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Description - The Country House Servant by Pamela A. Sambrook

One 19th century footman complained about the work involved in drawing more than 40 baths for his household, yet Lady Grenville felt no compunction in describing her footman as a "lazy flunkey". For centuries a large body of domestic servants was an often unappreciated foundation for the smooth running of a household. Today, the warrens of "domestic offices" intrigue visitors. This book makes sense of these and the social structures behind them. It describes the skills, equipment, cleaning methods and work organization of the housemaid, laundrymaid, footman, valet and hall-boy - the servants who spent their days polishing fine furniture, and washing brilliant chandeliers, but also sponging filthy riding habits, and washing babies' nappies. The author also looks at how servants spent their leisure time. One footman enjoyed rowing on the lake every morning before work, while others had to sit up late at night sewing their own work-dresses. Contemporary manuals, diaries, accounts and first hand recollections provide a vivid insight into what life was really like for those in domestic service. A wealth of photographs, engravings and panels illustrate the domestic workings of country houses, many now looked after by the National Trust. This is an absorbing book for social historians and visitors to country houses alike.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780750929882
ISBN-10: 075092988X
Format: Paperback
(244mm x 172mm x 18mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Sutton Publishing Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Publish Date: 13-May-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Country House Servant by Pamela A. Sambrook

UK Kirkus Review » In today's society being a servant for a living is a bizarre thought. Yet many of our parents and grandparents were 'in service'. This fascinating, well researched book enables us to understand the kind of lives that our forbears had, and certainly makes one appreciated the almost lazy lives we now lead. The period illustrations and photographs help to bring this fast fading age to life, and makes us realise that it was not really that long ago. (Kirkus UK)


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