Servants' Stories: Life Below Stairs in their Own Words 1800-1950

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 208 pages
Author: M. Higgs
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9781473822245
Other: b&w photos, bibliog, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

Step into the world of domestic service and discover what life was really like for those unsung heroines (and heroes) of society. Between 1800 and 1950, the role of servants changed dramatically but they remained the people without whom the upper and middle class could not function.

Through oral histories, diaries, newspaper reports and never before seen testimonies, domestic servants tell their stories, warts and all!

Some examples are:
- the revenge on a mistress with a box of beetles
- the despair and loneliness of 14 year old maid
- the adventure of moving to London to go into service
- and the way it was an escape from an unhappy home life

Find out about the 'servant problem' and how servants found work; how National Insurance began to improve their lot; the impact WW1 had on domestic service; and what was done to try to make the occupation appealing to a new generation.

List of Illustrations
Part 1. 1800-1850
- Going into service
- Mary Ann Ashford: General servant, housemaid and cook
- William Tayler: Footman and butler
- Hannah Cullwick: Maidservant, scullion and pot-girl
Part 2. 1850-1900
-The 'Servant Problem'
- Louise Jermy: Housemaid and cook
- Elizabeth L. Banks: Housemaid and parlourmaid
- Amy Grace Rose: Nursemaid, housemaid and cook
- John Robinson: Butler
Part 3. 1900-1914
- Edwardian domestic service
- Alice Eleanor Furman: General servant and housemaid
- Cis Parker: Kitchenmaid
- Jessie Stephen: General servant
Part 4. 1914-1950
- The Impact of War
- Mollie Prendergast: Between-maid and housemaid
- Edith Hall: General servant
- Queenie Harris: Between-maid and parlourmaid
- Cissie Ewen: Housemaid
- Mariam Isobel Taylor: Nursery maid and general servant
- Dolly Davey: General servant, parlourmaid and lady's maid
- Elsie: Housemaid
- Lily Kerry: Housemaid
- David Dixon: Houseboy and cook
- Daphne Jones: Maidservant
- Amy Jones: Nursemaid and general servant

1 Review
  • Servants' Stories

    Posted by Joyce Penny on 7th Dec 2020

    So much sadness and oppression. The descriptions are well put by the servants and one can almost be there in the household. A good read.

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Servants' Stories: Life Below Stairs in their Own Words 1800-1950


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