Do you have a good system for ordering the books you have read and those on your list to read? Do you like to see what others say about a book that you have read? Do you like to take quizes about books and she how your memory holds?
Good Reads is a great source for all these things and more. I recommend it for anyone who is bookish like me.
Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" by Margaret Powell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Margaret Langley was rather a spitfire of a girl, beginning to serve as a kitchen maid in 1920's England. This memoir is what the creators of Downton Abbey used for some of their inspiration.
The book begins with her family background in Hobe, near Brighton. Her family was rather poor and at the age of 14, Margaret needed to be in the work force. She began in a laundry, but soon moved on as was her way in life, to continue to move onto better positions. She apply conveys the hard work and dowdy conditions she had to work in and describes the work of kitchen maid in detail. She worked her way up to Cook.
In her early years she worked for "Them", as they called their employers, who were unconcerned with their servants conditions or surroundings. Through the years she did see a change in the attitude of "Them", with her later employers offering better living arrangements and more respect to those who cared for their every need and want.
Written in a very personal, fun style, the story is a fascinating look into a world long gone. It finishes with her married life including children and further schooling for herself, as she always longed to read and learn.
View all my reviews