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Below Stairs

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Below Stairs.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Margaret Powell(Author)

    Book details


Arriving at the great houses of 1920s London, fifteen-year-old Margaret’s life in service was about to begin…

As a kitchen maid – the lowest of the low – she entered an entirely new world; one of stoves to be blacked, vegetables to be scrubbed, mistresses to be appeased, and even bootlaces to be ironed. Work started at 5.30am and went on until after dark. It was a far cry from her childhood on the beaches of Hove, where money and food were scarce, but warmth and laughter never were.

Yet from the gentleman with a penchant for stroking the housemaids’ curlers, to raucous tea-dances with errand boys, to the heartbreaking story of Agnes the pregnant under-parlourmaid, fired for being seduced by her mistress’s nephew, Margaret’s tales of her time in service are told with wit, warmth, and a sharp eye for the prejudices of her situation.

Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants, Below Stairs is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman, who, though her position was lowly, never stopped aiming high.

'Enormous gusto, salty humour, wisdom' Evening Standard

'Shrewd, unabashed, wickedly funny, a unique front-line report of her life's experiences' Jack De Manio, BBC

'Anyone who enjoyed Downton Abbey or Upstairs Downstairs will relish this feisty memoir' --Dame Eileen Atkins'A nurse worked hard, but a skivvy worked harder - brought to life in this wonderful book' --Jennifer Worth, author of the Call the Midwife trilogy'Despite Powell's cheerful voice, her depiction of life as a kitchen maid shows that it was far from rosy...her memoirs are spirited and heart-warming because of her, not because of her subject.' --Daily Express' Christopher Silvester'Witty, wise and wonderfully cynical, Margaret's story is in a class of its own.' --Lancashire Evening Post

2.4 (12673)
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Book details

  • PDF | 218 pages
  • Margaret Powell(Author)
  • Pan; Unabridged edition edition (1 Mar. 2011)
  • English
  • 9
  • History

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Review Text

  • By Xandy on 4 May 2017

    Down to earth and shows what a awful life some of these 'servants' really had, but the author obviously had a sense of humour and made it an easy and pleasant read

  • By Cruise Queen on 24 June 2013

    I never did get into Downton Abbey or what ever its called but I remember watching Upstairs Downstairs with my parents and this book is set in a very similar way. The story of Margaret. a poor up bringing and getting a job in service.. She works in variety of homes, some good , some not so good and a lot of her remarks about "it being different today" still apply although this book was first published years ago . It was easy to read, not too heavy or depressing and I will be looking out for further books by this author .

  • By Marie Louise Lomas on 12 April 2017

    Very interesting description of a young woman's working experience. Enjoyable read

  • By Will C on 16 August 2017

    Mrs C loved this. She's a big fan of period writing and drama and found this completely absorbing but not too heavy. Overall a really enjoyable read.

  • By Owlie on 7 September 2017

    not a bad read

  • By RRJP82 RIchard on 17 November 2015

    Well written story,enjoyed it very muchAt my age I can relate as my aunts were nearly all in service


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