Friday, September 14, 2012

The Servant Problem

MRS. MILLEFLEURS.- "Oh, Angelina! I'm so glad to see you!-You must excuse my looks. I've been House Cleaning all day, and I'm almost tired to death!" 

Good help is hard to find!!!

Servants were the underpinnings of the middle or upper class lifestyle in mid-19th century America, yet they are a most misunderstood subject. I'll be exploring the myths and realities of  domestic service at the upcoming 2013 Ladies & Gentlemen of the 1860's Conference in my presentation, The Servant Problem: Good Help is Hard to Find.

MRS. MILLEFLEURS.-"Oh, Bridget, do scrub a little more gently; you shock my nerves."

Many people have formed a viewpoint of domestic service based on classic novels and movies, such as Jane Eyre - but servants in England are far different than their counterparts in America. The "servant problem" is a constant refrain in literature of the period; the interactions between mistress and maid were frequently fraught with conflict.

Visiting the intelligence, the maid-of-all-work, the "Irish girl" - all this and more will be examined during my presentation.

If you've never attended the conference, it's an experience like no other: incredible presentations, workshops, original artifacts, quality shopping and more!

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