When I researched my previous book on servants, Tracing Your Servant Ancestors, most of the sources I came across told the story of domestic service from the employers' point of view. Servants' Stories was written in an attempt to redress the balance. I also wanted to give readers more than just scanty extracts which other books tend to do; instead, I wanted to allow the servants to tell their experiences in their own words, making the stories as complete as possible.
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There's the heartbreaking tale of a 14 year old maid's despair and loneliness when she went into service for the first time during the Second World War; the feisty Edwardian servant who got revenge on her mistress with a box of beetles; the adventure of one girl who moved to London to work as a maid in the 1930s; and one Victorian woman's escape from an unhappy and abusive home life by going into domestic service. In addition to the 21 stories, I've researched and written chapters to give context to readers.
|Maids in the 1930s|
I hope the blog will become a useful resource for anyone interested in domestic servants and their lives. If there's anything servant-related you think I should write a post about, please let me know. Also, do get in touch if your ancestor was a servant and you have a story to tell about him or her.