Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants

Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants

by Alison Maloney
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Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants by Alison Maloney

UPSTAIRS, an Edwardian home would have been a picture of elegance and calm, adorned with social gatherings and extravagantly envisioned dinner parties.

DOWNSTAIRS, it was a hive of domestic activity, supported by a body of staff painstakingly devoted to ensuring the smooth running of the household.

Brimming with family secrets, society scandal, and of course elaborate parties, dresses, and social customs, the world of an aristocratic Edwardian household as depicted on the hit show Downton Abbey has captivated millions. But what was life really like for the people who kept such a household running: the servants? In Life Below Stairs, international bestselling author Alison Maloney takes readers behind the scenes to reveal a lively and colorful picture of what went on "downstairs," describing servants' daily life in this now-vanished world.

Detailing everything from household structure, pay and conditions, special duties, and rules and regulations, to perks, entertainment, and even romance, Maloney examines the drudgery and hardships below stairs, as well as the rewards and pleasures. Thoroughly researched and reliably informed, this charmingly illustrated volume also contains first-hand stories from the staff of the time, making it a must-read for anyone interested in the lifestyle and conduct of a bygone era.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781843176978
Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books
Publication date: 09/28/2011

About the Author

ALISON MALONEY is a journalist and author, whose books include the international bestseller The Mum's Book. As well as a long stint on The Sunday Post newspaper, she worked as a children's book editor for two years. Alison lives in Kent, UK, with her husband and two children.

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Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
AnastaciaKnits More than 1 year ago
For fans of Upstairs, Downstairs & Downtown Abbey (ME!), comes Life Below Stairs. It's a fabulous, fascinating look at the true lives of servants who served the rich and fabulously wealthy. It's definitely written towards fans of the two mentioned series - it's a rather light look, doesn't get into a lot of details, and doesn't hit upon any of the negative aspects of being a servant - like 80 hour work weeks for no pay or sleep or freedom. Anyone who really knows the time period well, or the history of servants, will find this book too light to really enjoy, but for someone like me who was introduced to the time period through Downtown Abbey, it was a great read, though I really do wish there was MORE as the volume is pretty small. The photographs and letters were a nice touch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting accounting of what life was llke for the rich and those who took care of them. It was a hard life but it was also the way many generations passesd this life down to their children. I would reccomend this book to my friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a true follower of Downton Abbey, I found this book to explain why things were being done as they were. I am grateful to all the women and the advances that were made. Reading comments of ladies who lived in Edwardian times was really interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entertaining read between Downton Abbey seasons!
Ilovemister More than 1 year ago
Good Book. It was a crime how the servants were treated. They weren't even looked at by the higher ups. Some bosses were good to the long timers in retirement. Described all the different positions. The servants had no life except service. Thank God this era was over.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful look into a time gone be
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice fact based book. A quick read. A+.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ytuy &:/69