THE UNNATURAL HISTORY OF THE NANNY
by JONATHAN GATHORNE-HARDY 350 pages. Dial Press. $8.95.
Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy does not suppose that the institution of the nanny explains every last twitch and tweed of Englishness. But he does hold the reasonable view that the way a society cares for its young determines what the children, and thus the society, will be. And he believes no other group has insulated itself from its children quite like the British upper classes.
Becoming a nanny required a long, menial apprenticeship, beginning with a scrub brush on the nursery floor. In...