Below Stairs : The Bestselling Memoirs of a 1920s Kitchen Maid
by Margaret Powell
Editor: Pan MacMillan
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On arriving at the great houses of the 1920s in London, fifteen-year-old Margaret’s life in service was about to begina household kitchen – the lowest of the depression – she entered an entirely new world; one of the stoves to be masked, vegetables to be washed, mistresses to be soothed, and even bootlaces to be ironedWork started at 5:30 in the morning and continued until nightfallHe was a long way from his childhood on the beaches of Hove, where money and food are scarce, but the heat and laughter have never been.And yet, from the gentleman with a penchant for petting the housekeepers’ curlers, to hoarse tea-dances with the boys’ race, to the heartbreaking story of Agnes the subparlourmaid speaker, dismissed to be seduced by her mistress, her nephew, Margaret, the tales of her time in the service said with wit, warmth, and a sense of humour.Brilliantly evoking the long-lost world of masters and servants, Under the Stairs is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman, who, although her position was humble, never stopped aiming highThe huge gusto, salty with humour, wise ” Evening Standard ” Smart, imperturbable, maliciously funny, a unique front-line report of his life experiences ” Jack De Tertre, BBC
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