Book Review: Below Stairs – Margaret Powell

READ IF YOU…

  • Love memoirs
  • Enjoy witty narrators
  • Enjoy historical/period pieces

TitleBelow Stairs Author: Margaret PowellRating: 5/5

I found out about this book after watching Downton Abbey. Below Stairs is rather charming–I thought I got to know Margaret through the pages, and found her at times witty and amusing. I quickly bought her other books and already started another of hers. 

Overall, I felt I got a taste of the historical period she lived in, but more from a human day-to-day perspective. This is exactly what interests me about these sorts of books: you get to see through the eyes of someone living that period who is just an average person for their place in life. 

I learned about little tidbits, like going to movie serials, or gathering up horse dung to sell to pay for circus tickets. It’s this kind of details that’s thrown in throughout the book that kept me engaged, apart from her author voice. I really felt the book was conversational and that she wrote as she likely spoke in life.

Favorite quotes from Below Stairs:

“People say, ‘I suppose you got bored with life,’ but it wasn’t as sudden as that. The seeds are in you and although it may take ten, twenty, or forty years, eventually you can do what you wanted to do at the beginning.” 

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