Book Review: “The Butler Speaks” by Charles MacPherson

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butler speaks book charles macphersonFirst and foremost, this is not a “tell-all” book, disclosing the secrets of the high net worth families like the fictional accounts described in “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.  Instead, this is a guide to entertaining, etiquette and good housekeeping.  What makes the book really stand out is that it makes these arts relevant in today’s 21st Century modern home, not just the formal households of the ultra-rich from the Victorian or Edwardian eras.

The book does cover in detail the specifics of housekeeping and entertaining, such as the proper way to iron a shirt or how to carve a standing rib roast in front of a table of hungry dinner guests.  The instructions are easy-to-follow, accompanied by to-the-point graphics.  The writing is direct, but not as a boring text book.  It flows well, and held my interest even though I am probably one of the worst housekeepers in the world.  Fortunately, I learned a lot of new techniques that make cleaning more thorough without taking tons of extra time.

One of the most beneficial parts of the book is the modern etiquette lessons.  In particular, specifics of business etiquette are critical, from presenting business cards to how to behave during a business lunch.

As MacPherson states in the book, “Etiquette is not a set of classical rules for the rich, famous or snobby – rather, it’s a way of understanding other people and having consideration for their needs.”  In this way, we all need an etiquette lesson, and MacPherson does an excellent job of teaching this perspective.


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

ISBN: 978-0-449-01591-9

Released: April 23, 2013

Publisher: Appetite by Random House

Price: US $27.95 | CAN $29.95

Amazon link:

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