Thanks to my pal May in Scotland who always keeps me informed of interesting articles from across the pond, this article in the Telegraph was brought to my attention and I think some of you may enjoy it as well.
Christine Robinson is the current housekeeper of Chatsworth Manor in Derbyshire. Chatsworth, of course, was used as “Pemberley” in the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice and thus figures heavily upon my inspiration for the home of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy in my novels. I am sure the activities of a housekeeper today is vastly different than what Mrs. Reynolds had on her agenda back in the early 1800s (if she were real!) but then or now there is no doubt the job is intense.
Her daily routine includes overseeing dusting and vacuuming of the half-mile public route, a labyrinth of passageways, 18 staircases and nearly 300 rooms. At this time of year her staff are engaged on the annual ‘deep clean’. That’s not just windows and carpets but also the massive chandeliers, which need scaffolding to take them down. Each piece must be painstakingly washed in soap flakes and water, then polished and replaced. There are 2,763 pendants in the Great Dining Room chandelier alone.