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Bedford Centre Lecture 2013


On May 1 2013 the Bedford Centre hosted a lecture ‘Maids, au pairs and 'treasures': domestic workers and the home in twentieth century Britain,’ given by Dr Lucy Delap, Director of History and Policy, King's College London.


Lucy Delap is director of History and Policy at King's College, London, and works on twentieth century histories of gender, feminism, shipwrecks, and working women. Her research on domestic service explores why British popular culture compulsively returns the lives of the servants of aristocrats, from Upstairs Downstairs to Downton. Her lecture looks at the reality - and diversity - of the lives of domestic workers, spanning a wide range of roles - maids, cooks, chars, cleaners, au pairs and mothers helps. Informed by her work as a consultant to the BBC2 series Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs, Lucy examined the changes in domestic spaces and technologies, roles such as 'housewife', and ideas of home and family. She locates domestic service not only in Victorian and Edwardian homes, but as integrated with twentieth century visions of 'modern living'.


Listen to Lucy's lecture here via podcast.

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