Labour History Review

One Man and his Women: Domestic Service in Edwardian England

Labour History Review (2007), 72, (3), 203–214.

Abstract

The aim of this article is to modify the view of female servants in Edwardian England as the epitome of working-class subservience and powerlessness, drawing on recent analysis of their ability to challenge their employers only by expedients such as sulking, mishearing orders and wasting time. Through detailed engagement with the relationships that one Wolverhampton businessman, Edward Lawrence, had with the servants in his life, it argues that female domestic staff were less compliant than the existing historiography allows, and had more ways of protecting their interests than we are usually led to believe.

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Author details

Benson, John