THE FAITHFUL SERVANTS by Margery Sharp

THE FAITHFUL SERVANTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

. . .Or, a Sly Look at the Infrastructure of British Society Over the Past Hundred Years from Footman to Au Pair Girl -- this is much livelier than what's been going on at the Bellamys lately, and strictly beneficent nonsense for Miss Sharp's gentlewomen. When Jacob Arbuthnot dies in 1860, he does not leave his estate to his less than attentive next of kin, but forms a foundation for superannuated female servants. Actually there's not much in the pot so it's mostly a question of handing out rivers whether to a governess Miss Quartermaine, who retires to Sapphic comforts in a basement with a Miss Xavier; or poor Marged Evans, accused of poisoning her employer; or the illegitimate daughter of old Jacob's housekeeper who wants considerably more. But in time, lady's-maids disappear, cooks move up and there are only scrubwomen, jolly types, left in these annals of occasional philanthropy. And who knows just what will turn up -- arsenic in a tea caddy, a parure of emeralds in a chamber pot, or an applicant in the bed of a Foundation Trustee? Like that fiver, just enough for an evening's entertainment.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1975
Publisher: Little, Brown