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Up and Down Stairs

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781848543874

Price: £10.99

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Country houses were reliant on an intricate hierarchy of servants, each of whom provided an essential skill. Up and Down Stairs brings to life this hierarchy and shows how large numbers of people lived together under strict segregation and how sometimes this segregation was broken, as with the famous marriage of a squire to his dairymaid at Uppark. Jeremy Musson captures the voices of the servants who ran these vast houses, and made them work. From unpublished memoirs to letters, wages, newspaper articles, he pieces together their daily lives from the Middle Ages through to the twentieth century.

The story of domestic servants is inseparable from the story of the country house as an icon of power, civilisation and luxury. This is particularly true with the great estates such as Chatsworth, Hatfield, Burghley and Wilton. Jeremy Musson looks at how these grand houses were, for centuries, admired and imitated around the world.


This is Gosford Park as non-fiction, and utterly fascinating
Times Literary Supplement
'Entertaining saga of the class divide'
The Daily Express
'Intimate and absorbing study'
The Sunday Times
Architectural historian Masson brings alive the symbiotic relationship between the houses, their owners, and the workers.
Financial Times
'Musson is excellent on the changing face of service in the twentieth century'
'Personal anecdotes bring this well-researched book to life'
Mail on Sunday
'A brilliantly readable book full of human history and entertaining anecdotes'
Lancashire Evening Post
'He retells the story at a cracking pace... we are reminded that all kinds of likely lads, including Chaucer, started out as paper pushers and cup bearers'
'Packed with quotes from memoirs and letters, as well as first hand accounts, a fascinating social history'
BBC Who Do You Think You Are Magazine
'An ideal read'
Field Magazine