Emily Huckwell spent almost her entire life working for one family. Born in a tiny Sussex village in the 1870s, she went into domestic service in the Burton household before she was twelve, earning GBP5 a year. She began as a nursery maid, progressing to under nurse and then head nanny, looking after two generations of children. One of the children in her care was the father of Noel Streatfeild, the author of Ballet Shoes and one of the best-loved children's writers of the 20th century. Basing her story on fact and family legend, Noel Streatfeild here tells Emily's story, and with her characteristic warmth and intimacy creates a fascinating portrait of Victorian and Edwardian life above and below stairs.
Noel Streatfeild was born in Sussex in 1895. She was a prolific and much-loved author, most famous for her children's books which included Ballet Shoes and the other 'Shoes' series. She was awarded an OBE in 1983.