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zorknapp (3598)

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Journal of zorknapp (3598)

Tuesday April 29, 2003
02:01 PM

Manor House

[ #11912 ]
So, I was flipping channels last night, and came across the beginning of a new British reality show on PBS. It's called "Manor House," and it chronicles the lives of people who for three months are given the opportunity to live in an old English mansion, in the style that it was kept at the dawn of the 20th Century.

There is a family who "own" the house, and their servants. I'm no big fan of reality television, I prefer fiction on television, as I get reality every day of my life just by living. However, there was something strangely compelling about this show. I think it combined my interest in history with the opportunity to see how it "really was" back then in the "good old days."

One thing you realize very quickly by watching this show, if you didn't know it already, is that the good ol'days were only good if you were in the upper classes. Otherwise, if you were a servant or a laborer, you usually worked from about 6am to as late as midnight. Granted, the servants had fun too (or else how would you make more servants?), but there was certainly not the leisure enjoyed by the upper classes in their world.

I recommend you check it out, if you can find it in your local listings. It's much more compelling than watching yet another "Mr. Personality" or "The Real World."

In other news, it's finally spring up here in New Hampshire. We've had two days in a row where it broke 70 degrees (fahrenheit!) and almost all the snow has melted.

On the genealogy front, I had a conversation on the phone Friday night with a cousin of my grandmother. This guy is 90 years old, and lives out in San Francisco. For a guy who's that far along in life, he certainly sounded like he was still spry and vital! It gives me hope that I have good genes in my family.

Now, I have to go to our main office, I may have to give a tour of campus to a prospective employee of our office. We're in our hiring time here, which in the world of student affairs is a fairly normal time of year to be hiring people.

Tally ho!

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  • the good ol'days were only good if you were in the upper classes.

    After 2 days they already lost their scullery maid, who couldn't handle (wouldn't do) the work. I think she was expecting some kind of vacation. My vote for "worst job" (besides emptying the chamber pots) has to be the "Hall boy" who doesn't even get a room and has to sleep in the hallway.

    We (SO and I) have been watching all the XXXX house series (Frontier House, 1900's House, 1940's House, etc.), they're all educational and fun to watch.

  • in the UK it was called 'edwardian house' but edwardian probably doesn't mean anything to those colonies that left the commonwealth ;)

    It was a great show - there a quite a few big country estates like that in the UK but most are maintained by being open to the public in exchange for grants from the national trust and other people.

    Having worked in a hotel I can say that the hospitality industry hasn't advanced that much since the edwardian era - many posh hotels aspire to the standards you see in that pr


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    print reverse @JAPH;
  • I liked it a lot too. I'm looking forward to the last installment.

    One thing that got me during the "interviews" with the staff: most of them complained about how much work they had to do, how they were belittled as people, how miserable their conditions were, and so on. So what did they expect? Didn't they have any idea of what life was like for scullery maids and footmen around 1900? Don't they realize it's all part and parcel of the "experiment"?