August 2014 Non-fiction Aurum Press

The Housekeeper's Tale Tessa Boase

The story of The Housekeeper’s Tale follows the lives of five women to delve into the secret existence of these powerful yet invisible women who ran our great English country houses. 

From the 19th- to the mid 20th-century this was the most important professional job an uneducated woman could aspire to; the female equivalent of the butler. But we know very little about the women who filled these posts.

In the fictional view, the housekeeper was invariably a spinster in black silk: cold, remote and calculating. But what of the real lives? Tessa Boase turns domestic detective to take the reader on a journey of investigation, unearthing secret diaries, bundles of letters and neglected archives from the service wings of great houses – the housekeeping accounts, the doctor’s bills, the shopping lists, the character references.