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Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor
     

Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor

4.0 16
by Rosina Harrison
 

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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

Overview

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 one £5 raise, but she traveled the world in style and retired with a lifetime's worth of stories. Like Gosford Park and Downton Abbey, ROSE is a captivating insight into the great wealth 'upstairs' and the endless work 'downstairs', but it is also the story of an unlikely decades-long friendship that grew between Her Ladyship and her spirited Yorkshire maid.

Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
 "An extraordinary document, realistic, candid, and a rare look from the vantage point below stairs at a nostalgically romanticized world."
Newsweek
 “A delectable assortment of tales and details about the habits of overprivileged 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.”
The New York Times Book Review
"Lady Astor's personal maid reveals her 'upstairs, downstairs' relationships with England's grandest family...Fascinating and deliciously readable!" 

From the Publisher
"Lady Astor's personal maid reveals her 'upstairs, downstairs' relationships with England's grandest family. . . . Fascinating and deliciously readable!" ---The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101565704
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/27/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
100,512
File size:
516 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Lady Astor's personal maid reveals her 'upstairs, downstairs' relationships with England's grandest family. . . . Fascinating and deliciously readable!" —-The New York Times Book Review

Meet the Author

Rosina Harrison (1899-1989) served as Lady Nancy Astor's personal maid for over thirty-five years and was the author of two books.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Rose 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
2LALA More than 1 year ago
If you love history this is a book for you. Rose is not a gossip, but gets the story told. This tells how the British help was treated and about the family unit. Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't expecting much from this book as the first two chapters were slow, but I was pleasantly surprised. The more I read about Rose's life, the more interesting her stories became. I laughed out loud at some of the humorous stories she tells about her bickering with Lady Astor, and I even shed a few tears at the end. It was refreshing to read about this bygone era from a working class perspective. Although somewhat sugar-coated, I could still feel the respect that Rose has for the family and I am actually glad this wasn't one of those "tell-all" books. That would have diminished this read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written. Gives great insight into Lasy Astor's private life as well the life of a lady's maid during this era. Rose is very likeable and the book leaves you both satisfied and wishing you knew more about the author's life after she left service.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a real picture of what went on behind the scenes in the wealthy homes during the tumultous first half of the last century. I learned a great deal about what was expected of people in service. A sense of pride in a job well done and an enjoyable life for Rose. Very interesting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book it had some facts that history buffs will and i havent read in other books about the roosevelts
Anonymous 6 months ago
I am an aprentence
Anonymous 6 months ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tallchick More than 1 year ago
I agree with 2LALA: For history buffs. It was a great comprehensive look at the life of British high-society, as well as the servant class. Rose is well-told and easily read.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good read. Very insightful as to what a lady's maid does, the travels that Rose had with Lady Astor, people she met and things she saw. Not a gossip book nor a slap against Lady Astor - just a great read about life previously.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not finish reading it. Not a good read