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  • proper n. A period in European history, in the decades before the First World War, characterized by artistic and cultural refinement

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  • Absinthe, Maxim's, private train coaches, Garnier's staircases, haute couture, champagne, the bourgeois, Edwardians, Gatsby's, Biarritz, exclusivity and opulence, colonialism in Africa. And a flourishing of science and technology. Did the former excesses produce the latter advances?

    September 1, 2010