Jump to content
IGNORED

Book:"Life Below Stairs" - unexpected reaction


MamaJunebug

Recommended Posts

"Life Below Stairs. True LIves of Edwardian Servants," by Alison Maloney.

 

From the first-person accounts of life 'in-service' in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it doesn't look like servants had enough time or reserve energy to plot the plots they hatch on "Downton Abbey"!

 

It's a very readabe book, and one that's easily picked up again after a while away. But I'm coming away with away with, as I get closer to the end pages, is how un-remarkable this all might have seemed to the folks at the time.

 

Consider: Many of the first-generation servants came from farms where there wasn't enough to eat. So the fact of having leftovers from the upstairs table would probably be seen as a good thing - there was food, and it was almost guaranteed.

 

The long hours would not be that unusual for individuals arriving from farms. I mean, even today, the few remaining farmers among my personal acquaintances are up-at-dawn, bed-fairly-late kinda folks.

 

The restrictions on socializing during the servants' one afternoon (augh!) a week off would've been irritating, but no more than those imposed by imperious parents or other authority figures back home.

 

Note well -- I'm not saying their lives were just fine! They certainly weren't, the conditions were overly harsh and IMO the means didn't justify the ends of the upstairs people looking as if they were living effortlessly, with nary a nod to the help belowstairs.

 

It's just that I'm wondering what the reaction of the folks on the farm were, when they learned of how their young women and men were treated at the manors and houses. Looks as though the vast majority of first-time servants sent much of their pay home, so that the families wouldn't starve.

 

Again, please: no chastisements that I'm hard-hearted and half a dozen other unpleasant things. I'm pretty much nont of those! I'd just love to know he farm folks back home regarded the situations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess my curiosity is piqued by a story Big Mama Junebug told me.

It was 1939, she had turned 16 and had to quit high school to follow her older sister to the city to work in factories and on switchboards to send money back to her folks.

BJMB showed up at the family's home one morning, and Grandma JB, while very happy to see her, was concerned: had she lost her job?

BMJB said no, this was vacation.

Grandma was from Eastern Europe and had never heard of vacation, so BMJB explained to it.

Grandma replied, "You don't go to work for a week and still they pay you? I like this baykayshum!" :angelic-grayflying:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to look into this book. Thanks for the suggestion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to look into it, as well, MamaJuneBug. It sounds fascinating. My husband's maternal grandmother was in service at a duke's household in the Thirties as a young working class woman in England. I'd love to know more of what her life must have been like then, but sadly I don't think she lucid enough now at the age of 96.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, I look forward to discussing it with you both!

Especially if by any chance your grandmother remembers ... it would be so interesting to hear some of her experiences. If not, it's still good. The more I read about what our ancestors endured, the more I'm in awe of them, proud of them and the better my perspective on what I "go through"!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.



  • Trending Content

  • Recent Status Updates

    • mango_fandango

      mango_fandango

      It’s not supposed to be mosquito season right now but I still appear to have been bitten twice on the side of my foot. Bastards. I know I shouldn’t scratch but it’s so tempting… 😑
      · 0 replies
    • Therapy Outside the Box

      Therapy Outside the Box

      Hello,
       
      I'm brand new to this forum. It was suggested to me by former and outspoken Remnant Fellowship member (Natasha Pavlovich) that I join this forum and put out here what I do. She also warned me that no one on here trusts, or trusts easily, and that I'd likely be assumed to be a Remnant plant or spy until vetted and verified as not that. Fair enough. 
      In short, and in truth, I'm a psychotherapist with 25 yrs experience in Franklin TN (less than three miles from RF incidentally) with a special interest in working with people formerly associated with cults, cult-like or any and all high control intitutions. I'm especially interested in working with those desiring not only deconstruct, recover and learn to thrive post-indoctrination, but those desiring to recapture or cultivate an authentic sense of theology without walls, or spirituality with borders. 
      To date, I've worked with former Amish, Mennonite, LDS/FLDS, FOG, and a those representing a whole slew of evangelical, fire and brimstone fear/shame/guilt-inducing institutions.
      I am especially interested in working with former Remnant Fellowship and Scientology members. I view RF as basically Scientology without the budget. 
      I'll leave it there. Much more can be gleaned about me through my website: therapyoutsidethebox.com or IG: @ therapyoutsidethebox
       
      Peace,
       
      Chris Hancock, LCSW
      Franklin, TN

      · 3 replies
    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      I have a friend with untreated autism and ADHD. I've tried so fucking hard to help. He refuses. It's a mess. I'm really really tired.
      · 0 replies
    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      Making Jill Duggar's brownie recipe because why not stay up late.
      · 2 replies
    • 47of74

      47of74

      Party on aisle 15....

      Also no interest if fully paid in so many months.
      · 0 replies
    • WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

      WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

      Happy Supper Bowel Sunday!!  No, wait. That isn't right...
      Anyway, enjoy the game (or the half time show, or the ads)!
      And a very happy Sunday to everyone who doesn't care about the NFL! 
      · 0 replies
    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      I'm a huge baseball fan. This year, MLB TV showed Liga Dominicana games in December and January and it was a fucking revelation. The players had so much fire and joy. The announcers with their charming DR accents were a blast, though I could hardly keep up with the Spanish. DItto the Serie del Caribe. As a White Sox fan, the MLB season is going to suffer by comparison. Te amo los Tigres del Licey!
      · 2 replies
    • bea

      bea

      I've just realized how long I've been on FJ.  Holy cow.
      · 0 replies
    • bea

      bea

      Had ankle surgery on the 22nd and am non-weight-bearing until the 7th, and it would great if I could REMEMBER that I'm not weight-bearing until I try to step on my splinted ankle.
      · 2 replies
    • 47of74

      47of74

      lol 

      · 0 replies
  • Recent Blog Entries

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.