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Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian…
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Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Alison Maloney

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1231597,888 (3.39)11
Member:Teazle
Title:Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants
Authors:Alison Maloney
Info:Michael O'Mara Books (2011), Hardcover, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:read 2012

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Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants by Alison Maloney (2011)

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

★★

This sounded like such a fascinating book to me when I checked it out at the library, at least for a history geek like myself. But I was highly disappointed. It reads so much like a text book, a poorly formatted one at that. Everything is put into subcategories such as “How a butler dresses”, “How a house maid dresses” “Hiring of servants”, etc…some being only a paragraph or so and it just ended up feeling repetitive. There is some good information within but the writing lacked any personality and came off as quite dry. Some good pictures as well but not enough to save this book. She uses long quotes and paraphrasing from other history and memoir books (where is seems she mostly copied her info from) that seemed way more interesting so I may give one of those a try. An okay book for quick information but there are definitely better reads with better information in them.


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  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
This was interesting information and something I wasn't very familiar with. But the format of the book was much like a juvenile text book with lots of subtitles that are almost exactly repeated as the topic sentence of the section. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the read, especially some of the included adverts from the period as well as recipes. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
This was interesting information and something I wasn't very familiar with. But the format of the book was much like a juvenile text book with lots of subtitles that are almost exactly repeated as the topic sentence of the section. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the read, especially some of the included adverts from the period as well as recipes. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Life Below Stairs gives a good impression of what life was like for people in service in the early 1900s, featuring job descriptions, daily schedules, a few recipes and discusses pay and conditions. Unfortunately, the book is very short and it reads more like an essay than a book. I was disappointed to find that there was not a single photo included and the author used only snippets of first-hand accounts from other books. A lot of readers will be familiar with most of the contents from watching the popular period tv series and I didn't find much new information that goes beyond what is already common knowledge; however, if you are new to the subject and don't like big books, this one is a perfect starting point. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
Not bad, but a fairly light read on the topic. ( )
  Fliss88 | May 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alison Maloneyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Empringham, JamesCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In loving memory of my grandparents, Jean and Sandy Cook and Jim and Dorothy Tripp. With love and thanks to Sally and Gill.
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In the twenty-first century, domestic service is the domain of the few butlers, housekeepers and nannies who keep the richest homes in the country ticking over and usually command a high wage. - Introduction
During the class-ridden Victorian era, the social divide between rich and poor had become a chasm. - Chapter 1
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Television shows such as Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs have captivated millions with the inside story of aristocratic Edwardian households. But what was life really like for the people who kept such a household running? Maloney takes readers behind the scenes to describe servants' daily life in this now vanished world.… (more)

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