Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison, Audiobook (CD) | Barnes & Noble
Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor

Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor

3.8 14
by Rosina Harrison, Wanda McCaddon
     
 

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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

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 thirty-five years, from the parties thrown for royalty and trips across the globe, to the air raids during World War II, 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-pound 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 not only a captivating insight into the great wealth 'upstairs' and the endless work 'downstairs'; it is also the story of an unlikely decades-long friendship that grew between Her Ladyship and her spirited Yorkshire maid.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Audio
Harrison grew up poor in Yorkshire in the early 20th century. Though she wanted to see the world, she had few opportunities to do so. So she went into service, working for the American-born Lady Nancy Astor, the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament. Harrison worked as Lady Astor's personal maid for 35 years, traveling in style throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. Originally published in 1976, this memoir has been reintroduced to take advantage of Downton Abbey's popularity and features vivid descriptions of life among the rich and famous, including the detail that Lord Astor traveled with a cow to provide him with fresh milk. However, while Harrison's clever, humorous accounts of Lady Astor's clothing, social activities, and tantrums provide interesting listening, modern readers may have difficulty understanding Harrison's pride in such a restrictive life. Narrator Wanda McCaddon captures perfectly the accents and personalities of these individuals. VERDICT Recommended for memoir lovers and Anglophiles fascinated by life in the grand houses of the past.—Nancy R. Ives, SUNY Geneseo
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
 "An extraordinary document, realistic, candid, and a rare look from the vantage point below stairs at a nostalgically romanticized world." — Los Angeles Times

 “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.” — Newsweek

"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:
9781452610856
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
12/10/2012
Edition description:
Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)
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

Wanda McCaddon has won more than twenty-five AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Seamstress by Sara Tuvel Bernstein, for which she also earned a coveted Audie Award. AudioFile magazine has also named her one of recording's Golden Voices. Wanda appears regularly on the professional stage in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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