Below Stairs by Margaret PowellBelow Stairs by Margaret Powell

Below Stairs

byMargaret Powell

Paperback | March 4, 2011

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Arriving at the great houses of 1920s London, fifteen-year-old Margaret's life in service was about to begin... As a kitchen maid ? the lowest of the low ? she entered an entirely new world; one of stoves to be blacked, vegetables to be scrubbed, mistresses to be appeased, and even bootlaces to be ironed. Work started at 5.30am and went on until after dark. It was a far cry from her childhood on the beaches of Hove, where money and food were scarce, but warmth and laughter never were. Yet from the gentleman with a penchant for stroking the housemaids' curlers, to raucous tea-dances with errand boys, to the heartbreaking story of Agnes the pregnant under-parlourmaid, fired for being seduced by her mistress's nephew, Margaret's tales of her time in service are told with wit, warmth, and a sharp eye for the prejudices of her situation. Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants, Below Stairs is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman, who, though her position was lowly, never stopped aiming high. 'Enormous gusto, salty humour, wisdom' Evening Standard 'Shrewd, unabashed, wickedly funny, a unique front-line report of her life's experiences' Jack De Manio, BBC
Margaret Powell was born in 1907 in Hove. Aged fifteen, she went into service as a kitchen maid, eventually progressing to the position of cook. In 1968 the first volume of her memoirs, Below Stairs, was published to instant success. She died in 1984.
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Title:Below StairsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.79 × 8.2 × 0.57 inPublished:March 4, 2011Publisher:Pan MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0330535382

ISBN - 13:9780330535380

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting! If you're a fan of Downton Abbey or similar vibes, you'll really like this. Powell is a no-nonsense, to-the-point, but also descriptive writer. She tells you about how her life was like as a child and then growing up and getting into service in 1920s England. (For context, this book was first published in 1968). Her social commentary on how things were is also engaging but again, no fuss, no frills, just clear and to the point, and you always know what she is saying. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-06-30