Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mind Your Manors

Mind Your Manors: Tried-and-True British Household Cleaning Tips 
by Lucy Lethbridge
W.W. Norton & Company, 2016. 114 pgs. Nonfiction

Housework has gone through many changes and revolutions since the 1800s and 1900s. After researching the various cleaning methods from the servants of those ages, the author has created a general guide to how British housekeeping was managed in the large manor houses. Topics include dusting, laundry, managing pests, bathrooms, and more. How did these estates stay clean without today’s often used chemicals? Simple ingredients that people still use today.

I have to admit, I was hoping for more from this book. It wasn’t a complete disappointment, but it did fall far short of my expectations. Each chapter felt very much like a history lesson, but clear instructions on how to apply these methods in households today were lacking. I did find, and try, a recipe to help keep drains clear by using baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water, but I don’t know how effective it was yet. I could see fans of shows like Downton Abbey enjoying this history lesson this book provides, but instructions for practical application are very limited.


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