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The Butler Speaks: A Return to Proper Etiquette, Stylish Entertaining, and the Art of Good Housekeeping
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The Butler Speaks: A Return to Proper Etiquette, Stylish Entertaining, and the Art of Good Housekeeping

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  103 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Host a dinner party * Make a bed * Set a table * Use the proper fork * Polish silver * Prepare high tea * Present a calling card * Make conversation * Fold a shirt ... all with the charm, ease and sophistication of a butler.
In a clear, straightforward style, Charles MacPherson lays out the essentials of entertaining and household management in this beautifully illustrated
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Appetite by Random House (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jul 30, 2013 K rated it really liked it
Now that there is a new royal heir for the English throne it might behoove all of us to bone up on our entertaining etiquette and housekeeping art. Who knows, we might someday be called upon to host a royal member of the Windsor family (or a royal personage of another country). Or just one’s boss or picky in-law.

Actually, I found a lot of good common sense and ideas in this book from a man who has spent over 24 years as a “major-domo for one of Canada’s most prominent families.” And in 2009 he o
Apr 24, 2013 Shilpa rated it it was amazing
When I first heard about this book, I became giddy with glee. As a long time fan of Charles MacPherson, or as he is fondly referred to on the Marilyn Denis show as Charles the Butler, I’ve always found his advice poignant, proper and practical. It’s hard to take notes watching a TV show, and even harder trying to remember all his great advice, so The Butler Speaks is a fabulous must-have guide to stylish entertaining, etiquette and the art of good housekeeping.

Iron Man (or Woman): One thing that
Jul 10, 2013 Jschrag rated it liked it
MacPherson provides a book full of useful household hints, methods for being an effective housekeeper, a good host, and a good guest. However, my favourite parts of the book were the fascinating historical sections, where he talks about the way households were traditionally run, and how the industrial revolution changed everything for the serving classes. The housekeeping hints are clear (and frequently illustrated). I think that if you are already a comfortable host, then you won't learn much y ...more
Feb 06, 2014 Mel rated it really liked it
Definitely not a book for just people who would like / currently working in the service industry, but to anyone who would like to learn more etiquette. Even though I technically marked as read in one day, I can still see this as a great guide for quick reference for attending social gatherings, hosting parties , and general etiquette that most people had forgotten these days.
Feb 25, 2014 Katherine rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I learned a few helpful things from this book (like which cutlery to use at a fancy dining set up: start from the outside cutlery and work your way in!).

This book also gave me some insight to the "Downton Abbey" world, through the description of household staff roles, which was very interesting.

I kind of wished there were fewer (or none at all) personal anecdotes from the author. I just felt like the personal stories took away from the formal 'handbook'-ness of the book.
Jan 02, 2015 Maksym rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
amazing book

This is hands on book on doing everything that you usually have doubts on and on the things which are difficult to find answers. Recommended if you are in yacht or hospitality industry.
Nov 29, 2015 Kathryn rated it liked it
This was fun to read as it traced the lineage of servants over the centuries. As a fan of Downton Abbey it explained who all the servants were and their respective jobs. I even picked up a tip or two.
Tracy Trofimencoff
Feb 02, 2016 Tracy Trofimencoff rated it really liked it
This was an excellent book that was both informative and offered new information for the reader. I liked Macpherson's style of writing and how he divided each section into usable and practical information for the 21st century reader. One does not have to be or want to be a butler to enjoy this book. I learned many new things about running a household to manners and etiquette that I did not know thanks to this well-written reference guide.
Laura Scott
Oct 26, 2014 Laura Scott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
A wonderful look inside of the responsibilities and practices in service. I found this book to be extremely useful in my research.
May 01, 2015 Sarika rated it really liked it
Very useful. Will consult it many times.
Dec 07, 2015 Janet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: purchase
A great resource on American/Canadian etiquette with some examples of British and French traditions. MacPherson gives the background history of domestic staff and various practices. Now I know why butlers used to iron the newspaper for their employer. He explains general social customs, how to host a social gathering, and maintain a clean home. I wish I read this book months ago, it would have saved me from a few social blunders! I am definitely buying a copy to keep on my reference shelf.
Dec 12, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
a beautiful guide full of great ideas.
Tiffany Whitelatch
Jan 14, 2014 Tiffany Whitelatch rated it liked it
I really enjoyed it, it had a lot of useful information in it. I love collecting books like this, so I'll have to buy it, since this one is on loan from the library.
Nov 08, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
A fantastic book full of tips, interesting tidbits, and plenty of explanation. The clarification plus the helpful and knowledgeable spirit in which the book was written was refreshing and enjoyable. I would highly recommend this for any newly married couple, homeowner, or person who prides themselves on the appearance of their homes and the image they portray in public.
Dec 31, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
Mix of history and etiquette advice. Lots of Downton Abbey references :)
Aug 01, 2013 Marjorie rated it liked it
This book is nicely laid out and concise. It is full of helpful hints to help with running a home. The illustrations and format make this a good reference quide. I enjoyed the friendly tone of this book.
Jul 05, 2013 Cherry rated it liked it
not as practical for everyday use as l had hoped, but I enjoyed it and will use for entertaining
Oct 19, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
A different take on entertaining and manners from the eyes of the butler!
Aug 25, 2013 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: randomhouse
Review pending ... hopefully tied to author visit!
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