Dear Polly - Letters to a Victorian Lady's Maid
In 1873 frail Polly Weaver, a lady's maid, fell in love with Alfred Hayes, a gamekeeper in Worcestershire, but circumstances kept them apart for seven years. Alf's letters and those of her friend Mary Douglas (a Rector's daughter) were almost her only contact as Alfred struggled to provide a home for himself and Polly.
The letters vividly describe everyday life above and below stairs as Alf tried his hand as a station porter, a gamekeeper and as Orderly at the Royal Military College. There are tales of balls, poverty, crime and kindness. Above all it is a story of romance, hope and disappointment set against a background of Victorian attitudes and social structure.