Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison, Porcelain Tea Set, Wrought iron tool set, scones, 1930s suitcase, Forzieri Lace Gloves, Oak Bracket Clock, ration card postcard, 30s lace-up shoes, Pekingese
I’m almost finished with this darling book–Rosina Harrison’s account of service to Lady Nancy Astor. Both are fascinating characters.
I haven’t had time to jump on board the Downton Abbey train, but I’m thinking after the wedding I may have more space for media consumption. My brain is just too full for another obsession (all those aware of my complete infatuation with anything Tudor will understand).
The book is a look inside the day-to-day business of being a lady’s maid to a famously strong-willed figure. The tone is conversational and I feel like I’m sitting down to listen to some good stories from a beloved aunt (I don’t actually ever do that, but you get my drift).
Here’s the publisher’s blurb:
“In 1928, Rosina Harrison arrived at the illustrious household of the Astor family to take up her new position as personal maid to the infamously temperamental Lady Nancy Astor, who sat in Parliament, entertained royalty, and traveled the world. “She’s not a lady as you would understand a lady” was the butler’s ominous warning. But what no one expected was that the iron-willed Lady Astor was about to meet her match in the no-nonsense, whip-smart girl from the country.
For 35 years, from the parties thrown for royalty and trips across the globe, to the air raids during WWII, Rose was by Lady Astor’s side and behind the scenes, keeping everything running smoothly. In charge of everything from the clothes and furs to the baggage to the priceless diamond “sparklers,” Rose was closer to Lady Astor than anyone else. In her decades of service she received one £5 raise, but she traveled the world in style and retired with a lifetime’s worth of stories. Like Gosford Park and Downton Abbey, ROSE is a captivating insight into the great wealth ‘upstairs’ and the endless work ‘downstairs’, but it is also the story of an unlikely decades-long friendship that grew between Her Ladyship and her spirited Yorkshire maid.”
I think next I’ll be reading Jeremy Musson’s Up and Down Stairs. How about you? Obsessed with Downton Abbey yet?
By the way, are you on GoodReads? I love that site because it’s chalk full of books, books, books, and people who love them. Add me and we can be biblio-friends.