Full of source material, light on conclusions or views,
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This review is from: Up and Down Stairs: The History of the Country House Servant (Paperback)This is very far from a "coffee table" book about country house servants !
It is really quite scholarly in its approach, with very extensive quotes being given of the writings of servants and masters through the period it covers (middle ages to date). Also realise it is strictly about "country houses" ie National Trust type homes.
The coverage through changing times is perhaps the book's greatest claim for interest, but is also reveals its greatest failing.
The management structure "below stairs" is described for each separate period but the changes never explored: eg the rise of Butlers and of parlour-maids, decline of footmen. Also the excellent sources are never used to discuss the tensions and rivalries of different servants through their rise and fall.
Nevertheless a useful book on this fascinating topic.