Back cover - overview of Maureen's Story
This is a love story - not between people but about ties which bound Maureen Cummins to Highclere Castle, one of the UK's most graceful stately homes, for over thirty years.
In it, Maureen gives us a fascinating, often amusing and ultimately poignant look at the workings of a 'great house'; beginning with the 'Upstairs Downstairs' life when the Castle was still a private residence and ending in its commercial era after the decision was made to open the doors to the public.
A reflection of an age which has passed, never to return, this is a book which lets the reader walk behind the scenes and travel with Maureen from the days when she ironed second-hand newspapers for resale to make extra money to those when she reigned supreme at the Castle, meeting film stars, royalty and the assorted cast of celebrities who came under her care there. With stark honesty she tells us about her triumphs and defeats, the differing attitudes of the Carnarvon family (owners of Highclere) towards the Castle, and the very many colourful, talented and dedicated people who passed through its doors over the course of a lifetime.
From Tutankhamen to the best way to remove cobwebs from high ceilings, Maureen never fails to give us her highly individual perspective - her story.