Heidi's Reviews > Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey"

Below Stairs by Margaret Powell
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Feb 07, 2012

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bookshelves: bio-memoir, read-2012, nonfiction
Read from February 07 to 08, 2012

Margaret's story of her time in service, first as a kitchen maid and then as a cook, brings to light the working conditions of the serving class in the early 1900s. Just as interesting is the attitude of "them" living upstairs in those great houses, the employers, their family members, and their friends. To think that just because a person was a servant that they couldn't read is so sad; to treat servants as less worthy of the basic comforts of life (food, shelter, kindness) is deplorable. As with many other reviewers, I have come down with Downton Abbey fever and am watching similar movies and reading books regarding about the servant class. Powell's book is a quick read; I enjoyed her wit but sometimes felt I was slogging through the details.
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