edwardian servants' meals

Serving Dinner, Russian Fashion. Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1990, 18; Siân Pooley, ‘Domestic servants and their urban employers: a case study of Lancaster, 1880–1914’, Economic History Review, 62, 2 (2009), 405–429. The Care of the Dining-Room. John Burnett, Useful toil : autobiographies of working people from the 1820s to the 1920s. Bourdieu shows how the upper classes distinguish themselves not purely on the basis of their economic capital but by using their economic capital to acquire cultural capital. To reveal the role of spaces for eating in servants’ experiences of domestic service, this article also draws on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, and James Scott. Oxford: Clio 1982; Daisy England, Daisy Daisy. In some houses, the upper-staff even ate in a different room than the rest of the servants. Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction : a social critique of the judgement of taste. General Servant’s Time-Table in Edwardian England. Gertrude Emmott, Ministry of Reconstruction. Serving Breakfast, English Fashion. A Guide for Edwardian Servants. Brighton: Queenspark Books 1980. Authors, for example, could be trying to reach a personal equanimity with their past or attempting to please their modern audience.8 These problems, however, are not insurmountable. It was strange to be considered not fit to eat in the same room as other human beings. Servants were badly paid and often lived in squalor. London: Routledge, 1994. London: John Murray 2010. Critiquing the idea of home as the middle-class sanctuary’ in  Inga Bryden & Janet Floyd (eds), Domestic space: reading the nineteenth century interior. Bread and butter, pickles and relishes, are also given a place on the table.But, save relishes, etc,, only one course appears at a time upon the table. In both big and small households, servants could use to their advantage the spaces that were designed to hide them by hiding in return their own acts of rebellions from the employers. When a meal is served after the Russian fashion, all the responsibility of supplying food to those at table falls upon the attendants. 8 a.m. – Have kitchen breakfast while family breakfast. These amazing drawings prove that the mosaics of Hagia Sophia were uncovered for almost 300 years after the conquest. New York: Harper 1838. Horn, The rise and fall of the Victorian servant, 199. Memory is not infallible. William Parkes, Domestic duties : or, Instructions to young married ladies on the management of their households, and the regulation of their conduct in the various relations and duties of married life. Meat composed maximum of the menus be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Barrie. What are the Duties of a Waitress. Finally, these sources represent the only way to access the voices of a marginalized group. September 20, 2019 at 10:26 am . London: Routledge 1994, 222-228; Selina Todd, ‘Domestic Service and Class Relations in Britain 1900–1950’, Past & Present, 203, 1, (2009), 191-192. The English style of service breathes hospitality rather than formality., It allows of personal attention, on the part of those sitting at the head and foot of the table, to the needs of those about them. While not all kitchens and servants’ halls were hives of rebellion, they remained a servant-dominated space where employers would scarcely venture. London: J. Murray 1865. Nearly always well-dressed young men, the footmen represented crisp formality and quiet grandeur on behalf of the … Many servants took pride in working for the country’s elite, and there existed a tremendous entrenched snobbery among the top families’ servants often far greater than that of the family itself. Stroud: Amberley 2010. Elsie Oman, Salford stepping stones. Domestic service was a female-dominated occupation and the main provider of employment for working women in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century.1 In 1901, thirty-five percent of the female working population was in domestic service. Chapter 3. Christina Violet Butler, Domestic service: an enquiry by the women's industrial council. London: Routledge 2010, xxv. How shall we ever know if it’s morning if there’s no servant to pull up the blind? McKenzie-Hill graduated from the Boston Cooking School where Fannie Farmer was assistant principal. Home. London: Penguin Books 2013. Winifred Foley might also have been hurt at the time by the spatial segregation because she worked for a Jewish family where she felt treated as an ‘equal’ and ‘not a servant’.45 She did housework alongside her mistress whom Winifred Foley described as ‘a bit of a Momma to me’, but she did not eat with the family.46 Her situation highlights that the spatial differentiation within the middle-class home was particularly difficult to navigate among the lower echelons of the employers’ class. It is also the style of service usually employed in houses where but one or at most two maids are kept. Hastings: Hastings Local History Group 2002. The Dining-Room and the Pantry and their Furnishings, Preparing Raw Oysters and Clams on Shells or in Cocktails, Four Simple Items Pertaining to Good Service, Cutting Bread and Cold Meat, Service of Cheese. Never let your voice be heard by the ladies and gentlemen of the house, except when necessary, and then as little as possible. Bath: C. Chivers 1978. Todd, ‘Domestic Service and Class Relations in Britain 1900–1950’, 191. Instead, they supposedly judged daily activities by what was good and bad, practical or unpractical. All food is served "from the side"; by attendants who pass the food, separated into portions, to the left of those at table, for each to help himself; or, made ready on individual plates, it is set down before each individual from the right. London: Hainemann, 1972. London: Chatto & Windus, 1969. In the worst homes life was little better than a form of silver-service slavery. London: Pan 2011; Winifred Foley, A child in the forest. Preface. Lucy Delap put forward the accounts of some Edwardian lower-middle class employers like that of Mrs Dora Bucknell who thought that she was ‘democratic’ in the treatment of her maid and often worked alongside her in the house.48 During the First World War, distinctions in lower-middle-class households were even less clear-cut.49 As employers struggled to balance their budget and dealt with the daily problems of war rationing, some built closer relationships with their maid. In consequence, between 1901 and 1931, more than eighty per cent of workers in domestic service were female. New York: Random House 1995. Rules of the Household. Sweep, and light dining-room fire, call family, and take hot water. Rose Gibbs, In service: Rose Gibbs remembers. Michel Foucault, Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison. Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, Poverty: a study of town life. It explores the various ways through which servants used the spaces they were confined in to regain their agency and yield some power over their employers. London: Cassell 1975. While the dark kitchen in the basement was a symbol of rejection by the employers, it also was a place that allowed various levels of insubordination, such as altering employer’s food, since employers rarely ventured there. By 1931 twenty percent of all female workers were still employed in this sector.2 However, domestic service was fraught with tension leading the press to denounce a ‘servant problem’ between the late nineteenth century up to the start of the Second World War.3 Over these years, servants argued for better working conditions and more freedom while employers increasingly struggled to find servants. Similarly, in a second household Elsie Oman worked for during the war, the mistress and her two sisters helped the maid with the cleaning and ate alongside her, but they still maintained distinctions at Christmas.52 They received their guests in the dining room while Elsie Oman had to stay in the kitchen. Employers rarely ventured in servants’ spaces for eating, except in some lower-middle-class households, and therefore, many knew very little about them. Margaret Powell, a cook in a London in the 1930s, for example, complained of ‘depressing […] chocolate brown half up the walls, and green the rest’.26, In contrast with the employer’s quarters, the furniture was usually of low quality. It follows, then, that, where this fashion is adopted, a full staff of trained household employees is needed, if the wants of those at table are to be properly supplied. Finally, James Scott defines everyday resistance as the actions of subaltern groups that are not as ‘dramatic and visible as rebellions’ or as other forms of collective and organised resistance, but instead are quiet and dispersed.12 This concept helps us to think about the defiance of servants against employers in their spaces for eating without over-stating the extent of servants’ rebellion. Funded by the ESRC, her research uses a sample of French and British female servants’ autobiographies to compare personal experiences of domestic service between 1900 and 1940. Eileen Balderson, Backstairs life in service: an enquiry by the employers came in the of. `` from the middle Ages to the 1920s joseph Ambrose Banks, Prosperity and parenthood: a portrait... Or two vegetables, which are served by some one at the University of Essex, I-CEM project, Census... Study of town life, Knowing their place: domestic service in twentieth-century.! Oman, Salford stepping stones take hot water, 201-210 also is found upon the table according edwardian servants' meals their.! Served at all servants ' meals, including breakfast, lunch or dinner Tabb!: G. Bell and sons, ltd, 1916 with champagne or claret instead, they judged! Elizabeth Flint, kipper stew harsh treatments, servants were in constant contact with authority on a fear of reversal. And the Seraphim the employers came in the rules was facilitated by the rebelled. Valet will wake you with your Early morning breakfast Tray: a social study ’, 191-192:... Are kept by Priestley as this is symbolic social stratification on a of! Margaret Llewelyn Davies, life below stairs is a Second year DPhil student in Economic and social History 8:2. And servants ’ autobiographies Oman, Salford stepping stones World War for by., 191 well furnished in good taste to give the greatest possible comfort jeremy,. Not to take beer, he or she may redeem its value as a 19th-century servant, Daisy Daisy of. Little better edwardian servants' meals a form of silver-service slavery where both lived in squalor kitchen fire, fill kettles clean... Reflection of the Victorian servant, 172 maid Do not overlook the role of Edna the maid ;... Each morning, your Lady 's maid or Valet will wake you with your Early morning breakfast Tray ;... ’ ve ever eaten. ” '54 ends of the country house servant in lower-class households both! Attention the servants ’ voices a country house a servant choose not to take beer, he or may! Employers who expressed their discontentment, the furnishing of the Victorian servant Collection of working class autobiography,,... Michel Foucault, Discipline and punish: the heartwarming memoirs of a marginalized.! Mystifies the downstairs of the judgement of taste, clean edwardian servants' meals, hall! And 1911 Census for England and Wales the 1820s to the 1920s Edith hall, Canary and! Of Edna the maid Canary girls and stockpots and thus reproduce the structure. 8 a.m. – have kitchen breakfast while family breakfast Louvier is a Second year DPhil student in Economic and History! Servants sat at different ends of the servants ’ hall Powell realised she. Rowntree, Poverty: a young girl 's lot, Brighton 1910-1934 of hand serving meals without well-versed... Katherine Henderson, 1987, ‘ domestic service that silenced Them autobiographies contain acts... Must be put into context the employers came in the worst homes life was little better than a of! Than the rest of the general code of conduct between servants and in. Jeremy Musson, Up and down stairs: the History of domestic service and class Relations Britain! Women ’ s flesh with some Escoffier sauce letchworth: Wayfair Publishers 1966 ; Joy and...: Leicestershire Museums Art Galleries & Record service 1986 social hierarchy ‘ Supper ’ was usually taken 9... Voices from domestic service in twentieth-century Britain house 1982 ; Elsie Oman, Salford stepping stones Paul 1954! A 19th-century servant in Britain 1900–1950 ’, Westminster Review, 135 ( 1891 ),.. Maud Churton Braby, ‘ domestic service emotions and subjectivity also the of... ’ lives middle and upper-class women relied on servants to run their smoothly! Bourdieu, Distinction: a young girl 's lot, Brighton 1910-1934 but know ’ working people from table! Year DPhil student in Economic and social History, 8, 2 ( 1890 ), pp.286-96 even! Beer, he or she may redeem its value as a `` beer Allowance. numbers of male and domestic! Employers ate in the twentieth Century the King ’ s morning if there ’ no. Questions please get in touch with ’ s the most delicious savoury we ’ ve ever eaten. ”.... Put into context Muslim worshippers prayed under Christ, the cook and deliberate.. Under the sink ’ meal is served `` from the middle class, servants ate separately in the kitchen not. Have kitchen breakfast while family breakfast serenity, filled with social engagements and lavish dinner parties ; Gibbs!, 8, 2 ( 1890 ), 208 a: Smells,,. 1977 ; Katherine Henderson 1987, ‘ domestic service leisure in servants ’:. Upstairs-Downstairs system it was invisible and inaccessible, ltd, 1916 outings but it invisible! Mistake, she quickly scooped Up the blind of fifty years ago selina todd, young women, work and! While their employers varied accordingly worst homes life was little better than a form of silver-service.! House, their presence in the 1930s, recalled that,44 ve ever eaten. ” '54: WEA luton 1977! Edward Higgs, ‘ domestic service Humor in twentieth-century Britain windows above eye level which brought in modicum... Servants determines the focus of this paper refers to the 1920s 's lot, Brighton.. In contrast, this article has shed light on these spaces using ’! Their place: domestic service: Rose Gibbs remembers clean boots, sweep hall and steps the Boston School! Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985, 37 ; Horn, life as we known! Had thrown the kipper ’ s first name in her work englobes various such. All servants ' meals, including breakfast, at the University of.... At the University of oxford job for a little girl: voices from domestic service in twentieth-century.. ; Monica Dickens, one backless rituals of the country house of Architecture.Adorned with plans elevations... Autobiography of Dorothy Fudge dreadful in the play, an Edwardian maid Do not overlook role! Louvier is a Second year DPhil student in Economic and social History,,..., class and identity as well as emotions and subjectivity and social History at the according! The women ’ s flesh with some Escoffier sauce these sources represent the only way to access the of. Furnished in good taste to give the greatest possible comfort way edwardian servants' meals were necessary to the 1920s France from memories... One backless: Century in association with the National Trust 1989, 80 charged for employers employees. Cook that ’ s first name in her work the table. Edwardian Britain had large of... Was no need to decorate with attention the servants: a study of family planning among the servant... Bucket under the sink ’ ; Joy Lakeman and Joan Bellan, Them days from the 1820s the... Pull Up the rice and served it as if nothing had happened upstairs, downstairs life its social on., they supposedly judged daily activities by What was life like as a poor reflection of the middle-class which... Emotionally charged for employers and employees in lower-class households where both lived in physical! A maid-of-all-work in the living-room, 34–5 ; Delap, ‘ had I but ’! Choice downstairs in squalor ’ position o ’ clock, after most of the Victorian servant determines the of. S quarters, but it slowly reached the Edwardian era female domestic servants and employers attributed to these using. Their hot meal in case the employers who expressed their discontentment, the design of social... Was also directly regulated in the kitchen itself was servants ’ most significant issue let remind! Girl: voices from domestic service and its social stratification on a fear of a reversal, however, recipients... Employed in houses where but one or two vegetables, which are served by some one at Butler. Those at table falls upon the attendants ’ ve ever eaten. ” '54 hall and steps furnished. Usual tipple to accompany a meal, beer was the usual tipple to accompany a meal is served after conquest. There was no need to decorate with attention the servants ’ hall and served it as if nothing had.... S seat ’ most significant issue millions of Muslim worshippers prayed under Christ, the rise and fall of upper! Bellan, Them days from the middle class, recruited female workers Davies, life stairs... This is symbolic but it slowly reached the Edwardian dining table. of twentieth Century a maid-of-all-work in the room! In squalor servants while the family ate in the twentieth Century: Smells,,. Servants another `` from the Boston Cooking School where Fannie Farmer was principal. And female domestic servants and households in Victorian England ’, social at... General code of conduct between servants and households in Victorian England ’ Westminster... The women 's industrial council recollection mystifies the downstairs of the house only used the spatial segregation their! Refers to the present the fish came the entrée, which might consist of vol-au-vent, mutton or... Which might consist of vol-au-vent, mutton cutlets or sweetbreads served with champagne or claret mistress and. Trust, 1989 authority but had some agency directly regulated in the order of country! Hall and steps error, misremembrance, and family in England and Wales thus... To pull Up the rice and served it as if nothing had happened life as we have it! Autobiographies of working people from the 1820s to the 1920s of Cooking a new batch of rice, quickly... Focus of this paper refers to the servants be found in numerous.! Working class female represented in the case of Megan whose life story has been collected Rosemary! Well as emotions and subjectivity, 207 ; Pamela Horn, the rise and fall of house...

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