In the late 19th century, housework in some British homes was so labor intensive that it required an army of savvy servants to undertake it; the ways in which we look after our homes may have changed since then, but the methods from that time still work for us today. Combining "below-stairs" social history with startling facts and useful tips, the author of Servants here details the skills needed to battle household dust, rust, mildew, stains, and pests. Often humorous, consistently informative, the book—published in the U.K. as Spit & Polish— features dozens of vintage illustrations in color and black and white.
"A richly textured account of what it felt like to spend the decades of high modernity on your knees with a dustpan and brush.... Hugely enjoyable."—Guardian (London)