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Author Name:    GAW, Kenneth

Title:   Superior Servants : The Legendary Cantonese Amahs of the Far East.

Publisher:    Oxford University Press, Singapore / Oxford / New York, 1991, ISBN:0195885554 

Seller ID:   95776

GAW, Kenneth. Superior Servants : The Legendary Cantonese Amahs of the Far East. Singapore / Oxford / New York : Oxford University Press, 1991. Pp [i]-xviii,(2),[1]-177,(3). Illustrated with 56 black-and-white plates and 2 maps. Index. Large 8vo, illustrated grey card covers. “In the Far East, the amah—the superior servant of this book—was usually a nanny. Very often, though, she was also the major-domo (and 'old retainer'), the cook and the parlourmaid, the housemaid and the laundress, working a 15-hour day with only two half-day holidays a month. Between the 1930s and the 1970s, few well-to-do Chinese and expatriate, mainly British, homes in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong did not employ one. Although these women—the now legendary 'black and white' amahs—were mostly single, illiterate, and of peasant stock, they provided a standard of service and displayed a degree of loyalty to thefamilies they worked for that could hardly be rivalled elsewhere in the wo rld, and drew uuqualified admiration, respect, and affection from their employers in return. These superior servants were also very remarkable women. Who were they? From where did they come? What was it that made them exceptional? What kind of life—their life as servants as well as their private life—did they lead? What were their employers like? These are just a few of the questions answered in this fascinating book, a belated tribute to these paragons of servants who enriched the lives of so many families and gave so much of themselves.” - from the back cover. Corners slightly flared, else very good. 30.00


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