Life Below Stairs in their Own Words 1800-1950 (Pen & Sword, 2015)
Step into the world of domestic service and discover what life was really like for these unsung heroines (and heroes) of society. Between 1800 and 1950, the role of servants changed dramatically but they remained the people without whom the upper and middle classes could not function.
Through oral histories, diaries, newspaper reports and never before seen testimony, domestic servants tell their stories, warts and all - Downton, it isn't!
- Revenge on a mistress with a box of beetles
- The despair and loneliness of a 14 year old maid
- The adventure of moving to London to go into service
- An escape from an unhappy home life
Who Do You Think You Are?, November 2015
"This is more than a mere anthology, interesting though that would be. Higgs provides useful background to explore a variety of issues around the subject, from the 'servant problem' of hiring reliable staff to the impact of war, and changing social attitudes to servants and service. It would be hard to find so many first-hand accounts on this subject in one place elsewhere, and this is an excellent blend of social and oral history."
Your Family Tree, November 2015