What was it like to be a servant in Britain 100 years ago?
Share Now on:
For all the income and wealth inequality we have in this country, it’s nothing compared to the England of a century or more ago.
In her book, Servants: A Downstairs View of Twentieth-century Britain, Lucy Lethbridge says the only thing that seperated the poor from the very poor was whether a house had a servant.
“In the biggest estates you learnt your trade as a servant by serving the other servants,” she says.
Tips not included, a domestic servant could earn a livable wadge, sometimes even more.
“Upper servants could earn very well,” says Lethbridge. “A butler could earn as much as, say, a provincial bank manager.”
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.