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Paul Roland: ‘The Great Edwardian Air-raid’

Paul Roland - The Great Edwardian Air-raid


“The Great Edwardian Air-raid” by Paul Roland paints a vivid picture of unexpected destruction during the Edwardian era. It starts in a peaceful setting on the heath, where the narrator and an astronomer are enjoying suburban life. But suddenly, war machines in the form of airships fill the sky, turning it dark and causing fires to break out.

These airships represent the onset of war and the destruction it brings. The town is devastated as bombs demolish the bandstand and statues topple to the ground. Craters mark the common, and smoke, rubble, and flames engulf the surroundings. Amidst the chaos, someone fires a pistol in anger, but it’s futile against the onslaught.

The destruction prompts the narrator and the astronomer to stroll to Maida Vale, a London neighborhood. Upon arriving at my front door, the astronomer calmly declares that this occurrence signifies war. This statement indicates that the air raid they witnessed marks the start of a larger conflict, a pivotal moment in history.

Throughout ‘The Great Edwardian Air-raid,’ there are recurring lines that emphasize the impact of the air raid. The airships filling the skies and the darkening of the sky with fires that blush it red symbolize the disruption of peace and the dawn of a new era. The old world fades away, and a new age emerges.

Paul Roland


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