*** Servants by Lucy Lethbridge


Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times is a well-documented, well-written history of domestic service in the United Kingdom, documenting the prodigious number of servants at the beginning of the 20th century and how it plunged drastically following the two world war. The author uses both statistics and personal stories and diaries that illustrate on an intimate level what is was like to be a servant and how daily life unfolded in the largest households, where the most important servants had their own servants, demanding employers could not possibly eat eggs with off-center yolks, and footmen over six feet tall were paid extra. I particularly appreciated the description of how the conscription of  WWI opened new options for women and started social changes that made other careers more desirable and more open to both women and men, when they returned from the war. A very enjoyable book on a topic that could be very dry.

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3 responses to “*** Servants by Lucy Lethbridge

  1. Pingback: *** Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks | FT's Books

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  3. Pingback: *** Minding the Manor by Mollie Moran | FT's Books

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