Below Stairs The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey

ISBN-10: 1250023211
ISBN-13: 9781250023216
Edition: 2013
Authors: Margaret Powell
List price: $15.99 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants portrayed inDownton AbbeyandUpstairs, Downstairs, Margaret Powell’s classic memoir of her time in service,Below Stairs,is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman who,  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.99
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 12/24/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.660
Language: English

Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants portrayed inDownton AbbeyandUpstairs, Downstairs, Margaret Powell’s classic memoir of her time in service,Below Stairs,is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman who, though she served in the great houses of England, never stopped aiming high. Powell first arrived at the servants' entrance of one of those great houses in the 1920s.  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 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-parlormaid, 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. Margaret Powell's true story of a life spent in service is a fascinating “downstairs” portrait of the glittering, long-gone worlds behind the closed doors of Downton Abbey and 165 Eaton Place.

Margaret Powell was born in Hove in 1907 and became a kitchen maid at fifteen, eventually progressing to cook. In 1968 the first volume of her memoirs, Below Stairs, was published to instant success, turning her into a celebrity. She followed this up with Climbing the Stairs, The Treasure Upstairs and The Margaret Powell Cookery Book as well as co-authoring three novels, tie-ins to the television series Beryl's Lot, which was based on her life story. She died in 1984.

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