Looking into the origins of Universal Aunts, an employment agency founded in 1921 to supply child minders and home helps of many kinds, she has discovered the card index in which its founder, Gertie Mclean, recorded the salient characteristics of applicants. Miss Charlotte Hedgecombe was “hefty, stern, stood for no nonsense, a stickler for etiquette and deportment. On borstal board of governors, Zoological Society’s certificate. Cope older boys, any number”. Miss Phyllis Beckett, on the other hand, “knows all about footer and white mice. Guaranteed not to nag. Can slide down banisters at a push”. Miss Pansy Trubshaw, she noted, understood cricket and foreign stamps, “but not much else”.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Footer and white mice
At the TLS, Paul Addison on Lucy Lethbridge's Servants: