Secrets of the Manor House

Secrets of Chatsworth

In its 500-year history, Chatsworth has been home to some notable inhabitants, among them the 5th Duke of Devonshire, his wife, Lady Georgiana Spencer, and Lady Elizabeth Foster, who lived together in a ménage à trois. King Edward VII enjoyed shooting parties on the estate and was often entertained by Duchess Louisa, one of Britain’s foremost political hostesses.

Air Date 7/14/13

 
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Exactly 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? “Secrets of the Manor House” looks beyond the fiction to the truth of how life was in these ancient British houses, and how mounting financial, political and social pressures brought 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.
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