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

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  137 Ratings  ·  23 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 illust
ebook, 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  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2016 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, domiciles
Call me crazy, but I really enjoyed reading this book. The material in it wasn't as helpful as I would have liked. For instance, I still don't know the proper way to eat spaghetti; do I cut it with a knife or twirl it against a spoon? But what I did like is that there's lots of short declarative sentences, bullet points, well organized, and occasionally stories about the history of traditions or tools. (So that's how to use a fish knife, and why it's deemed important to use it!)

It was a really
Teena in Toronto
I read an article in the Toronto Star this week in which Charles MacPherson was interviewed and answered some questions about the dos and don'ts of restaurant behavior. The article mentioned that he had written a book called The Butler Speaks and I thought it would be interesting (and it was).

The book has five parts:
1. The tradition of service - includes the history of the tradition of service along with a listing and hierarchy of jobs in an Edwardian household, staff greeting line, and proper c
Connie Weiss
Dec 18, 2016 Connie Weiss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm such an old-fashioned broad! I love reading about manners, traditions, and home keeping. It truly is a lost art that I intend to teach my children. This book has information about the history of where manners came from which I find really interesting.
Apr 18, 2013 Shilpa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 07, 2014 Katherine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 25, 2015 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tracy Trofimencoff
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.
Nov 08, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 06, 2014 Mel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oct 19, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A different take on entertaining and manners from the eyes of the butler!
Laura Scott
Oct 26, 2014 Laura Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
A wonderful look inside of the responsibilities and practices in service. I found this book to be extremely useful in my research.
Apr 27, 2015 Sarika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very useful. Will consult it many times.
Dec 31, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mix of history and etiquette advice. Lots of Downton Abbey references :)
Dec 02, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a beautiful guide full of great ideas.
Tiffany Whitelatch
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.
I learned a lot about the service industry, which was interesting. Also, the tips in this book were practical and I can see myself using them as I maintain my own household.
Apr 25, 2013 Jenn rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomhouse
Review pending ... hopefully tied to author visit!
Jasmin rated it really liked it
Mar 25, 2017
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Dec 06, 2016
Don rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2016
Emily rated it really liked it
Dec 03, 2013
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May 22, 2016
Norma Peinado
Norma Peinado rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2015
CDT rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2014
Eliyahsmum rated it liked it
May 19, 2013
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