The Country House Servant - Pamela A Sambrook

Paperback - Good Condition


For centuries a large body of domestic servants was a necessary and household. One nineteenth-century footman complained about the work involved in drawing more than forty baths twice daily, yet Lady Greville felt no compunction in describing her footman as a lazy flunkey’. Housemaids were sometimes called upon to act as human warming pans’, yet the very bed linen they aired was valued as part of the sacred order of ‘household mysteries.

This book describes the skills, equipment, cleaning methods and work organisation of the housemaid, laundrymaid, footman, valet and hall-boy – the servants who spent their days polishing fine furniture, washing brilliant chandeliers, brushing precious carpets and laundering damask tablecloths, but also sponging filthy riding habits, polishing grubby knives, emptying endless slops and washing babies’ nappies. The author also looks at how servants spent their time outside working hours. While one footman enjoyed rowing on the lake every morning before work, and the Duchess of Portland presented each of her workers with a bicycle to encourage fitness, others had to deal with bullying superiors or sit up late at night sewing their own work-dresses.

A wealth of photographs, paintings and engravings, in colour and black and white, are used alongside contemporary manuals, diaries and, most importantly, first-hand recollections, to provide a vivid insight into what life was really like for those in domestic service. This is an absorbing book for social historians and visitors to country houses alike.

1 in stock


The Country House Servant by Pamela A Sambrook

In a good condition. Some light creasing to the cover. See photos for more details.

Additional information

Weight 700 g
Dimensions 24.3 × 17.3 × 1.3 cm




Pamela A Sambrook