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Manor House Mr Raj-Singh
"What was it that India found so attractive about British upper classes? Now I'm getting the chance to find out. Mr Raj Singh, tutor
Mr Raj-Singh
THE PROJECT|THE HOUSE|THE PEOPLE|EDWARDIAN LIFE|YOU IN 1905|TREATS|SNOB QUIZ
Mr Raj-Singh

Watch the video diaries

Treated as neither a servant nor a member of the family, the tutor's position in a house was a difficult one
Treated as neither a servant nor a member of the family, the tutor's position in a house was a difficult one

Edwardian Life

A Typical Day in the House

How to Address the Family

Upstairs
Downstairs
The People: Reji Raj

Reji: Thoughts After Leaving the House

What expectations did you have about entering Manor House?
I expected it to be beautifully decorated, luxurious, elegantly comfortable

Do you think that taking part has changed you?
I hasn't changed me! But it has given me pause for thought and time to reflect on what really matters to me - something which a hectic, inner city school life allows little time for!

Has anyone said that you have changed since you have returned to the 21st Century?
People said that I was an Edwardian before I left! i.e. my formal speech and traditional education made me eminently suited to this role?

What do you feel you've learnt?
On the positive side, I re-learnt how much I value the friends which make up my family. On the negative scale I did not enjoy feeling so constrained by the very formal rules of behaviour in the community. For example, when I needed a razor blade or a cup of tea, the request had to be hand written and then delivered to the relevant member of staff.

Have you remained friends or stayed in contact with anyone from the household? Why?
The Housekeeper, The Lady's Maid and Miss Anson. I found them 'simpatico'and they have stayed in touch with me.

What did you enjoy most?
Having servants, dressing for dinner, letters from friends, gracious living!

What did you like least?
Being isolated and the lack of privacy

What did you find the hardest aspect of the role you assumed?
At the beginning feeling very uncertain and lost, without someone to talk to

What did you miss most from the 21st century? Did you ever give in to temptation?
I missed my friends, freedom and the phone

Do you think that the 21st century can learn anything from the Edwardian era?
As a teacher I feel that we can learn from the past as well as the present. From the Edwardian era the 21st Century can certainly adopt the civility, graciousness and consideration.

What did you like and dislike most about the Edwardian era?
I liked the calmer and slower lifestyle of that period. I was very comfortable with daily communal prayer.

I disliked losing my freedom, friends and feeling of authority which is part of my profession.

If you could have your time at the Manderston again is there any one thing that you would have done differently?
I would have been more assertive and more active in developing my role as the tutor to the child and also as a member of the Ethnic minority. I would have done more research to help the programme.

Did you find that the Edwardian setting changed the way that men and women related to each other? How do you feel about it?
Yes, as a stranger in an alien environment, I found the formality between the men and the women of that period made life simpler.

 


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