My husband, who seldom brings books home from the library, surprised me recently with this one. I laughed and said, “I’m not that desperate” but after dinner I found myself browsing through the pictures. But soon I was drawn into the writing. If you’re a Downton Abbey fan, you’ll love this book and if not, you’ll probably at least sample the series after reading it.
The World of Downton Abbey is a social history of the times--Edwardian England to shortly after World War 1. In eight essays, Fellowes describes life then. She also gives an idea of how many people worked in service in those years—more than in farming or mining. Families would rejoice when a child got hired by a wealthy landowner, especially one as highly regarded as an earl. Not only would the person have a secure job, but the family would no longer have to provide housing, clothing or food as they would have needed to if the person worked as a clerk.
This book is full of interesting facts about working in service at the beginning of the last century. There was a network of downstairs folk who spread news of job openings from place to place and also kept a black-list of rich people who mistreated their help.
Also, covered are corsets—just know you are very lucky to be spared the agony of wearing one. Even Daisy the kitchen maid had to don this straitjacket under her uniform. A woman in those days could not take hers off by Read more »