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The Staircase Girls

The Staircase Girls by Catherine Seymour
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The fascinating story of the lives of the working-class women who looked after the students of Cambridge University.

As she stood outside the enormous carved wooden gates Joyce shivered in the cold pre-dawn air. She knew the people inside here had all the rights and the likes of her had none. Some of the students had taken advantage of girls from the town and got away with it because their parents were rich or influential. And now she was about to make their beds, clean their rooms and lug coal up flights of stairs to make their fires . . .

In the 1950s women like Joyce, Nance and Shirley lived in some of the poorest streets in Cambridge and suffered great hardships but every day their work as servants in the colleges took them into an extraordinarily privileged world. Known as 'bedders' (short for 'bedmakers'), they often became close to their charges, mothering them, covering up for them, sometimes falling in love with 'their boys', some of whom would go on to become household names.

Revealing their stories for the first time, this is a vivid, poignant account of these remarkable women's lives.

Pan Macmillan UK; July 2016
320 pages; ISBN 9781925480856
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Title: The Staircase Girls
Author: Catherine Seymour
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