nch contributor and social commentator Turner (Roads to Ruin; A History of ourting, etc.) now roams upstairs and downstairs and in milady's chamber to document some ""250 years of the servant's problem""-and the slights, abuses and grievances of both menials and masters. From contemporary annals to literary allusions. Fielding and Thackeray to Harriet Martineau and Hannah More, this annotates the conditions of service (and slavery); the exaction of ""vails"" or tips from guests, the seduction of serving maids; and the laborate hierarchy of household help- from the gentleman's gentlemen- butlers and valets and footmen and even French chefs, to housekeepers, ladies' maids, cooks, and that formidable custodian of the young- the British Nanny. While most of this takes place in England, Mr. Turner also emigrates to America with those who ""scented the heady wind of democracy"" which eventually put an end to the servant problem.... Mr. Turner's account is anything but drudgery; for all its punctilious research, it is animated and entertaining.