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The Housekeeper's Tale


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About the Author

TESSA BOASE read English at Lincoln College, Oxford, then worked as a voiceover artist, a children's scriptwriter, and as a commissioning editor for The Daily and Sunday Telegraphand The Daily Mail. As a freelance feature writer she contributes to The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The FT, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Observer and various magazines.

She was co-founder of the Salon des Amis (a London salon of ideas, debate and entertainment), and more recently restored a ruin in Italy's Sabine Hills where she produces olive oil. She lives in north London with her husband and two young children.


' Terrific. The depth of research and the elegant writing make this an excellent book. I am full of admiration.' -- Kathryn Hughes 'In this masterly re-telling of their lives and experiences, Tessa Boase breathes vivid life into the forgotten figures of housekeepers. Her forensic research into their stories and her sparkling evocation of their country-house world restores to these working women an individuality often overshadowed by the servant caricature.' -- Lucy Lethbridge 'It is no easy task to find the voice of the professional domestic servant before the 20th century, but the author has done an excellent job piecing together the stories of these five lives through her painstaking research into letters, memoirs and accounts.' Country Life 'The truth is more scandalous than film or fiction - this is one of those social history studies that makes the reader howl with rage.' The Daily Mail "Wiped clean of romantic sheen, this is a fascinating perspective into our upstairs/downstairs history.' Sainsbury's Magazine 'This is a compelling and beautifully written account which tells fascinating stories of some very different, and intriguing, women.' Eastern Daily Press 'Boase has written humanistically, and (perhaps unconsciously) opened a door to a profoundly Feminist Marxist understanding of modern English history.' -- Karen Dahood BookPleasures.com 'Serves not only as an account of those who worked below stairs but also the lords and ladies who were their employers, thus providing an admirable social history.' Scottish Home and Country

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