Book Review

‘Upstairs & Downstairs: The Illustrated Guide to the Real Life of Masters and Their Servants from the Victorian Era to the Second World War’ by Sarah Warwick

13201933STORY: This beautifully illustrated book takes readers on a guided tour of a single day in an upper-crust English home of the Edwardian era. Starting with the servants hard at work while the family is still abed, and culminating in a lavish dinner party, Upstairs & Downstairs lifts the curtain on this fascinating period, as well as its historical bookends, the Victorian and post-World War I eras.

Includes accounts from actual masters and servants, along with feature spreads on famous figures like Winston Churchill and Virginia Woolf.

REVIEW: This is a great overview of the Edwardian era in England. The book shows not only photos but illustrations of servants, lords and ladies. There is an excellent listing of each rank of servant in the household to include title, general age, wage range, uniform and general job description. There are sections on P.G. Wodehouse, Emmeline Pankhurst, Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill, each with little nuggets of knowledge probably not found in other books. The reader is taken through an average day for the residents and servants and the duties involved for both. Events such as house parties, hunts, picnics and elaborate dinners are meticulously described.

I certainly enjoyed this book as I found it to be chock full of all kinds of information about this era. I feel as though I learned a lot from reading it.

Connie for b2b


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