Cocoa at Midnight: The real life story of my time as a

Cocoa at Midnight: The real life story of my time as a The Inside Story of Downstairs Cocoa at Midnight, which I won as a Goodreads giveaway, is the true story of Kathleen Clifford s life in service in mid twentieth century Great Britain It is part of the series The Life of Servants.Written in Ms Clifford s own voice, her memoir of the downstairs life sheds light on the strange institution that was British domestic service, a real life look at what we ve seen on Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey Ms Clifford shares her childhood po The Inside Story of Downstairs Cocoa at Midnight, which I won as a Goodreads giveaway, is the true story of Kathleen Clifford s life in service in mid twentieth century Great Britain It is part of the series The Life of Servants.Written in Ms Clifford s own voice, her memoir of the downstairs life sheds light on the strange institution that was British domestic service, a real life look at what we ve seen on Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey Ms Clifford shares her childhood poverty in Paddington, West London, and her early realization, as a young teenager, that the only way out for her was to enter service and make her way up the very long ladder from lowly maid to the highest female service rank of housekeeper She regales us with the unusual habits of her employers, letting us in on secrets that only someone who was there could know.This is an easy read, written in a colloquial style One feels like one is having a conversation with Ms Clifford about her life, and I am grateful to have met her and discovered the ins and outs of the institution of British service and absolute oddities of the British upper class Extremely interestingI always have loved anything to do with Britain and the history of upstairs, downstairs just always has me enthralled This life story makes you feel like you are living it along with her A different way of life, a different era, a different kind of world that never will be repeated but is a learning experience for is all. I received this book via a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for a fair and honest review.I think this book would be a pleasure to read for anyone who, like me, just loves becoming immersed in the past in a day to day way, looking at a way of life that is foreign, and pretty much non existent today Ms Clifford s memories are related in a very straight forward way and I definitely got the sense that the compiler of this book was careful to not impose themselves onto her personality Sometimes it fe I received this book via a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for a fair and honest review.I think this book would be a pleasure to read for anyone who, like me, just loves becoming immersed in the past in a day to day way, looking at a way of life that is foreign, and pretty much non existent today Ms Clifford s memories are related in a very straight forward way and I definitely got the sense that the compiler of this book was careful to not impose themselves onto her personality Sometimes it felt a bit abrupt but I think that was due to this desire to keep it authentically the way she relayed her story, and in that light I think it works well that way.What a different time I really appreciated this chance to see what it may have really been like for a kitchen maid housekeeper in the 1920 s This makes me want to watch the BBC s Manor House series again, now with my new insight The only reason I rated this book 4 stars instead of 5, was that I wish it had been longer Hearing about a vanished part of history from someone who lived it is my cuppa tea Kathleen Clifford went into service at 15 years old in the early 1920s and worked through the 1960s She went from a dreadfully poor upbringing in Paddington London to working for aristocratic families in various parts of England.This isn t to say she made much money, but she improved her living circumstances by resi The only reason I rated this book 4 stars instead of 5, was that I wish it had been longer Hearing about a vanished part of history from someone who lived it is my cuppa tea Kathleen Clifford went into service at 15 years old in the early 1920s and worked through the 1960s She went from a dreadfully poor upbringing in Paddington London to working for aristocratic families in various parts of England.This isn t to say she made much money, but she improved her living circumstances by residing in some of the great homes A few rooms of her own in an attic were much better than the noisy slums and she didn t have to worry about having enough food She was, however, on call pretty much 24 7 at the whims of her employers This book is in the great tradition of Studs Terkel s Working and I enjoyed it very much I received this book gratis from Goodreads which did not influence my review Kathleen Clifford was born inHer family lived in a tiny flat near Paddington Station and her earliest memories were of the smell of horses and the shrill whistle of steam trains For a girl from the slums there was only really one option once school was over a life in service She started work onas a lowly kitchen maid in the London home of Lady Diana Spencer s family Here she heard tales of the Earl s propensity for setting fire to himself, as well as enjoying the servant s gossip about who was sleeping with whom The Spencers were just the first in a line of eccentric families for whom she worked during a career that lasted than thirty earrs and took her from a London palace to remote medieval estates But despite long hours, amorous butlers and mad employers, Kathleen always kept her sense of humour and knew how to have fun On one occasion she was almost caught in bed with her boyfriend who had to jump out of the window and run down the drive in his underwear to escape the local bobby I received this book through the Goodreads giveaways It is definitely worth the read.This was a fascinating tale of life in England during the 20th century Kathleen was born in 1911 and went into service in English mansions working her way up from a cook s helper to a housekeeper.The story is told very simply and dispassionately It exemplifies English reserve But it is well written and enjoyable reading.I would have given it 5 stars had it been just a bitdetailed and fleshed out Engla I received this book through the Goodreads giveaways It is definitely worth the read.This was a fascinating tale of life in England during the 20th century Kathleen was born in 1911 and went into service in English mansions working her way up from a cook s helper to a housekeeper.The story is told very simply and dispassionately It exemplifies English reserve But it is well written and enjoyable reading.I would have given it 5 stars had it been just a bitdetailed and fleshed out England was on the front lines during two world wars and those events were hardly mentioned I understand that this was focused on Kathleen s work life but those events in the few mentions that are made, did greatly impact that work.The family dynamics in the book are also fascinating because there seems to be so little familial connection throughout the society of which she was a part It seems as if each person was an island no matter how closely they lived Kathleen Clifford was born in 1906 in the slums of London As Kat got older she went to a Servant Agency in Mayfair The Agency sent her to the Wellington House in Hyde Park, from there she went to Lady Diana Spencer s House near Buckingham Palace There were an army of staff members there the cook, housekeepers, maids, butlers, footmen, gardeners, hall boys andKat was working in the kitchen as the lowly kitchen maid Later she worked for many wealthy families Kat had a charming persona Kathleen Clifford was born in 1906 in the slums of London As Kat got older she went to a Servant Agency in Mayfair The Agency sent her to the Wellington House in Hyde Park, from there she went to Lady Diana Spencer s House near Buckingham Palace There were an army of staff members there the cook, housekeepers, maids, butlers, footmen, gardeners, hall boys andKat was working in the kitchen as the lowly kitchen maid Later she worked for many wealthy families Kat had a charming personality, subsequently she fit in This is a true story, very well written from the early 1900 s to the 1960 s I have enjoyed the stories of Tom Quinn All of the stories are different and interesting Life of ServiceI ve become a fan of these autobiographies of English servants in the grand house Kate starts out as a kitchen maid at Spencer House, Diana s family, so what could beenthralling Then she goes to work in several stately homes of very interesting eccentrics in the countryside She tells stories of her employers, other servants, boyfriends, villagers, and an age long gone Kate is very open about her most personal experiences and thoughts which adds a lot of flair to this boo Life of ServiceI ve become a fan of these autobiographies of English servants in the grand house Kate starts out as a kitchen maid at Spencer House, Diana s family, so what could beenthralling Then she goes to work in several stately homes of very interesting eccentrics in the countryside She tells stories of her employers, other servants, boyfriends, villagers, and an age long gone Kate is very open about her most personal experiences and thoughts which adds a lot of flair to this book She has ambition and becomes successful A short historical account of the real servants downstairs Really enjoyed this bookEnjoyable read and interesting too The only trouble is the rather abrupt ending Lotsto learn about the life of this lady. Wow, a gentle read is this And it contains enough information on the time period in which the author was in service that I wish I could readandVery entertaining and enlightening.

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