My Life in Service to Lady Astor
By Rosina Harrison
Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143120865, 354pp.
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
List Price: $16.00*
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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.
"An extraordinary document, realistic, candid, and a rare look from the vantage point below stairs at a nostalgically romanticized world."
-Los Angeles Times
“A delectable assortment of tales and details about the habits of overprivileged Britishers and the people who served them…. Rosina is a feisty, keen-eyed, no-nonsense observer of caste, class, and character. And when she matches wills and wits with Lady Astor—a Virginia Belle by birth, a Member of Parliament, and mistress of a dazzling fortune, and of Cliveden, one of England’s most stately homes—the result is not only a crackling comedy of manners, but a sense of the way it was, firsthand.”
"Lady Astor's personal maid reveals her 'upstairs, downstairs' relationships with England's grandest family...Fascinating and deliciously readable!"
-The New York Times Book Review