Author(s): Lucy Lethbridge
In the late nineteenth century, general housework in the British home was so labour intensive that it required an army of servants to undertake it. Since then, the ways in which we look after our homes may have changed dramatically but the best and simplest of methods from that time still work for us today. From floor to ceiling, and leaving no awkward corner untouched, here are the tricks and techniques that generations once took for granted, distilled for modern use: how to get rid of water marks or heat rings on polished wood; the antibacterial qualities of simple vinegar; the damp cloth versus the dry duster; and using lemon juice to clear limescale. Combining fascinating 'below-stairs' social history with startling facts and useful tips, Lucy Lethbridge restores fast-disappearing skills to keep at bay dust, rust, mildew, stains and pests. Here, beautifully illustrated and entertainingly presented, are a bygone era's keys to a clean house.
Essential household tips from the Victorian era to the modern day - time-honoured, thrifty and environmentally-friendly domestic solutions still useful today
Humane, perceptive and dispassionate, Servants takes us more deeply and comprehensively than any previous account into the real world of Upstairs Downstairs -- David Kynaston What Downtown Abbey will never touch on ... In this excellent addition to the history of domestic service in the 20th century, Lucy Lethbridge has swept the existing archive and added new sources of her own. The result is a richly textured account of what it felt like to spend the decades of high modernity on your knees with a dustpan and brush ... Hugely enjoyable Guardian An enthralling social history of the past century, told through the eyes of those who served ... Here, the voices of servants and home helpers, largely ignored by history, are brought to life. And what a life! ... The book is full of fascinating titbits Tatler
Lucy Lethbridge has written for a number of publications and is also the author of several children's books, one of which, Who Was Ada Lovelace?, won the 2002 Blue Peter Award for non-fiction. Servants was published to critical acclaim by Bloomsbury in 2012. She lives in London.