This historical “niche” book (I don’t know if that is a real term or not, but I am going to go with it) is a great read for anyone who is a fan of Downton Abbey or has a passion for the Edwardian period. In theory, I really liked it, but in the end-I felt like I did’t learn anything new. Allow me to explain…several years ago, I snapped up every book I could get my hands on about the Titanic. I could rattle off facts about that ship as though I worked at Harland and Wolf in a previous life…but after a while, there is nothing new to learn. I’ve seen the movies, watched documentaries, read transcripts from the formal inquiry, etc…eventually there comes a point where you say “I’ve got it.”
Don’t misunderstand, I am sure we don’t know everything there is to know about the upstairs/downstairs world that inspired the famed BBC show, but the research is beginning to get repetitive. The working conditions sucked. There was little pay. There was a strict hierarchy and a wide gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” and I think that after reading this title, I’m done. Heck, I think even the author was done because 300 pages or so in, the narrative kind of fell apart and the remainder of the book were small insights in to that era. I felt like we went from full length chapters to “I’m out of things to write so I’ll piece meal it together to make the word count.” Then again, because I read the book on Overdrive, versus holding in my hand-perhaps the formatting is a little different in hard copy and would have made more sense to me.
At any rate…it was an easy read, plenty to take in but a Borrow It at best.
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