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Upstairs & Downstairs

My Life in Service as a Lady’s Maid
Narrated by: Helen Lloyd
Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
3.8 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

The year was 1935: the twilight of the English aristocracy. It was a time of wealth and glamour; of lavish balls and evening gowns; of tiaras and a coronation. As personal maid to Lady Coventry, Hilda Newman had a unique insight into the leisured life of one of Britain's most noble families. In her fascinating memoir of life upstairs and down, Hilda takes us back to this period between the wars; a gilded era which would soon be dramatically changed by the Second World War.

Transplanted from a tiny house with no bath or hot water to an 18th-century Neo-Palladian mansion, Hilda's life changed beyond recognition. But in a time when the very foundations of British society were being shaken to their core, the luxurious life of the country nobility couldn't last. The Second World War brought more turbulence with it, and Croome Court, where Hilda had lived and worked, became a haven for the Dutch Royal Family fleeing Nazi occupation, whilst also home to a top-secret RAF base. The lavish banquets and decadent parties had become a thing of the past.

Hilda's story takes us back to a bygone era, showing us what life was really like in England's classic country manors of old - and uncovers the real lives of the people who occupied them, from wealthy lord to lowly servant.

©2019 Martyn Newman obo Hilda Newman (P)2019 Penguin Audio

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Mildly interesting

As an avid Downton abbey fan, I picked this up. Some interesting bits Doesn't flow well, quite patronising at times.

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Wonderful

Such an enjoyable book! This book basically calls out many of the inaccuracies reacted by tv. The old Days were hard and opportunities we rare for most people.

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  • J.T.
  • 25-09-19

Wonderful listen!!

If you like English history this is your book as a first person account from the the last of the era.

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  • Csquared
  • 21-02-20

A wonderful listen.

This book is just wonderful. The author describes things so well, and has such a lovely spirit. I loved listening to her story, and especially on her reflections at the end. Great narrator too!

1 person found this helpful