I watched the first episode of The Manor House Project, a PBS series from about 10-ish years ago (on Netflix).
If you’re having Downton Abbey withdrawal AND you want to go into next season fully informed about the protocols of upstairs/downstairs, this might be a worthwhile diversion. Of course, the current Downton Abbey is a couple of decades past this period.
It’s not riveting (so far) but it does show you the nitty gritty (emphasis on gritty) of how much work it was for servants to take care of an upper middle class family at that time.
Someone asked on the Downton thread about why Molesley wouldn’t have been a proper footman. The show said that footmen were supposed to be attractive, charming, built, and above all, tall. (Molesley fit that one anyway.) A footman under 5’7" might get $25 per year (that’s right, the equivalent of twenty-five DOLLARS per annum), but a very tall footman would get $50.
Anyhoo, there’s a lot of detail and interesting tidbits. I don’t plan to watch every one of the six episodes, but I’m going to check in to see how the people are adjusting. In the first episode, the woman who had volunteered to be the scullery maid quit after two days, whining, “I miss my boyfriend… the butler told me to scrub the floors…I’m not used to stuff like that…I’m used to my mum doing stuff for me.” She got a big shock when she was asked to do some WORK and she just walked out without taking her stuff (clothes, props) or telling anyone goodbye.
There are also a lot of fun, informative links on the site.
One of them is a Snob Quiz that y’all may find amusing. (BTW, there is a misspelling in the quiz-- I AM a spelling snob.)
I got 63% snob: “You’re a long way off joining the ranks of the blini-nibbling, bubbly-sipping, double-barreled brigade, but then you’re no champion of the proletariat either. If you haven’t got a Volvo, Golden Retriever, and 2.4 kids yet, you soon will have because the middle classes beckon.”