give me your keys,

Category: Daily Life | Type: Discussion | Title: David Copperfield (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: I Fall into Disgrace

To control the keys was to command the house's workings. 

Locked bureaus and desks contained the house's accounts and locked chests and drawers the linens and lace; the store-closet, pantry, and wine cellar were locked. In a country mansion the housekeeper, the head woman servant, in authority second only to the head butler, kept the keys; in a middle-class house such as this, the mistress of the house kept the keys on her person. 

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