Below Stairs

Below Stairs

Book 1
Sold by St. Martin's Press
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Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants portrayed in Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs, Margaret Powell's classic memoir of her time in service, Below Stairs, is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman who, though she served in the great houses of England, never stopped aiming high. Powell first arrived at the servants' entrance of one of those great houses in the 1920s. As a kitchen maid – the lowest of the low – she entered an entirely new world; one of stoves to be blacked, vegetables to be scrubbed, mistresses to be appeased, and bootlaces to be ironed. Work started at 5.30am and went on until after dark. It was a far cry from her childhood on the beaches of Hove, where money and food were scarce, but warmth and laughter never were. Yet from the gentleman with a penchant for stroking the housemaids' curlers, to raucous tea-dances with errand boys, to the heartbreaking story of Agnes the pregnant under-parlormaid, fired for being seduced by her mistress's nephew, Margaret's tales of her time in service are told with wit, warmth, and a sharp eye for the prejudices of her situation. Margaret Powell's true story of a life spent in service is a fascinating "downstairs" portrait of the glittering, long-gone worlds behind the closed doors of Downton Abbey and 165 Eaton Place.
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About the author

MARGARET POWELL was born in 1907 in Hove, and left school at the age of 13 to start working. At 14, she got a job in a hotel laundry room, and a year later went into service as a kitchen maid, eventually progressing to the position of cook, before marrying a milkman called Albert. In 1968 the first volume of her memoirs, Below Stairs, was published to instant success and turned her into a celebrity. She died in 1984.
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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Jan 3, 2012
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781429952446
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In the national bestseller Below Stairs, Margaret Powell told readers what it was really like to work in the great houses of England. In Margaret Powell's Cookery Book, she gives readers a closer look at the world inside the vast kitchens of these great houses. It's an eye-opening and mouthwatering snapshot of that world. The upstairs dining room always demanded the best of Continental cuisine and, cooking downstairs, Margaret Powell obliged. Her cookery book is a firsthand account of the way people cooked and dined in the early twentieth century when houses like those in "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" were fully staffed and running like clockwork. Describing kitchen equipment such as the black ranges that had to be shined daily, the fancy moulds that needed screen covers to keep out the flies and tubs of ice that were used instead of refrigerators, she tells readers just how big a job it was to keep the upstairs dining table abundantly filled. Giving away the secrets of the manor, she presents more than 500 recipes, from the simple to the sophisticated. Divided into chapters such as Hors d'oeuvre, Soups, Fish, Entrees, Roasts and Meat Dishes , Savouries, Puddings and others, she shows readers today what it was like to eat well, if you were a member of England's upper class. Classic, but simple, dishes such as Shepherd's Pie and Roast Chicken Stuffed with Herbs alternate with sophisticated fare and long-lost recipes like Potatoes a la Florence, Rabbit Pilau, Compote of Snipe, Sardines a la Bombay and Queen Mab Pudding. With her trademark wit and gimlet eye, she tells readers what it was like to cook for her "betters" but she also states one thing proudly--"Food is more than just food. I like it be prepared and cooked well, and I like trouble taken over it." Behind every well-fed family like the Crawleys of "Downton Abbey" or the Bellamys of "Upstairs, Downstairs" was a cook like Margaret Powell and, now, she invites readers everywhere to the feast.
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