Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Dinner is Served

An English Butler's Guide to the Art of the Table

Arthur Inch retired after 50 years of "private service," meaning he worked as a traditional servant in a wealthy British household, culminating in the august position of butler, which he held for decades. Now he consults with people who want to know how it once was, such as the producers of Gosford Park. Inch wrote this book to be a how-to for those who want to give a formal dinner party without embarrassing themselves, but the how-to is liberally interspersed with stories of how it was--what a pain Winston Churchill was, and what a groom of chambers did, back in the day when such a position existed outside of royal households.

As a companion piece for The House: Living at Chatsworth, this would be a complete resource for those who wish to explore the English Great House in its 20th century heyday. But naturally it works very well as a stand-alone.


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