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The Rise and Fall of the Victorian Servant
by Pamela Horn
ISBN 0717107469 / 9780717107469 / 0-7171-0746-9
Publisher Gill & Macmillan Ltd
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Victorian England measured social acceptability in terms of the number of servants employed in a household. This frequently overlooked body of workers actually formed the largest occupational group in the country by the end of the 19th century. In this account, the author draws on contemporary sources, including "servants' books" and personal reminiscences of servants and employers, to offer a record of recruitment and training; the duties expected of servants; and the range of conditions under which they worked - some of which led to happy retirement, others to prostitution or squalid death. Complemented with photographs, "Punch" illustrations and other ephemera, the book offers a picture of this vanished social system. [via]