Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison

By Rosina Harrison

In 1928, Rosina Harrison arrived on the illustrious family of the Astor kin to take in her new place as own maid to the infamously temperamental girl Nancy Astor, who sat in Parliament, entertained royalty, and traveled the area. "She's now not a girl as you might comprehend a girl" used to be the butler's ominous caution. yet what not anyone anticipated was once that the iron-willed woman Astor used to be approximately to fulfill her fit in the no-nonsense, whip-smart woman from the country.

For 35 years, from the events thrown for royalty and journeys around the globe, to the air raids in the course of WWII, Rose used to be by way of woman Astor's aspect and backstage, preserving every thing operating easily. answerable for every thing from the garments and furs to the luggage to the important diamond "sparklers," Rose used to be in the direction of woman Astor than a person else. In her many years of carrier she got one £5 increase, yet she traveled the realm fashionable and retired with a lifetime's worthy of reports. Like Gosford Park and Downton Abbey, ROSE is a charming perception into the good wealth 'upstairs' and the never-ending paintings 'downstairs', however it is usually the tale of an not likely decades-long friendship that grew among Her Ladyship and her lively Yorkshire maid.

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Another of my Saturday jobs was to clean Dad’s boots for Sunday. In the afternoon whenever it was fine, we children would go out gathering wood for kindling. Studley Park was a good hunting-ground and there was a big copse near us, but we didn’t dare go often since pheasants were reared there and the keepers didn’t care to have anyone disturbing them. We almost used to welcome a storm or a high wind during the week because it made our task so much easier. As I grew older Dad developed what was called in those days a weak heart, so it was the duty of the family to relieve him of whatever work we could.

He once boasted to me that he’d stopped a mad dog which was about to savage him by shooting it straight between the eyes. Whether that was true or not I don’t know, but what I do know, because I’ve seen him do it often, is that he could hit a pheasant at a hundred feet. I suppose in a way I was an accomplice after the fact because I acted as lookout and also used to help him make the lead pellets to use as ammunition. There was a field opposite our parlour which seemed to attract the pheasants.

The Marquess kept a deer herd and every so often it would be thinned out by shooting the old stags and some of the fallow deer. It was a great and welcome sight to see Dad arriving back home with a fawn slung over his shoulders. It meant that we should eat like fighting-cocks for days. Every bit was edible; the pluck or liver was particularly tasty, but I only know that from hearsay as it was always reserved for Dad. We cured the fawns’ pelts and the rabbit skins and sold them to a pedlar-man on his occasional visits to the village.

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