By the end of the 1920s domestic service remained the largest female occupation in Britain. We view it today as an undesirable job, owing to the class divide it has come to represent, and this is reflected in the portrayals of mistresses and servants in books and on the screen in such dramas as Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey. But what do we really know about how girls felt when taking up these positions in other people's houses, or how they were treated? Pamela Horn uses first-hand accounts and reminiscences, as well as official records and newspaper reports, to extract the truth about the lives and status of men and women in domestic service from 1900 to 1939.
Dr Pamela Horn lectured on social history for over twenty years at Oxford Brookes University. Her books include High Society: The English Social Elite 1880-1914, Ladies of the Manor: Wives & Daughters in Country House Society, Rise and Fall of the Victorian Servant. She lives in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.