Beauty standards are constantly changing. The most beautiful people in the present-day United States, for example, might not have been able to get a modeling contract if they were to be transported to, say, ancient Greece!
The Edwardian period, which lasted about as long as the reign of King Edward VII of Britain at the turn of the 20th century, may seem like a long time ago. Still, while trends change, the women who were considered the most beautiful back then are still stunning today!
If you’re skeptical, look no further than these eight incredibly beautiful Edwardian women. Not only were they attractive, but they were amazing in several other ways too!
The Edwardian era, which describes the reign of King Edward VII between 1901 and 1910, may have been short-lived, but it was a highly influential time in English history and culture. Much like Edward himself, who was known for his love of revelry, luxury, and mistresses, the Edwardian period is remembered for an emergence of modern popular entertainment.
Luke Fildes / Wikimedia Commons
Unfortunately, the Edwardian period didn’t favor women, who were actively prevented from voting. Despite the politics of the time, though, there were still some amazing, beautiful women who made an impact during this brief period. Here are eight whom the Edwardians believed were among the most beautiful in the world!
Photos of the Past / Flickr
1. Florence Evilyn Nesbit: Born in 1884, this actress, chorus girl, and artists’ model from a small town in the Pittsburgh area was also famously linked to an infamous murder trial. Florence’s husband killed an architect who sexually assaulted her when she was 14. “I did it because he ruined my wife,” he said.
2. Aida Overton Walker: Also known as the “Queen of the Cakewalk,” (referring to one of the American South’s late-19th century “prize walks”), this entertainer, choreographer, and singer was perhaps best known for a dance called “Salome,” performed in 1912.
3. Ethel Clayton: Born in 1882, this silent film star’s best known movie may have been 1909’s Justified. Unfortunately, as with many other stars of the era, her career took a downturn with the advent of “talkies.” Nonetheless, she continued taking smaller roles until her 1948 retirement.
4. Ethel Warwick: Born in 1882, the British-born Warwick started her career as a nude model for artist James McNeill Whistler. She later evolved into a popular actress for both the stage and film screens.
5. Maude Fealy: Born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1881, this actress was one of the few to find success following the shift from silent films to talkies. Besides becoming part of a touring company in 1917, she also became a noted playwright.
6. Marie Doro: This 1882-born actress became one of the most popular of the era ever since she was first discovered by the man who made her a Broadway star: producer Charles Frohman. Besides her beauty, Doro was known for her great wit.
7. Gladys Cooper: This versatile actress, born in England in 1888, was successful throughout the first half of the 20th century. She was even nominated for three Academy Awards, including recognition for her role as Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady.
8. Lily Elsie: Shortly after her birth in 1886, Elsie got her start as a child actress before becoming one of the most iconic figures in Edwardian musical comedies. She also became one of the most frequently photographed women of the time.
As beautiful as these women are, let’s not forget that there was a lot more to them than their physical appearances. They wouldn’t have become as popular as they were if they didn’t also have immense talent!
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