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The Rise & Fall of the Victorian Servant

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  39 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Victorian England measured social acceptability in terms of the number of servants employed in a household. This work covers contemporary sources and servants' books, and personal reminiscences by servants and employers. It covers recruitment and training, and the duties expected by servants.
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Published February 1st 2004 by Sutton Publishing (first published 1975)
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Mark
Nov 11, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the past several decades, a steady stream of books has been published about the men and women who labored in in the country houses and townhouses of Great Britain. While Pamela Horn's book was among the first to benefit from the burgeoning interest in the subject, it has endured thanks to its clear writing and straightforward overview of the subject. Drawing upon a range of diaries, contemporary publications, official reports, and other sources, Horn supplies readers with an introduction to ...more
Michael K.
Nov 08, 2014 Michael K. rated it really liked it
This not-huge volume has become the basic work on the life of the servant class during the 19th century. (I believe it’s based on the author’s graduate thesis.) After a brief chapter on the origins of domestic service in Britain (and why it was so much different from the equivalent situation on the Continent), she delves into the daily round of both male and female servants (whose functions were very different, and for largely economic reasons), the nature of social life (such as it was) below s ...more
Ariana
Dec 19, 2015 Ariana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very helpful book. I wanted to learn more about servants in the 1800s and this book was perfect in answering all the questions I had but couldn't find answers to online (like days off). I wasn't too interesting in the last part of the book outlining the fall of the Victorian servant, but it did have a lot of information for anyone interesting in that area.

I would have preferred with a more detailed breakdown of daily tasks per servant, but what was described was good enough to work wi
...more
Louise Culmer
Jul 14, 2011 Louise Culmer rated it really liked it
Very interesting book on the lives of servants in the Victorian era. The chapters cover subjects such as getting a place, the daily routine of servants, master-servant relations, social life, the decline of domestic service as an occupation etc. There are lots of illustrations, and many quotes from accounts of their lives by former servants. Keeping a servant became essential for anyone who could afford it in the victorian era, and over a million women were in service during this period. I would ...more
Kressel Housman
Jun 03, 2008 Kressel Housman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Regency & Victorian history buffs
For research, this is top-notch, but it's not one of those history books that reads like a novel. I recommend it to Regency/Victorian history buffs. The fashionable life of the Ton gets lots of attention, but where would the upper class be without their servants to dress them?
Julie
Oct 21, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
Reads like a thesis. Lots of statistics. Used letters, diaries etc from servants for good first person reports.
Sarah Warbey
Good for research, as another reviewer says, but a bit tedious to read cover to cover like a novel.
Ava
Jan 25, 2010 Ava rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Got just past half way... Interesting stuff but a bit of a slog to read.
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Pamela Horn is an historian specialising in Victorian social history. The author of acclaimed books on rural life, servant lives and childhood, she lectured on economic and social history at Oxford Polytechnic, now Oxford Brookes University, for over twenty years.
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