What I’m Watching–Manor House

A post from Kelli–

Lately, I’ve been in a sewing streak again.  I recently decided to work on prioritizing things that make me happy, so it’s no surprise that I ended up back at the sewing machine.

A while ago, mom and I each bought a pair of noise cancelling headphones.  This makes it considerably easier to listen to a show or book while we sew.  mom often uses them at the quilting machine while she is longarming and I use mine more for piecing when I’m at my machine.  They also come in handy when mowing lawn–but Jason has needed to remind me a few times that just because I can’t hear myself singing along to the songs when mowing, I sometimes get loud enough that he can hear me across the yard and over the sound of the mower–OOPS!

I’ve really been trying to find a new show rather than the good old stand-by shows I regularly watch–House Hunters, Flip or Flop, Love it or List it, Grey’s Anatomy, etc.  I decided to expand my horizons over to my Amazon Prime account and was delighted to find Manor House, an Iowa Public Television show!

The premise of the show is that they take a modern day family and other individuals or volunteers as they are called and pretty much transport them back to the very early 1900’s and teach and show them how people would have lived at that time.  One of the most interesting parts is that each character gets their own rule book and has to abide by the rules.  Some things weren’t a surprise to me–like showering weekly or working long hours–but some things were new and interesting–like who can look at who, much less talk to who.

The Manor family–The Oliff-Coopers– consists of the husband and wife along with the wife’s sister, the couples 10 year  old son, and another son away at college.  It’s interesting to see the differences between rights of women–both married and unmarried– compared to today.

Manor House

The servants however were the most interesting to me.  I liked getting to know each of them and their little quirks.  It was also interesting to see the heirarchy of the servants.  Previous to watching the show, I new that the Butler and Head Housemaid were likely in control, but didn’t realize the difference in roles and their status among the servants.

Manor House 2


I would say however that the most interesting thing was how the young 10 year old child of the manor was raised.  It perplexes me that the servants weren’t good enough to even speak to or be seen by the lowest servants, but it was just fine for their child to spend the day with the servants being watched or played with.  I wonder if this had any influence on the “fall” of the manor type system.

Throughout the show, they also do things such as host parties and bazaars to raise money for hospitals and charities.  It’s interesting to see how much work and preparation went into the event from the staff and their considerations compared to now days when someone throws a party and has the event professionally planned and catered.

If you are interested in more information about the show, here’s a link to their website–http://www.pbs.org/manorhouse/theproject/making.html.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

3 thoughts on “What I’m Watching–Manor House”

  1. This is the first that I have heard about “Manor House”. I will have to see about watching this program, because it sounds fun and informative on the way things were done back in the days.

  2. Which headphones did you get? Is there a link to where they can be purchased? I have a hard time hearing my audio books while I sew. A good set of headphones would be terrific.

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