elegance of history blog: History geek, avid reader and art lover. Here you will find random bits of history, book reviews and musings on art, literature, manners, life, music and anything else that interests me.
Valets knew many tricks to enrich themselves at the expense of their masters. Author Geri Walton shares a few: Valets, similar to a household steward, used a variety of tricks to enhance their income. One trick was to complain to those they patronized—tailors, bootmakers, milliners, laundresses, and so forth—about the exorbitant amounts they charged. At
Much responsibility rests on the Laundry-maid. Independently of her having the care of the family linen, &c., in and through the wash, and after it has been ironed, aired, and put away to use, she will probably be required to take charge of the several materials used in washing; such as soap, starch, blue, soda,
If the family washing be done at home, the duty will either fall upon the maid, or she will have to assist the washerwoman who may be engaged for the purpose. In some families, everything is washed at home; in others, only the coarse things, such as sheets, towels, &c., are washed at home, and
While reading the July 1816 edition of the Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, Manufactures, etc, I came across a letter written by a certain Susan Strivewell about her life as a servant. I’m never sure if such letters were real or made up (I also wonder whether the letters modern magazines print are really written
Life Takes Lemons has an interesting post about the life of a lady’s maid. To quote: A lady’s maid’s day, unlike that of her peers, starts as soon as her mistress wakes. The hour is variable, depending on the individual mistress and whether the household resides in the city or the country, but generally, a
Jane Austen’s World has written a very interesting post about footmen in the Regency Era. What were their duties and what was their life like? Footmen acquired their names from their running duties, accompanying their masters or mistresses alongside carriages or horses. They carried a long cane containing a mixture of eggs and white wine