Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review: The Butler Speaks: A Guide to Stylish Entertaining, Etiquette and the Art of Good Housekeeping By: Charles MacPherson

In a time where people boast they are 'too busy' to be bothered with etiquette, manners and, in some cases, common decency, Charles MacPherson has penned, The Butler Speaks, from his full career as a butler.  The timing is just right, in this writer's opinion, because of the movement pushing more and more people back into their kitchens and homes for sources of entertainment.

 The Butler Speaks, is not giving you the inside secrets on the wealthy (although there are some personal tales), but does give a brief history of manners, etiquette and why we still should honor them today.

I found Mr. MacPherson's book to be an excellent resource for those looking to elevate their hosting skills by understanding the different nuances that go into setting a table, making a bed properly or hosting a party-complete with food pairings and how to eat <blank>.  In addition, all tips and information has been modified from the formal tradition to today's culture.

Mr. MacPherson also includes his tips on cleaning an entire house quickly, effectively and in a way that encourages regular easy maintenance.

For those who are interested in food, but still a food-neophyte, The Butler Speaks, is a great beginners guide.  Understanding how food is presented, is a great way to understand food basics and gives the opportunity to build on that knowledge.

While it only took me a few hours to read, Mr. MacPherson's book is not meant to be devoured all at once.  It is a reference tool that belongs in all homes of those who entertain and are looking to hold their homes to a higher standard.


  1. Carmen; this looks like such an interesting read! I have got to get this! Now that I'm obsessed with Downton Abbey; this would be a perfect book for me. I've also been following the unofficial Downton Abbey Cooking Blog:


  2. I totally agree! This is book is a must have! Especially for the table setting setups and the cleaning tips! Thanks for sharing that blog! I just subscribed to it!


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