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The Housekeeper's Tale


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About the Author

TESSA BOASE read English at Lincoln College, Oxford, then worked as a voiceover artist, a children's scriptwriter, and as a commissioning editor of The DailyandSunday Telegraph andThe Daily Mail. She was co-founder of the Salon des Amis (a London salon of ideas, debate and entertainment), and more recently restored a ruin in Italy's Sabine Hills where she produces olive oil.


'A fluent study...Boase builds a deep, rich account of their individual lives, returning from the archive with some telling tales.' -- Kathryn Hughes * Times Literary Supplement *
`A gripping popular history.' -- Bee Wilson * Sunday Telegraph *
'The truth is more scandalous than film or fiction - this is one of those social history studies that makes the reader howl with rage.' -- Roger Lewis * Daily Mail *
'It's fascinating stuff, moving too, written with great brio and such a light but confident touch, which makes it all the more enjoyable.' -- Virginia Nicholson
`It is no easy task to find the voice of the professional domestic servant before the 20th century, but the author has done an excellent job piecing together the stories of these five lives through her painstaking research into letters, memoirs and accounts.' * Country Life *

`Wiped clean of romantic sheen, this is a fascinating perspective into our upstairs/downstairs history.'

* Sainsbury's Magazine *
`A brave book.' * Saga Magazine *
`Serves not only as an account of those who worked below stairs but also the lords and ladies who were their employers, thus providing an admirable social history.' * Scottish Home and Country *
`One of the great strengths of this book is how Boase gets under the skin of the real side of country house life.' * Eastern Daily Press *
'Boase makes history sing, packing her stories with details of family life and class distinctions and the minutiae of everyday living in a house with 10 or 30 or even 100 servants. A great read.' * Toronto Sun *
`Forget Downton Abbey; this exceptionally well-written book is the real deal.' * Spirit FM *

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