Sunday, April 24, 2011

Both Maid and Hostess


I am writing my final draft of Flo in the City, putting it all together and I reread this bit from the 1912 letters. Flora writing to her sisters in Boston.

This is the only letter I have from Flora to her sisters, and it contains a bit of candid information. She didn't enjoy some visitors. It was hard work. As I am also watching Upstairs Downstairs, this bit is particularly relevant. She was middle class so when people visited, she was both 'maid' and 'hostess'.

The middle class Nicholsons were neither Upstairs or Downstairs. They were In Between Stairs.

"We got card from Mrs. Cleveland saying that they expect to arrive in Quebec on Monday so that means some work for us. I would just as soon have the King come as Dr. C of course "he ain't a going to be any trouble" but from now on you can think of us scraping out all the corners, carrying newspapers to the attic, making lemon pies, etc besides "a talking to him in between times." Mrs. Cross from Mt and Mrs. Skinner are coming over for tea tomorrow night. Be sure and send Mrs. Dr. Skinner a card. Mrs. Cross was saying today she has been very sick in fact, they all have been. Now I must gang awa is ma wee bed so good night."

Your Pard,
Florrie Anderseed