Day School: A Working Woman in the Nineteenth Century - Sarah Wells

Ref: C3747284

Sarah Wells, nee Neal, yes the mother of H G Wells, but so much more. Born in Chichester, she worked for many years at the Sussex stately home of Uppark (now National Trust) first as a Lady's Maid, then Housekeeper. She also kept a diary. Told through her diary and other sources, we follow Sarah's life as she moves from Chichester to Ireland to begin her career as a Lady's Maid. Summoned home because of family illness she finds work at Uppark then, after marriage moves again but ultimately returns to Uppark as Housekeeper. The course provide revealing insights into life at Uppark, yes there are comparisons to Downton Abbey but also much more. Many of us will have had ancestors who were in 'service' this course sheds light on their story and the life of a woman working hard to care for and provide for her family.

Course aim

To use diaries and other sources to investigate the life and activities of a late 19th century woman as she works to balance caring for, and providing for her family.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify the skills and attributes needed for a young woman to take up a career as a Lady's Maid and describe the type of person likely to be able to take up such a post
  • Identify properties associated with Sarah Wells at various stages in her life and state their geographical location
  • List individuals associated with Sarah Wells and state the nature of their relationship with her

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Nothing other than your interest in and enthusiasm for history

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Day School: A Working Woman in the Nineteenth Century - Sarah Wells


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