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Mind Your Manors

Tried-and-True British Household Cleaning Tips

Lucy Lethbridge (Author)


The author of Servants tells us what made British households, of all sizes, shine.

British estates were known to be the epitome of cleanliness with their white-glove perfection. Through her meticulous research on servants, Lucy Lethbridge gleaned much knowledge about how these homes were made to gleam over almost two centuries, from the Victorian through the Edwardian years and beyond. The majority of household tasks were done with basic ingredients like lemon juice, white vinegar, and bicarbonate of soda, which feel very modern in their display of frugality and ecological soundness. Tea leaves were used to freshen up rugs and stewed rhubarb to remove rust stains. Here, Lethbridge reveals these old-fashioned and almost-forgotten techniques that made British households sparkle before the use of complicated contraptions and a spray for every surface. A treasury of advice from servants’ memoirs and housekeeping guides, and illustrated with charming art from period advertising and domestic classics, Mind Your Manors is the perfect book for all those who want to put time-tested cleaning methods to work.

Book Details

  • Hardcover, Paper over boards
  • May 2016
  • ISBN 978-0-393-24948-4
  • 5.3 × 8 in / 128 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth and the European Union.

Endorsements & Reviews

Mind Your Manors is highly entertaining, with advice gleaned from servants, housekeeping guides, and manuals from the last two centuries.” — Moira Hodgson, Wall Street Journal

Mind Your Manors does a nice job of mixing quirky historical facts with time-tested tips.” — Laura Pearson, Chicago Tribune

“Eschewing modern conveniences, Lethbridge evokes early Downton Abbey in this elegant collection of entertaining tips culled from decades of the care of elegant English homes, dating from the Victorian through the Edwardian years.” — Publishers Weekly

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  1. Book CoverServants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times


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