Tom Quinn and Rose Plummer - The Maid's Tale - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781444735864
    • Publication date:15 Sep 2011

The Maid's Tale

A revealing memoir of life below stairs

By Tom Quinn and Rose Plummer

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The real story of my life in service as a maid

Praise for Lives of the Servants:
'Reading this fascinating book is likely to unleash almost anyone's Inner Bolshevik.!' Daily Mail
'...a fascinating portrait of the drudgery and servility of a domestic's life.' The Age
'...captures the subtleties of the English class system to an extraordinary degree.' Midstate Observer
'If the Brothers Grimm had ended Cinderella where she was being forced to clean the house by her stepsisters, they might have accidentally been writing Rose Plummer's biography. The maid's story makes for harsh, heartbreaking, fascinating reading.' The Daily Telegraph, NZ

Born in 1910, Rose Plummer grew up in an East End slum, where she and fought an unending battle with hunger and squalor.

At the age of fifteen, Rose started work as a live-in maid, and despite the poverty of her childhood, nothing could have prepared her for the long hours, the backbreaking work and the harshness of a world in which servants were treated as if they were less than human.

But however difficult life became, Rose found something to laugh about, and her remarkable spirit and gift for friendship shines through in her memories of a now-vanished world.

Biographical Notes

Rose Plummer was born in 1910 in Hoxton, one of the poorest parts of London's East End. She left school at fifteen and became a live-in domestic servant in a house in the West End. For the next fifteen years she saw at first-hand what life below stairs was really like. She met her future husband Harry, a footman, just before the start of the Second World War and though there were no children they enjoyed a long and happy marriage. After the war Rose had a number of jobs, but never again in domestic service. She died in 1994.

Tom Quinn is the editor of the Country Landowner's Magazine. He has written several small books for small independent publishers. He has spent the last twenty years interviewing people who worked in domestic service, getting them to tell him their life stories.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781444735871
  • Publication date: 15 Sep 2011
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Coronet
Praise for the Lives of Servants — Various
Reading this fascinating book is likely to unleash anyone's inner Bolshevik...! — Daily Mail
...a fascinating portrait of the drudgery and servility of a domestic's life. — The Age
...captures the subtelties of the English class system to an extraordinary degree. — Midstate Observer
If the Brothers Grimm had ended Cinderella where she was being forced to clean the house by her stepsisters, they might have accidentally been writing Rose Plummer's biography. The maid's story makes for harsh, heartbreaking, fascinating reading. — The Daily Telegraph, NZ
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