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Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times
 
 
Author
Lucy Lethbridge.
Publisher Norton  
Format hardcover
ISBN 9780393241099
Pages/Publication Date 385/2013
Daedalus Item Code 49038
This item is not available.
Description
In this "ridiculously diverting glimpse of downstairs life" (Salon.com), historian Lucy Lethbridge considers the evolution of the British domestic servant from the turn of the 20th century through the post–World War II era, largely through the voices of the servants themselves, who witnessed major changes in the modern home, family, and social order. Tart and ironic, Lethbridge considers the immense staff running a large Edwardian estate, the lonely maid-of-all-work cooking in a cramped middle-class house, and how the expectations of the upper class and those still in service had adapted to new realities by the 1970s.

"Beautifully written, sparkling with insight, and a pleasure to read, Servants is social history at its most humane and perceptive."—Times Literary Supplement

"Enthusiasts of bonnets and waistcoasts will find Upstairs Downstairs or Downton Abbey all the more enjoyable after reading this nuanced and elegantly written account ... tracing the history of servants throughout the whole of the 20th century."—Observer (London)

"Like everyone else, probably, I am most enthralled to learn that butlers seldom married and were prone to drinking problems (since they were in charge of the keys to the wine cellar), and that chauffeurs were considered dashing and sexy by the housemaids while valets were decidedly not.... Servants, however, resembles the very best butler by retaining its dignity while expertly delivering the literary equivalent of what Bertie Wooster, in his far-from-infinite wisdom, might have called 'the needful.' Most gratifying."—Salon.com

 
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