FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Lady's Maid has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See more of our deals.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Lady's Maid Paperback – 7 Apr 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£8.99
£3.41 £2.71
Misc. Supplies
"Please retry"
£0.01
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£8.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Lady's Maid
  • +
  • Diary Of An Ordinary Woman
  • +
  • The Unknown Bridesmaid
Total price: £21.83
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Re-issue edition (7 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009947848X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099478485
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"From the viewpoint of Elizabeth Wilson... lady's maid, Margaret Forster retells the love story of Robert and Elizabeth Browning...Enthralling" (Daily Telegraph)

"Compulsively readable... at each climax of the story, from the Browning's runaway romance to her own equally compromised and complicated marriage, the lady's maid speaks directly and at the last most movingly" (Guardian)

"Passion, melodrama, pathos - and a happy ending. What more can you ask for?" (Daily Mail)

"Movingly told... Wilson's pleasures, losses and disappointments in love are complicated and excellently understated, imagined as a contrast to the grand passions she has to serve" (Times Literary Supplement)

"Accomplished, beautifully written... packed with discreet domestic detail" (Financial Times)

Book Description

'Compulsively readable' - Guardian

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Fact and fiction are very close in this account of Wilson, Lady's Maid to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. There is an `afterword' at the end of the novel which personally I wish I had read first rather than at the end. It is worth reading as it separates the fact from fiction and helps with the appreciation of this sensitively written love story.

Wilson did not have an easy life as Lady's Maid, though at times over the years felt she was becoming closer to her mistress. The occasions however were always short lived and to quote from the novel. `Those who serve can never hope to breach the gap between themselves and those who are served'

Another enjoyable and eminently readable novel from Margaret Forster, whose work I have been reading since 1969!!
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The book captured my interest from the moment I found out it was a love story. Based on fact and some fiction, it was a moving story, full of passionate characters, from Elizabeth Barrett to Mr Browning, and to Elizabeth Wilson herself. It is an honest tale of class differences, and an unusual inspiring friendship that broke the usual trends, amongst a most heartfelt love story. If a book can make you experience a number of emotions, such as this one did, then it has suceeded in telling a good story. I was engrossed from the start and was sad to finish it. I would recommend this book to fans of the classics such as 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte, and 'Rebecca' by Daphne du Maurier. It has become one of my favourite books now and I will read it again.
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book overall, but I thought it went on a bit long. Wilson began to annoy me more and more, through her complete devotion to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, even in the face of knowing that Elizabeth was tiring of her.
I would like to have heard how Wilson fared following her return to England. How her first child came to Florence and what exactly happened with her boarding house in Scarborough. I have read so many of Margaret Forster and though I enjoyed so many aspects of this book, I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It was just too long and repetitive towards the end and began to bore me.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book is a 'faction' account of the life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Lady's Maid. It's beautifully writte, and, as in many of her books, I cried. It has everything you could ask for for a book to curl up with in the evening, complex and sensitive character portrayals, a gripping plot and history so carefully mixed in it hardly seems to be there. Read it.
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Modern women's novels set in Victorian times are rare, and so I pounced on this novel when I heard about it. It was certainly a great read early on, offering a beautifully-constructed glimpse into this fabulous lost world.
As Wilson appeared to develop from a mouse into a much more confident person, my attention was hooked, and I was hungry for more. But her transformation is short-lived, and as the novel progressed I became more and more frustrated with her obsession with the self-centred, passive-aggressive Mrs Browning....I do not like my heroines to be pathetic. Or at least they can be pathetic at the start, but then develop. The novel just fizzled for me.
I think the problem stems from basing a novel on real circumstances. It works fine if the real circumstances are dramatic, and if they allow for a real development of plot and character. But the circumstances surrounding the Browings and their maid just result in a kind of stagnation. There is certainly a kind of satisfaction, as a reader, in getting a feel for the bleakness of that time for people in Wilson's social position, and getting to grips with the mindset of a servant. And I think Forster's central aim with A Lady's Maid is to describe Wilson's changing, and increasingly obsessed mindset. But, as far as I'm concerned, it's not a satisfying read. Many a time I just found myself mentally rolling my eyes at Wilson's seemingly stupid choices.
I also would have liked there to be a little more "immediacy" in the story-telling, in the manner of the old writers' adage "show, don't tell". At a couple of points Wilson is "walking out" with a man, but we we barely hear about her beaux. Still, I suppose that, at least, is a matter of taste, and maybe it is more in keeping with the traditional Victorian novel for things to be related in a less direct way. And at any rate, it would have meant a longer novel.
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
What makes a book compelling? The singer or the song?

Margaret Forster's Lady's Maid is one of those books which makes you want to get back to it as soon as you can, but at the same time gives you a feeling of swimming in cement and déjà vu!

It recounts the interacting lives of the Victorian Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her lady's maid Elizabeth Wilson. Although the women share the same first name they do not share the same sensibilities. In the 21st century they may have been great friends, but in class conscious Victorian England this was not possible. Wilson was part of an underclass who were called servants - a term which no one in this century would dare to use. Both Browning and Wilson had to adhere to the etiquette of the day, which required both employer and servant to follow a strict code of conduct. However intimate Wilson becomes (and we see her doing the most intimate things to look after Browning), she could never become what she would have liked to have been to her lady.

Browning comes across , on the one hand, as a selfish ,superior, powerful woman whose position allows her to affect the quality of Wilson's life. She is shocked when Wilson reveals she is pregnant out of wedlock and condemns her to a separate life from her child, which she has the means to prevent. Browning, on the other hand, is a woman who loves her husband and son deeply , is very sensitive to family losses and what is happening in the political arena. And,she is,of course,a great poet, but the book only has a short reference to some lines of her poetry. As readers we have to acknowledge that we only see Browning from Wilson's point of view. By use of letters written by Wilson to various people, we see Wilson's personal point of view .
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback