded or broached parts hang in loose groups or are clipped away.
When the weft is floating on the back, this is known as a continuous brocade. The yarns are cut away in cutwork and broché. A discontinuous brocade is where the supplementary yarn is only woven in the patterned areas; the manufacture of brocade began during the Warring States period of China. Many products of brocade have been found in tombs of the era. Dating back to the Middle Ages, brocade fabric was one of the few luxury fabrics worn by nobility throughout China, Persia, Japan and Byzantium. Woven by the Byzantines, brocades were an desirable fabric. From the 4th to the 6th centuries, production of silk was non-existent, as linen and wool were the predominant fabrics. During this period, there was no public knowledge of silk fabric production except for that, kept secret by the Chinese. Over the years, knowledge of silk production became spread westward; as silk production became known to Western cultures, trade from the East began to decrease. It was discovered by Byzantine historians that in the 6th century a pair of monks brought the secret of sericulture – silk production – to the Byzantine emperor.
As a result, Western cultures were able to learn how to breed and feed silkworms. From this point until the 9th century, Byzantium became the biggest and most central producer for all of the Western world in the production of all types of silk motifs, including brocades, damasks and tapestry-like fabrics. During the Early Middle Ages, brocade fabrics were only available to the wealthiest of people as the Byzantine emperor charged extreme prices for the fabric; the designs woven into brocade fabrics were Persian in origin. It was common to see Christian subjects depicted in the complex weaves of the fabric; when these luxurious fabrics were made into clothing or wall hangings, they were at times adorned with precious and semiprecious stones, small medallions of enamel and appliqués. The life of a noble during the Late Middle Ages was filled with entertainment: riding and hunting and dancing, feasting. All of these activities became a stage for the display of fashion. Wealthy noblemen and noblewomen dressed in silk brocades from Italy, velvets trimmed with fur from Germany.
During the 14th and 15th centuries, the Court of Burgundy was made known for their continuous fashionable tastes and luxurious dress. Brocades were an important fabric during the Renaissance, the Italian Renaissance; as wool and silk were the primary fabrics used by Europeans during the Renaissance, despite the lack of documentary evidence, it is said that due to the increase in complexity of decoration of Italian silk fabrics of the 15th century, there must have been improvements in silk-weaving looms around this time. The complexity and high quality of luxurious silk fabrics caused Italy to become the most important and superior manufacturer of the finest silk fabrics for all of Europe; the sculptural lines of the fashions during the Renaissance were paired with the exquisite beauty and elegance of brocade and other superior silk textiles. The motifs remained Chinese and Persian in origin and were a reflection of the trading between the Far East and Italy, it is said that some Renaissance painters designed and sketched textile designs for fabrics production as well as incorporation into their paintings.
Brocade fabrics are for upholstery and draperies. They are used for evening and formal clothing, for vestments, as well as for costumes; the use of precious and semiprecious stones in the adornment of brocades is not common but has been replaced with the use of sequins and beading as decoration. Brocade fabrics are now woven on a Jacquard loom, able to create many complex tapestry-like designs using the jacquard technique. Although many brocade fabrics look like tapestries and are advertised by some fashion promotions as such, they are not to be confused with true tapestries. Patterns such as brocade, brocatelle and tapestry-like fabrics are known as jacquard patterns. Embroidery Banarasi sari Meera Mehta Songket Zari Brocade paper belonging to a sample book of J. M. Munck, Augsburg 1751 treasure 5 National Library of The Netherlands Marypaul Yates. Fabrics A Guide for Interior Designers and Architects. W. W. Norton & Co. Ventura, Carol. Maya Hair Sashes Backstrap Woven in Jacaltenango, Cintas Mayas tejidas con el telar de cintura en Jacaltenango, Guatemala, 20