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Tessa Boase- The Housekeeper's Tale
Fri 19 May 2017, 10:30 – 12:30 BST
Fairlight Hall Talks and Workshops 2017-
Tessa tells the extraordinary true stories of the lives of women who ran some of Britain’s most prominent households.
£20 with coffee and cake
The Housekeepers’ Tale draws on entirely new sources to tell the extraordinary stories of the women who ran some of Britain’s most prominent households. Far from the cosy, complacent world of Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey, real housekeepers worked surprisingly hard, often in humiliating circumstances, for very little financial reward. This was not, as it turns out, such a cushy job.
Tessa’s talk will focus on two very different housekeepers: the ineffectual and elderly Mrs Wells of Uppark in Sussex (mother to H.G.Wells), and racy Scotswoman Hannah Mackenzie, sacked for a secret love affair at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire during its role as a Great War private hospital.
The morning at Fairlight will start with a tour of the original Victorian service quarters, never before glimpsed by the public. We’ll also find out how modern 'servants' run a 21st century country house for the new aristocracy – and just how demanding a modern master and mistress might be.