Perched on an island off the shores of Cornwall, England, the soaring castle of St Michael s Mount has been home to the St Aubyn family sinceFor nearly thirty years, Stanley Ager, one of the most esteemed butlers of the twentieth century, ensured that St Michael s Mount was an impeccable place to live and a gracious and welcoming one for guests to visit Revered by everyone from royalty to the estate staff, Stanley Ager considered it his calling to run a home gracefully and efficiently Several of the men whom he trained at St Michael s Mount went on to serve in the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace and at British embassies throughout the world But you don t need a manor to benefit from Ager s wisdom on homekeeping This carefully detailed, charmingly illustrated, eminently useful volume offers important insights and techniques, including how to Wipe a glass or a chandelier until it sparkles Fold napkins precisely in six different ways Polish furniture or silver to a mirror finish Lay a beautiful table and serve a meal impeccably Brush, buff, and maintain any manner of clothes and footwear Fold and pack for a trip for business or pleasure Select and pour wine Stage impromptu romantic picnics And, among other graces, open a door soundlessly, roll an umbrella perfectly, and iron a newspaper


10 thoughts on “Butler's Guide: To Clothes Care, Managing the Table, Running the Home and Other Graces (Papermacs)

  1. Vanessa Vanessa says:

    I have a deep and rarely mentioned love of historical etiquette and household guides, and this is a quite singular one Part biography and part instruction manual, the book gives a real lens on the work needed to actually make one of those old English country estates run smoothly Especially recommended is the final section in which the author quite sincerely suggests that a romantic picnic for two requires special china and no fewer than 18 individual pieces of flatware.


  2. Lisa Lisa says:

    This book was great I learned how to pack a suitcase, how to polish silver, and that I should really have my own butler to handle all of these things for me.


  3. Alexandra Alexandra says:

    Review originally posted on my blog.Remember when I talked about books inspired by Downton Abbey Well I ve found another one and it s a doozy If you thought Martha Stewart ran a tight ship, you ve never heard of Stanley Ager.Mr Ager was a butler at St Michael s Mount for most of his life He did everything from ensuring food was ordered on time to ironing the napkins In The Butler s Guide he shares his tips and tricks for keeping house.I didn t know how slothful I was until reading this b Review originally posted on my blog.Remember when I talked about books inspired by Downton Abbey Well I ve found another one and it s a doozy If you thought Martha Stewart ran a tight ship, you ve never heard of Stanley Ager.Mr Ager was a butler at St Michael s Mount for most of his life He did everything from ensuring food was ordered on time to ironing the napkins In The Butler s Guide he shares his tips and tricks for keeping house.I didn t know how slothful I was until reading this book Apparently I m supposed to brush my skirts before putting them away, condition and shine my shoes daily and iron everything using a damp cloth Oh, and don t forget that washing is best done in rainwater that s been strained with cheesecloth.All joking aside, Ager s book provides an interesting glimpse into what a previous century considered normal housekeeping.After reading, I steamed all of my sweaters and refolded everything in my closet Well played, Mr Agers, well played


  4. Kathryn Kathryn says:

    What a delightful read Stanley Ager was one of the most celebrated butlers of the twentieth century The forward was written by Alastair Bruce OBE, the historical advisor to Downton Abbey The book was beautifully written with hand drawn illustrations The hierarchy of the servants was completely explained as were the duties they performed The cook was quite often quite the tyrant This was just fun I m not quite sure if I would have made a better lady having servants or if I would have been What a delightful read Stanley Ager was one of the most celebrated butlers of the twentieth century The forward was written by Alastair Bruce OBE, the historical advisor to Downton Abbey The book was beautifully written with hand drawn illustrations The hierarchy of the servants was completely explained as were the duties they performed The cook was quite often quite the tyrant This was just fun I m not quite sure if I would have made a better lady having servants or if I would have been a great lady s maid


  5. Betsy Betsy says:

    I liked reading Mr Ager s personal recollections of working as a butler I have to admit I skimmed some of the actual instructions How Mr Ager folds a shirt , How Mr Ager ties a bow tie I can t imagine the fastidiousness he had in EVERYTHING For instance, Because a napkin must look fresh, practice the folds before you finally use them There s nothing worse than a napkin falling out of its fold Napkins for folding should be approximately 24 to 26 inches on a side They must first be s I liked reading Mr Ager s personal recollections of working as a butler I have to admit I skimmed some of the actual instructions How Mr Ager folds a shirt , How Mr Ager ties a bow tie I can t imagine the fastidiousness he had in EVERYTHING For instance, Because a napkin must look fresh, practice the folds before you finally use them There s nothing worse than a napkin falling out of its fold Napkins for folding should be approximately 24 to 26 inches on a side They must first be slightly starched and smoothly pressed into a plain fold I can t imagine Those parts of the book just made me tired


  6. Bethany Bethany says:

    Despite what one might think, this was a delightful read I picked it up as a fun read relating to my new job of owning and keeping a house, and I may just purchase a copy to keep Many tasks are well above what I would ever need, but the tips for caring for menswear are helpful enough as my partner wearsanddress shirts and jackets for work functions I love the connections to Downton Abbey, as well it fits in nicely with my interest in that era.


  7. Christine Hanna Christine Hanna says:

    Interesting Very interesting look into the people and practices that ran high society in years past Gives new meaning to the honorable, everyday work of caring for home and the people who live in it.


  8. Lindsay Lindsay says:

    This is a beautiful and elegant book and perfect for anyone interested in the high art of home keeping A little too fussy for modern sensibilities but evocative of aservice oriented time.


  9. Carolyn Page Carolyn Page says:

    I believe this was written by an actual butler If I were ever go into the service industry at a mansion I d grab this book to take along with me.


  10. Janet Janet says:

    I skimmed a lot of the detailed instructions I have a limited need to polish silverware , but the glimpse of a vanished lifestyle was interesting.