The arrival of the 20th century saw a significant shift in the way many people lived. It was a hopeful age that brought with it the extension of education, the emergence of mass communication, better economic prospects for many, new ideas, and greater travel. The political, social and economic advancement of ordinary people, as well as the rich, was on the rise.
Many of the writers of this period attempted to encapsulate the new hope that people had for a better way of life, including Elizabeth Von Arnim whose book The Enchanted April, a glorious ode to the transformative power of travel had thousands flocking to the Italian Rivera where it is set.
Others became associated with burgeoning cultural movements of the time such as the Harlem Renaissance (Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, etc), and the Modernist movement (Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, etc).
Others still, like Edith Wharton, examined the fading world of Old Money and the Gilded Age.
Of course, the First World War and the Great Depression in America punctured the early decades but if anything these awful events spurred on change and a greater fight for equal rights.
Check out some of the great female authors that found their voice at a time when so many voices were clamouring to be heard.