The Rise & Fall of the Victorian Servant

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More About This Title The Rise & Fall of the Victorian Servant


Victorian England measured social acceptability in terms of the number of servants employed in a household. It is perhaps unsuprising then that this frequently overlooked body of workers actually formed the largest occupational group in the country at the end of the nineteenth century. In this illustrated account, Pamela Horn draws upon a wealth of contemporary sources and 'servants' books' as well as personal reminiscences by servants and employers. She presents a comprehensive record of recruitment and training; the duties expected by servants, and the wide range of conditions under which they worked, some of which led to happy retirement, others to prostitution or squalid death. It is a compelling picture of a vanished social system.