To say that I found this book fascinating is an understatement. It’s fair to say that I’m intrigued with how people used to live years ago (not all that long ago in this case, in the grand scheme of things). I love Downton Abbey (though I haven’t seen the whole series, sadly), I love anything and everything Jane Austen related, I love reading/watching well-researched fiction and non-fiction about the class divides and how people used to live. Way back when I was at school, I have distinct memories of a programme called ‘How We Used to Live’.
This book most certainly did not disappoint. How times have changed! Mollie chose to work in domestic service against working in a shop. The only other option being the Workhouse… which was most certainly not a good option. As Moran re-tells, domestic service involved starting at the bottom of the ‘food chain’, literally getting down on hands and needs and scrubbing and scrubbing, and scrubbing some more. Pretty much from dawn.
While reading this book, I found myself shuddering at the conditions that Moran and her counterparts worked in. But do you know what really amazed me? That it was perfectly acceptable and there was relatively little whinging done out loud. These people just got on with it… working their fingers to the bone!
Do read the book, it’s a very easy to read and goes really well with a nice hot cup of your favourite brew and a cheeky biscuit 😉