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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Noel Streatfield - Tea by the Nursery Fire

review live on show by Maggie Perkovic 1st Nov 2012. Another story of life below stairs but this time Emily Huckwell starts as a nursery maid rising to the post of Head Nanny looking after two generations of children. One of these children is the author's father. A nursery maid starts at the age of twelve which is when children left school, and her work was quite hard being on call to the Nanny and not being allowed to get too close to the babies until later on. This maid however proved herself quite indispensible one day to a visiting young mother to be by repairing a tear in such a way it was invisible to the naked eye. She was head hunted to work for this family and again became such a reliable and hardworking young girl that before long they couldn't manage without her.Emily loved her work, and her charges became the family she was never to have, losing her fiance to illness and death before they could marry. Noel Streatfield always wrote with warmth and understanding and this story is no exception, it is a brilliant portrait of Victorian and Edwardian life and above and below stairs. Maggie Perkovic

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