Secrets of the Manor House
100 years ago, the world of the British manor house was at its height. It was a life of luxury and indolence for a wealthy few supported by the labor of hundreds of servants toiling ceaselessly "below stairs" to make the lives of their lords and ladies run as smoothly as possible. It is a world that has provided a majestic backdrop to a range of movies and popular costume dramas to this day, including PBS's Downton Abbey. But what was really going on behind these stately walls? This mini-series looks beyond the fiction to the truth of what life was like in these British houses of yesteryear.
Secrets of the Manor House Previous Broadcasts
KQED 9: Thu, Feb 16, 2012 -- 8:00 PM
100 years ago, the world of the British Manor House was at its height. It was a world of luxury that that has provided a majestic backdrop to a range of movies and popular costume dramas to this day. But what was really going on behind these stately walls and under the servants' stairs? This program looks beyond the fiction to the truth of how life was in these ancient British houses, and how mounting financial, political and social pressures were about to bring momentous changes to both the wealthy and their servants. The program covers the background of the British titled class in Edwardian times, the realities for servants working in their estates, the concept of the entail that passed estates to the next generation, the growing influence of American wealth in British aristocracy at the beginning of the 20th Century, and the impact of the first world war on the social class system evident at a British country house.
- KQED 9: Fri, Feb 17, 2012 -- 2:00 AM