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Publisher's Summary

The sequel to New York Times best seller Below Stairs, Servants' Hall tells a gripping real-life tale reminiscent of Downton Abbey's Lady Sybil and Tom Branson.

Margaret Powell's Below Stairs became a sensation among listeners reveling in the luxury and subtle class warfare of Masterpiece Theatre's hit television series Downton Abbey. Now in the sequel Servants' Hall, Powell tells the true story of Rose, the under-parlourmaid to the Wardham Family at Redlands, who took a shocking step: She eloped with the family's only son, Mr. Gerald.

Going from rags to riches, Rose finds herself caught up in a maelstrom of gossip, incredulity and envy among her fellow servants. The reaction from upstairs was no better: Mr. Wardham, the master of the house, disdained the match so completely that he refused ever to have contact with the young couple again. Gerald and Rose marry, leave Redlands, and Powell looks on with envy, even as the marriage hits on bumpy times: "To us in the servants' hall, it was just like a fairy tale… How I wished I was in her shoes."

Once again bringing that lost world to life, Margaret Powell trains her pen and her gimlet eye on her "betters" in this next chapter from a life spent in service. Servants' Hall is Margaret Powell at her best - a warm, funny and sometimes hilarious memoir of life at a time when wealthy families ruled England.

©1979 Margaret Powell (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Servants' Hall

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

rewrite??

This is marketed as a sequel to Below Stairs, but it's more of a rewrite than a sequel. It's the same story with a bit more detail here and there. I was disappointed. It's as if the same book had two different editors and both versions went to press.

1 person found this helpful

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Story

Very nice story whether you’d read the 1st book or not. The performance by the narrator was so irritating I almost stopped listening a few times.. It sounded different during the sample but maybe it wasn’t long enough to really get into the grating voice of Narrator.. Finally by 1/2-3/4 thru the book I just got used to the narrators voice..

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Interesting snapshot

I have listened to this several times. It is an interesting look into the lives and mindsets of the 'serving classes'. Because it is an area of interest for me, I don't find it dull, but others may. Narrator has clear diction and she conveys the different characters in a subtle yet effective way. The romance . . . Well, it it isn't much of one and the woman involved, is frustrating in her refusal to better herself, blind to the great gift she's been given of 'marrying up' into a life of ease. The romantic attempts of the author and others and the descriptions of their lives and situations are the real meat of the book.

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It is wonderful and I will never forget it!!!

I really could go on and on so simply this....A Wonderful Book do read it.

1 person found this helpful

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Memoir of a Bygone Era

Fans of Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey will recognize the inspiration behind the TV shows in Powell's memoirs. Margaret Powell had a gift for storytelling and wordsmithing reminiscent of James Herriot. Her books are populated with equally memorable and often humorous characters, and her tales can bring laugher and tears. This is not a Cinderella story with a fairytale ending. Rather, it is a sad story of true life and love. I prefer Mary Wells, who narrated Below Stairs. This narrator has a harsher, almost angry sounding, tone to her voice in comparison.

3 people found this helpful

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Similar to Below stairs

I liked the book and it was a worthy listen. However, the author has written 2 stories, this one and below stairs and there is a some rehash of the same content. I was rather disappointed to hear the same stuff twice. I did like the book, and there is some new stuff there, but, I'm not sure I would've bought it if I knew it was basically the same story..

It is worth listening to, especially if you like to read about the lives of servants but if you have already read Below Stairs, be warned there is repeat content in this one.

3 people found this helpful

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Zzzzz

A very noneventful and boring story. I quit listening after chapter 10 because I couldn't even pay attention to the story line.

2 people found this helpful

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dreary and monotone

Not a good listen. Sentences ran together. Tone is haughty and boring. a very slow start then a rush to the end. actually went back to see if I jumped chapters.

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Enjoyable Downton Abbey like tale

The reader really made this book work for me. It is a simple tale of a woman's coming of age in service between the wars and I found it engaging throughout.

2 people found this helpful

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More Material for Downton Abbey

The story goes into more detail about the places were she's worked. I see many parts of this book replicated in PBS Downton Abbey. I did enjoy making those connections.

2 people found this helpful