Below Stairs, by Margaret Powell

Originally published in 1968, this title was one of the inspirations for the  “Upstairs Downstairs” and “Downton Abbey” TV series. The author was a kitchen maid and cook beginning in the 1920’s when she was 15. She had to leave school at that age as her family could not afford to support her any longer. There are lots of stories about how kitchen work was done 80-plus years ago in homes with domestic servants as well as her take on the class system in Britain; the poor looked down on as less worthy people by the upper classes with little chance of rising “above their station in life.” Definitely not the “good old days.”

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RATING: * * * A good read
Reviewed by: kh


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