By Margaret Powell
From the grand homes of Brighton to implementing London mansions, lifestyles as a kitchen maid should be hard and demoralising. It's not only being on the beck and make contact with of the folks upstairs, whilst even the kids of the family members can deal with you're keen on airborne dirt and dust, yet having to accommodate temperamental chefs, starchy butlers and chauffeurs with a roving eye.
Marriage is the single get away, yet with one night off every week Margaret has no time to lose. among Perce the bus conductor (who brings his mom on dates) and Mr Hailsham the fishmonger (who appears - and scents - rather like his wares), her preliminary clients are not often the stuff of dreams.
But then she meets Albert; a butcher boy-turned-milkman. may possibly he be the proper husband? and will she make the proper spouse while, as she quickly discovers, years spent serving others don't organize you for handling your personal existence? quickly Margaret starts to ask yourself - how can an individual like her ever enhance their station?
Told together with her trademark wit and heat, mountaineering the steps is a different, sharp-eyed story of a time while the belief of masters and servants started to lose its sway, and of a extraordinary lady who grasped the possibilities of this courageous new international with either arms.
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Additional resources for Climbing the Stairs: Further Tales of a 1920s Kitchen Maid
I early agreed with Eugene Debs that so long as there was misery I was of it, and while there was a man in jail I was not free. Experiences like these taught me to be sympathetic to was Patten. came across a poem called The Fence and the Ambulance. The theme was of a dangerous cUff from which people fell and were killed or badly injured. Kindhearted citizens subscribed to buy and maintain an ambulance at the foot of the cliff to take care of the victims. Others, however, demanded that a fence be built along the cliff so that people would no longer fall over.
Which the language of our generation was cut. At certain intervals, called examination periods, we were expected to reproduce this language, word by word and paragraph by paragraph. In the autumn of 1903 I registered for Economics 162, an advanced course given by Professor Simon Nelson Patten. At the it We We We first session forty of us faced a tall, loose- jointed, balding with a high forehead, a protruding chin, The introductory lesson began. The and man a rather sad face. professor spoke haltingly, almost bashfully, as though he were not quite sure of himself.
The colony had an extensive common, used for sports and public affairs, a theatre, an inn and a craft spirits shop. Later On my it also acquired a club house. first visit I found that every piece of land facing the common had been rented out except one low-lying corner into which the common drained. That half acre was as unlikely a living place as anyone could imagine. The rent was thirteen I took it on the spot and during the next ten summers and weekends in Arden. As a good citizen and inhabitant of Arden I cleared off the accumulation of weeds, brambles, and undergrowth which dollars per year.