Queen Advertises for Maid

October 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm (books, british royalty, history, jane austen, jasna, news, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


On tonight’s news, the “bulletin” that the Queen of England is in search of a … MAID! See my recent post on the EXCELLENT BBC series, Servants:The True Story of Life Below Stairs with Pamela Cox.

The “Housekeeping Assistant” works 40 hours per week, and is expected to spend three months out of London.

Accommodation is available.

Apply by the 26th!

The London household is also looking for, among other positions, a gardener, an events coordinator; the Windsor household is looking for a groom.

I am reminded to mention again a book purchased a few years ago in Montreal at dear Nicholas Hoare Bookstore: Mrs Woolf and the Servants, by Alison Light.

I also recently read a FASCINATING account of servants in Jane Austen’s novelsJudith Terry (U of Victoria, BC) entitled her survey “Seen but not heard: Servants in Jane Austen’s England.” I must confess that I couldn’t have named half of those servants Terry has unearthed!

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2 Comments

  1. Dawn said,

    I once read a book called “Below Stairs” by Margaret Powell, ~ ( memoir’s of a kitchen maid)~ I never realised so many had been written about ‘servanthood’ (Is this a word?) :) in Britain. On a search for ‘Below Stairs’ on the web just now, I saw a write up saying ‘Upstairs downstairs’ and ‘Downton Abbey’ were inspiration’s that came from this book?.

    • Janeite Kelly said,

      Hi, Dawn — Margaret Powell, and her book, get a nicely-informative section on Pamela Cox’s Servants. Was so great to see her giving a talk to a Women’s Institute-type group, and telling the attentive audience that she and the other servants called their employer, rather than her Ladyship, “the old cow upstairs” (I may be misquoting her… watch the show!)

      I recall seeing (long, long ago) an interview with Jean Marsh, and talk of the hows & whys she and Eileen Atkins – but I wouldn’t have known about Margaret Powell in the late 70s, early 80s. Powell certainly seemed to take Britain by storm, so Great Question! We all get inspiration from somewhere. I’d LOVE to read Powell’s memoir, I’m sure it’s eye-opening.

      k

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