Knowing Their Place: Domestic service in twentieth-century Britain

Paperback | June 27, 2014

byLucy Delap

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Historians have traditionally seen domestic service as an obsolete or redundant sector from the middle of the twentieth century. Knowing Their Place challenges this by linking the early twentieth-century employment of maids and cooks to later practices of employing au pairs, mothers' helps,and cleaners. Lucy Delap tells the story of lives and labour within British homes, from great houses to suburbs and slums, and charts the interactions of servants and employers along with the intense controversies and emotions they inspired.Knowing Their Place also examines the employment of men and migrant workers, as well as the role of laughter and erotic desire in shaping domestic service. The memory of domestic service and the role of the past in shaping and mediating the present is examined through heritage and televisualsources, from Upstairs, Downstairs to The 1900 House. Drawing from advice manuals, magazines, novels, cinema, memoirs, feminist tracts, and photographs, this fascinating book points to new directions in cultural history through its engagement in innovative areas such as the history of emotions andcultural memory. Through its attention to the contemporary rise in the employment of domestic workers, Knowing Their Place sets modern Britain in a new and compelling historical context.

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From the Publisher

Historians have traditionally seen domestic service as an obsolete or redundant sector from the middle of the twentieth century. Knowing Their Place challenges this by linking the early twentieth-century employment of maids and cooks to later practices of employing au pairs, mothers' helps,and cleaners. Lucy Delap tells the story of li...

Lucy Delap is a social and cultural historian with research interests in feminism, class, religion, and gender. Her book The Feminist Avant-Garde: Transatlantic Encounters of the early twentieth century was published in 2007 and won the 2008 Women's History Network Prize. She co-edited The Politics of Domestic Authority in Britain sin...

other books by Lucy Delap

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Kobo ebook|Nov 24 2010

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:278 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:June 27, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198718241

ISBN - 13:9780198718246

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Twentieth Century Servants2. Servant-Keepers and the Management of Servants3. 'Doing for Oneself': the Evolving Servantless Home4. Kitchen-Sink Laughter: Domestic Service Humour5. 'The Good, the Bad, and the Spicy': Servants in Pornography and Erotica6. Heritage Nostalgia: Domestic Service Remembered and PerformedConclusionBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Delap's book, dense with image and insight, helps us to think about these questions - who cleans, cooks, does the washing and childcare, how much are they paid and valued without turning away." --Sally Alexander, Twentieth Century British History 11/12/2013