My Life in Service to Lady Astor

Book - 2011
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In 1928, Rosina Harrison arrived at the illustrious household of the Astor family to take up her new position as personal maid to the infamously temperamental Lady Nancy Astor, who sat in Parliament, entertained royalty, and traveled the world. "She's not a lady as you would understand a lady" was the butler's ominous warning. But what no one expected was that the iron-willed Lady Astor was about to meet her match in the no-nonsense, whip-smart girl from the country.

For 35 years, from the parties thrown for royalty and trips across the globe, to the air raids during WWII, Rose was by Lady Astor's side and behind the scenes, keeping everything running smoothly. In charge of everything from the clothes and furs to the baggage to the priceless diamond "sparklers," Rose was closer to Lady Astor than anyone else. In her decades of service she received one £5 raise, but she traveled the world in style and retired with a lifetime's worth of stories. Like Gosford Park and Downton Abbey, ROSE is a captivating insight into the great wealth 'upstairs' and the endless work 'downstairs', but it is also the story of an unlikely decades-long friendship that grew between Her Ladyship and her spirited Yorkshire maid.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2011
ISBN: 9780143120865
Branch Call Number: 941.082 A858h 2011
Characteristics: xii, 354 p. ; 20 cm


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Aug 14, 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed this read & often felt envious of the era when 'in service' was not a bad career. She was fortunate in her upbringing of a work ethic, practical application to a chosen field & her real enjoyment of the career. Sharp witted, practical & made the most of her ability. Few people today can adapt as well.

Aggie3 Jun 28, 2014

Rose captivated me. Its a great page turner. This book takes you back and shows you "the era gone by".

Jul 26, 2012

Well written memoir about a life below stairs. Rose has spirit and determination, and she needs it in order to attend Lady Astor, one of Britain’s high-energy political dynamos. A rich, intimate picture of life leading up to World War II.

Jun 25, 2012

I really loved reading about Rose. She seemed an excellent person, level headed and hard-working. I wanted to see what it was like to work back in the days of large houses, after seeing "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" I enjoyed seeing it from Rose's eyes.


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