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Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor
 
 
Author
Rosina Harrison.
Publisher Penguin  
Format paperback
ISBN 9780143120865
Pages/Publication Date 354/2011
Daedalus Item Code 29747
This item is not available.
Description
In 1928, Rosina Harrison arrived at the illustrious household of the Astor family to take up her new position as personal maid to the infamously temperamental Lady Nancy Astor, who sat in Parliament, entertained royalty, and traveled the world. "She's not a lady as you would understand a lady" was the butler's ominous warning. But what no one expected was that the iron-willed Lady Astor was about to meet her match in the no-nonsense, whip-smart girl from the country. For 35 years, from the parties thrown for royalty and trips across the globe, to the air raids during WWII, Rose was by Lady Astor's side and behind the scenes, keeping everything running smoothly. In charge of everything from the clothes and furs to the baggage to the priceless diamond "sparklers," Rose was closer to Lady Astor than anyone else. In her decades of service she received only one five-pound raise, but she traveled the world in style and retired with a lifetime's worth of stories. Like Gosford Park and Downton Abbey, her 1975 memoir is a captivating insight into the privileged class "upstairs" and the endless work "downstairs," but it is also the story of the unlikely, decades-long friendship that grew between Her Ladyship and her spirited Yorkshire maid.

"An extraordinary document, realistic, candid, and a rare look from the vantage point below stairs at a nostalgically romanticized world."—LATimes

"A delectable assortment of tales and details about the habits of over-privileged Britishers and the people who served them.... Rosina is a feisty, keen-eyed, no-nonsense observer of caste, class, and character. And when she matches wills and wits with Lady Astor—a Virginia Belle by birth, a Member of Parliament, and mistress of a dazzling fortune, and of Cliveden, one of England's most stately homes—the result is not only a crackling comedy of manners, but a sense of the way it was, firsthand."—Newsweek

 
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