• Title: Keeping Their Place: Domestic Service in the Country House
  • Author: Pamela A. Sambrook
  • ISBN: 9780750935609
  • Page: 110
  • Format: Paperback
  • Keeping Their Place Domestic Service in the Country House In there were over a million servants in Britain This book reveals first hand tales of put upon servants who often had to rise hours before dawn to lay fires heat water and prepare meals for th
    In 1851 there were over a million servants in Britain This book reveals first hand tales of put upon servants, who often had to rise hours before dawn to lay fires, heat water and prepare meals for their employers, and then work into the small hours Yet there are also heartwarming stories of personal devotion, and reward, and of how the servants enjoyed themselves in theIn 1851 there were over a million servants in Britain This book reveals first hand tales of put upon servants, who often had to rise hours before dawn to lay fires, heat water and prepare meals for their employers, and then work into the small hours Yet there are also heartwarming stories of personal devotion, and reward, and of how the servants enjoyed themselves in their time off There are moments of great poignancy as well as hilarity a steward s dawning realisation that the housekeeper he befriended is a thief a young footman chasing a melon as it rolls through a castle s corridors into the moat the smart manservant weeping at the station as he bids farewell to his mother This was an era when footmen were paid extra for being six foot or over, and female servants had to wear black bonnets to church.

    One Reply to “Keeping Their Place: Domestic Service in the Country House”

    1. Before the invention of labor-saving home appliances, live-in domestic servants were an indispensable component of the country house. Over a million Britons were employed as domestics in the mid-nineteenth century, and the greatest houses required staffs of over a hundred servants to perform the myriad number of functions necessary for their smooth operation. Yet in spite of their ubiquity, most of them remain to us as unseen and unheard from as they were often expected to be in performance of t [...]

    2. Most of this book is excerpts of letters written by or about servants in the 18, 19 and early 20th centuries. From these excerpts you get an insight into the variety of working conditions they encountered, which was interesting, but more enjoyable were the charming anecdotes. In a life that could be very dull and hard, there were also opportunities to socialize and do things they enjoyed. The focus is on service in country houses which were often large estates which required many servants. The c [...]

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