Servants' Hall: A Real Life Upstairs, Downstairs Romance

Margaret Powell s Below Stairs, a servant s firsthand account of life in the great houses of England, became a sensation among readers reveling in the luxury and subtle class warfare of Masterpiece Theatre s hit television series Downton Abbey In Servants Hall, another true slice of life from a time when armies of servants lived below stairs simply to support the lives oMargaret Powell s Below Stairs, a servant s firsthand account of life in the great houses of England, became a sensation among readers reveling in the luxury and subtle class warfare of Masterpiece Theatre s hit television series Downton Abbey In Servants Hall, another true slice of life from a time when armies of servants lived below stairs simply to support the lives of those above, Powell tells the true story of Rose, the under parlourmaid to the Wardham Family at Redlands, who took a shocking step She eloped with the family s only son, Mr Gerald.Going from rags to riches, Rose finds herself caught up in a maelstrom of gossip, incredulity and envy among her fellow servants The reaction from upstairs was no better Mr Wardham, the master of the house, disdained the match so completely that he refused ever to have contact with the young couple again Gerald and Rose marry, leave Redlands and Powell looks on with envy, even as the marriage hits on bumpy times To us in the servants hall, it was just like a fairy tale How I wished I was in her shoes Once again bringing that lost world to life, Margaret Powell trains her pen and her gimlet eye on her betters in this next chapter from a life spent in service Servants Hall is Margaret Powell at her best a warm, funny and sometimes hilarious memoir of life at a time when wealthy families like ruled England.
Servants Hall A Real Life Upstairs Downstairs Romance Margaret Powell s Below Stairs a servant s firsthand account of life in the great houses of England became a sensation among readers reveling in the luxury and subtle class warfare of Masterpiece Th

  • Title: Servants' Hall: A Real Life Upstairs, Downstairs Romance
  • Author: Margaret Powell
  • ISBN: 9781250029294
  • Page: 114
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Servants' Hall: A Real Life Upstairs, Downstairs Romance”

    1. Margaret Powell relates more incidents from her time in service. When the son of one of her employers runs off with a maid it causes a big to-do both upstairs and down. The master and upper servants are furious at this breaching of class distinctions while Margaret and the younger servants think it's a fairy take come true. Margaret would have jumped at the chance to become a real lady but Rose stubbornly clings to her working class roots, parroting her mother's evangelical religious beliefs and [...]

    2. The title of this book is A Real Life Upstairs, Downstairs Romance it is rather misleading. The story is told by Margaret, the kitchen maid who becomes a cook. The story is mainly about her, Margaret with the story about Rose, the under maid being rather a sub plot. The book was OK, my copy was 183 pages long, but the story could have been told in probably 80 pages. And I mean the whole story, not just the part of the story that deals with Rose. Margaret only works at the home with Rose for abou [...]

    3. I am a fan of the TV show "Downton Abbey" so very interested in reading books from authors who actually worked downstairs for the big houses.Margaret Powell has written several books about the years she worked as a kitchen girl and then worked up to cook. this book she is an assistant cook in a big house in the 1920s. she writes some of the families she has worked for but mainly about herself and the staff she works with.This book focuses on herself, and a couple of the staff members. one in par [...]

    4. Well. I haven't read her earlier memoir, Below Stairs, yet and after reading this I'd still like to do so. So that says something.I didn't love the author all the time; however, her voice and the fairly reasonable way she looked at situations kept me interested. It made me feel like Downton Abbey is doing a pretty good job showing the life of domestic servants in the '20s, including the squabbles over hierarchy and personal dignity (they are doing this particularly well with Mr. Molesley) and th [...]

    5. I picked up this book because it was similar in nature to the TV show/series Downton Abbey which I thoroughly enjoy. However, this book wasn't as enjoyable and was more like a Diary of the author's time while in "service". It was all about how she moved around in "service", what the personalities of the other's "downstairs" were like and how the female servants tried to get out of service by getting married in various ways. I guess I just would rather have a well written story than a biography w [...]

    6. Dry & not much of a story - moral is don't marry above your station. Only reason this came out was popularity of Downton Abbey.

    7. I just couldn't get into reading this! I really enjoyed Maragret's first novel, but this one just fell flat. It's a small book but it got so boring that I couldn't even finish it. Maybe it's the because the story this time was about an under parlour maid instead of Margaret herself, but I felt utterly disconnected from the characters. They didn't feel very alive on the page, and I just wasn't invested in Rose's story enough to finish this already slim novel. The time I can use tackling my Octobe [...]

    8. I got this book because based on the summary it sounded like a romance novel, but it's not, it's non fiction, stories bases on someone actual experiences. So that was a let down from the start. Then the real issue is that the summary talks about a maid named Rose that marries the son (Gerald) of her wealthy employers. Of course I thought that was the focus of the story, but it wasn't. The main character is actually a servant named Margaret, she's the one that tells the story, it's her point of v [...]

    9. From the blurb about this book, one would think it was the story of Rose's life, first as a maid and then her "move upstairs" when she married the son of the house. But that's very misleading. In reality it's the story of another "downstairs" person who tells the reader a very little of Rose's story while she telling you about herself and another friend. I found the story to be a bit dry and it wasn't what I expected it to be at all.

    10. Reading this book is like gossiping with a friend-it waivers between interesting and tiring. I really did enjoy reading about details of day to day life of servants, but toward the end of the book it began to get repetitive and boring. The author is pretty funny and she addresses subjects like sex and having babies with candor you don't expect from a person of her generation. Overall, it's an easy and fun book to read, especially if you like time period pieces.

    11. As someone who enjoys Downton Abbey, I was drawn to this book about life "downstairs" where the servants work and live. Margaret Powell provides us a first-hand account of what it was like to work for the wealthy families who ruled England. Her style is witty, detailed, and poignant. A good glimpse into careers and lifestyles of both England's servers and the served.

    12. I am a fan of Upstairs/Downstairs and Downton Abbey so naturally I can now add Margaret Powell's work. Her characters were easy to understand. Their emotions were quirky, depending on their status in the House. It's a good book for anyone interested in the two previously mentioned shows.

    13. I enjoyed this second memoir of Margaret Powell's time in service as much as her first - Below Stairs. I wish the library had more of her books - I'm going to buy a few used ones online to continue reading her story. I like her feistiness!

    14. Not much of a romancehaha!This was a good read. Learned more about Margaret Powell's life in service and the friends she met along the way. Some stories are repeated from Below Stairs, but not too much.

    15. This was terribly slow. I fouind myself about 2/3 through, skipped to the last chapter, read that and closed the book for good.

    16. I enjoyed this tale of life below stairs by a woman who entered service at the age of 15 in 1922. There were few options for women at that time - marriage, work as a shop girl, a life in service, or prostitution. Even a life of service could make a woman vulnerable - to advances from men both above and below stairs. Pregnant women were dismissed - with life on the street often their only option. People in service were not guaranteed a pension from the families they served for years. "Servants' H [...]

    17. The second book written by Margaret Powell, whose first book, Below Stairs, is said to have inspired the tv shows Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey, gives more details of Powell's life in service and follows the romance of a parlor maid and the wealthy son of the house. Do the two live happily ever after? Do fairytales come true? Margaret Powell will tell you! I thought this book was enjoyable, but had a different tone and a completely different feel from the first book. I think Powell had [...]

    18. Definitely a follow-up to her previous book, Margaret Powell covers her time in service with a little more depth and some new stories, especially the saga of Rose, the maid who marries "above stairs." Although the story of Rose is different from the similar marriage in Upstairs, Downstairs, I immediately thought of it as I read. The best part of this book, for me, is the personal information about Margaret's marriage and family, the descriptions of the hardships families faced during the depress [...]

    19. A disappointing sequel to a 3 star first book. Ms. Powell is a tedious, pragmatic storyteller. Her previous memoir got by through some interesting facts and details about "downstairs" life. Not so this one. The hook is that she's included ongoing info regarding Rose, the maid who marries upstairs. Her fate is predictable and dull. The rest of the book is comprised of dalliances with boyfriends and the occasional meal prep.

    20. Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey".Stories of working in different households for the wealthy in England beginning with1922 as maids and cooks.Rose runs away with the wealthy master's son & they get married. Consequently,the son is disowned by his father. Rose goes from being a maid to a "lady". Surprisingly,she is very lonely and unhappy in her new role in life, is not really accepted by otherwealthy people, and doesn't fit in.Margaret Powell, the author, is the main charac [...]

    21. "Servants' Hall" a memoir about working "in service" by Margaret Powell has all of the drama, wit and historical relevance that continues to make me a fan of the genre. Set in England, and delightfully reminiscent of the PBS Masterpiece shows "Upstairs, Downstairs," "Downton Abbey," and "Wooster and Jeeves" it's a wonderful glimpse into the life of a servant. Powell, predominately a kitchen maid and a cook throughout the book, provides the full story of Rose, a maid who marries upstairs and out [...]

    22. Her first book was better, this one rambled a bit and had a very obvious "old woman reminiscing" tone. But still an interesting look into that period of time.

    23. In the introduction the author states that this is a true story. However, she waited until only two people witness to the tale were left alive, herself and her good friend Margaret. Therefore her frankness in describing the people involved is refreshing.The author Margaret Powell writes non-sentimentally about her time in service as a kitchen maid, then later as a cook.She worken in houses where the servants were valued members of the household and in those who treated their pets better than the [...]

    24. Enjoyable enough, but rather meandering.The romance between Sir Gerald and the parlormaid Rose, as mentioned in the subtitle, is actually take care of in the first quarter of the book. Sir Gerald and his bride are immediately disowned by his imperious father, but Gerald ends up making piles of cash anyway (how is not explained). But alas, it ends up being a Bad Romance for Rose is as dim and stubborn as she is pretty and Gerald learns that Looks Are Not Everything.The rest of the book is a chatt [...]

    25. This book was a great pick for our family book club since we are all Downton Abbey fans. This memoir of a cook who worked in service in the 1920s reads very much like a season of Downton Abbey. Margaret Powell discusses not only her own work as a cook, but the work and relationships of girls she was friends with, including Rose who married the son in one of the houses and became the head of her own big house. The beginning of this book really grabbed my attention, dealing with the staff of the h [...]

    26. Oh my goodness, I love DOWNTON ABBEY, but this book bored me to tears. The writing was so incredibly dry and what should have been a great storyline couldn't maintain my interest. Now I must admit that I have not read the author's first book Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey"and reviewers that had read that book gave this book a higher rating.

    27. I bought this book on a trip to the Newport mansions, and as I’m fascinated by the Gilded Age (and a fan of Downton Abbey), I couldn’t put it down. The memoirs of a domestic servant in the period between the wars in England, mostly featuring the story of a fellow kitchen maid who married “above stairs”, the son of the “Sir and Madam”, as well as her own journey towards matrimony and the escape from service. Powell’s voice is lively, engaging, feisty, and incredibly intelligent and [...]

    28. This book was disappointing. I thought from the title that it would be a happy story of a lucky servant girl who has a fairy tale romance with someone from "above stairs." Instead, it was merely an opinionated, self absorbed story of the author's own quest for men while bragging about great she is as a cook. She also manages to complain how her friend couldn't make a go of her romance, but she could have done a much better job with fitting in. I felt sorry for Rose, all the while feeling no such [...]

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