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Graphic History

Everyday life for a domestic servant in Edwardian townhouses was often far removed from the splendour of their surroundings

THE LIFE OF AN EDWARDIAN SERVANT

The Edwardian period in Britain was a time when society still closely resembled that of the Victorian age with clear class divides, but it was also a transformative time. In 1911, there were more than 1.3 million people (mainly women) employed as domestic servants in Britain – compared to 1.2 million working agriculture and around 971,000 coal miners. !e upper classes could afford to have housemaids, cooks and butlers to ensure their homes ran efficiently, with minimal effort from the family. A typical Edwardian townhouse would include accommodation for servants who would live alongside the family they served.

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About History Revealed

“Don’t let every little feeling be read in your face and seen in your manner.” Queen Victoria certainly took her own advice. But her personal feelings have since been revealed through her diaries and letters, and this issue we ask the celebrated historian Lucy Worsley how these private words have shed light on Victoria’s life and deeds. Plus: the tale of how modest Oxford don JRR Tolkien was inspired to create Middle Earth, an ancient Athenian whodunnit, our A-Z of executions, the most brilliant beards in history, and more.