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 Definition Manages all affairs of a household and servicing of principals and guests, providing the service themselves and/or hiring and supervising outside contractors, vendors, housekeeping staff, chef, chauffeur, valet, or personal assistant or secretary. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Sociology and Anthropology [Categories OK]
 Talk Archive 1  English language variant British English

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NOTICE, please do not remove from top of page.
In lieu of WP notice:

I wrote the original for WP between January and March 2005, and edited through 2006. There was very little input from others, and so I am not ticking the WP box. The reference to the story of Joseph was not part of my original draft, but since it's biblical I feel no qualms about including it, and in any case I have expanded upon the idea and included the chapter. I intend to maintain this article.P

Aleta Curry 18:07, 16 July 2007 (CDT)

APPROVED Version 1.1

Approved artictle, congratulations! Aleksander Stos 03:54, 18 August 2007 (CDT)

For article re-approval, see here for help.

Well Done!

Kudos to everyone who worked on this article, which definitely deserves consideration as featured article of the week. Those who still believe revisions and further refinements are necessary should make them and we can make it ready for version 1.2. Roger Lohmann 13:03, 18 August 2007 (CDT)

Toward version 1.2

I plan to work on material for subpages for this. I am hoping that will even include an image gallery of modern butlers in action, if a photo request in the Modern Butlers' Journal works as hoped. We should also add a Sidenote box on how Butler became a surname. There is a journal article that covers this, as I recall.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 04:49, 19 August 2007 (CDT)

Signed article for Butler

User:Steven Ferry might be willing to contribute a signed article, if approached. I think it'd be great to have an article on the specific attitudes and skills needed to be a quality butler. Thoughts?  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 13:18, 20 August 2007 (CDT)

Certainly, why not?
As an aside, I also think that since SF is the most-quoted person in the article, it should say more about his expertise than "an author". I'd like to see an addition about his work regarding butlers in the hospitality field (as opposed to private service).
Roger has also suggested a signed article on "The Butler Did It!" - the butler in the classic murder mystery. I like that idea, too, if we can find someone. Aleta Curry 17:38, 20 August 2007 (CDT)

I just noticed this entry from 2007 August. I am happy to provide it if still required. And if someone were to explain the significance/requirements of a "signed article." Steven Ferry 10:23, 26 February 2008 (CST)

Diary of a butler

See  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 01:14, 2 September 2007 (CDT)

Layout on widescreen monitors

See Image:Butler.gif. Image:Pincera-schenker.jpg and the "Butlers in early America" sidenote box are forced into the middle of the screen. This should be fixed, possibly by rearranging the images and the sidenote box. Kjetil Ree 07:21, 19 August 2007 (CDT)

Kjetil, It's be great if you could fix this first on the draft article as soon as you can. I don't have a widescreen monitor so don't see what you see. The current layout looks perfect on mine.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 15:11, 19 August 2007 (CDT)
Well, I don't have a widescreen monitor myself. I will try to fix it the next time I use one (i.e. the next time I visit my father) Kjetil Ree 12:06, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
I have now fixed it (I bought a 22 inch monitor the other day). Does it still look good on smaller monitors? If so, could we update the approved version? --Kjetil Ree 18:12, 27 October 2007 (CDT)

Emily Post...

...was long dead by 1997, so she didn't write anything. That should be changed *immmediately*, before this gets feature-of-the-week status. The original citation was correct for the edition by Elizabeth L. Post (Peggy, I think) If an updated edition is to be cited, please check a) the author (there are now several Post heirs writing Emily Post's etiquette) b) the date c) that the material quoted made it into this edition. Aleta Curry 17:28, 20 August 2007 (CDT)

If you look on Googlebook you will find several books with the same title. The one dated 1997 has Emily Post as author, along with Peggy Post. I suppose this means that the reference is not too bad, and we can be forgiven for omitting a second author of the same family name... But it should bge corrcted for the next version.--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 17:39, 20 August 2007 (CDT)
???? I know there were several books with the same title. The point is that at least two prior editions gave Elizabeth L. Post as the author; the books had many quotes from Emily's original work. Do you have a copy of the cover? Unless this was a reprint, or a special combined thingy--like that constructed video of Natalie Cole singing with her father--I don't care what Googlebooks said: Mrs Emily Post was deceased. Aleta Curry 17:49, 20 August 2007 (CDT)
Aleta: the date of publication has nothing to do with whether the author is alive or dead! This is a small problem, honestly.--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 18:04, 20 August 2007 (CDT)
I must've just gotten off the bus in The Twilight Zone. I'm questioning the authorship, Martin! I give up. Who *is* on first? Aleta Curry 18:50, 20 August 2007 (CDT)

Aleta, I have already told you that it is jointly authored. The fact that an author is dead has no relation to the date of publication. The book is an edited reprint of an earlier book by Emily Post, and is not correctly referenced on the page but it is a minor error which should be corrected in the next approved version. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 19:43, 20 August 2007 (CDT)

All I can say is that I have held a different notion as to what an "edited reprint" is. This still has no bearing on your having dismissed what I think is the more pressing issue; that the 1997 edition may not contain the cited material. Then again, it may. I don't know. Do you? Aleta Curry 17:40, 21 August 2007 (CDT)
I have no idea. Who put the material here?--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 22:35, 21 August 2007 (CDT)

User:Richard Jensen did. BTW, I have a book here by an author published 14 years after that author's death.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 02:46, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

Yes, otherwise why would we see things like "W. Shakespeare (1967): Much Ado about Nothing." ? The date of publication is determined by the publisher, whose decision is itself determined by copyright ownership agreements. In the case of edited reprints, it is a bit messy. I think this case has the daughter's name first, and the original author as second: so, our reference is technically not correct but is not so badly wrong as to worry about too much. I will ask Jensen about it. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 02:57, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
For G** sake, I never said that no one's work could ever be published posthumously. Aleta Curry 17:11, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
It's fixed, ready for the next approved version.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 18:48, 22 August 2007 (CDT)


I still object strongly to the wording of that sentence regarding complaints about Starkey. If there are "numerous complaints", there should also be numerous citations. If people with first hand knowledge are unwilling to put their names to their complaints, then why is CZ doing so, as if we had first hand knowledge? That is poor scholarship. Aleta Curry 17:41, 20 August 2007 (CDT)

Read the article cited. Count the number of former employees interviewed. "Numerous" is a fair term to describe the number. This story is not going to be the sort of story that national press picks up, because this is a specialized topic. It is covered only because the schol is in the region of the publication. It is the difference between making editorial decisions between material on Oprah Winfrey, who is known globally, and Starkey who is known only to those in a specialized industry and within a region apart from those in that industry. One cannot apply the Oprah standard to the Starkey article--this should go completely without saying, as well as that some former employees would wish to remain unnamed due to retaliation issues, which are a very, very real concern at times, having lived through such things myself as a whistle-blower. Besides, if one knows how the press outlet picks up on something and then the hundreds of others do, so it becomes more complex at evaluating "multiple articles", with multiplicity often meaning nothing but that others want to cash in. A Reuters article I was once interviewed for--the article, or info from it, was covered in HUNDREDS of major and many more minor outlets, but I was only interviewed once. The core question is: is the article about Starkey credible? Very clearly, it is. If it were not, Starkey herself would not even appear in it to try to respond to the criticisms! Not recognizing that evaluating a source hinges on a veritable complex of factors rather simplistic criteria of "did they all give their names?", period, and "did it get reported more than once", period, is where poor scholarship comes in. I'd expect that sort of thinking at WP ("must be the subject of multiple reports", yada yada), but here we can apply more sophisticated criteria. Moreover, NOT making brief mention of the criticisms, as if we were to say "we have knowledge better and on the contrary", is where irresponsibility would come in.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 02:15, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
Stephen, you've completely missed the point and gone off on tangents. It is not about whether or not we report what has been said, it is about stating that we know for a fact that what has been said is true. And I did, actually, read the article. Aleta Curry 17:15, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
What I have said goes to the heart of the matter. Look at it this way: The program has been criticized. Do you doubt this?  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 17:59, 22 August 2007 (CDT)
In a word, "no". Aleta Curry 00:50, 23 August 2007 (CDT)


Magnums Butlers May 2006.jpg

A courtesy request for photos for a gallery of modern butlers in action will go out in the next issue of Modern Butlers’ Journal, due out in 3 weeks.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 00:26, 23 August 2007 (CDT)

Well, that's jolly nice of them, I must say. Good thinking, 99! Aleta Curry 00:53, 23 August 2007 (CDT)
...and it is slated to contain a link to this article. 8-)  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 01:49, 23 August 2007 (CDT)
I have four images from Jospehine Ive. I've uploaded one so far.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 03:40, 10 September 2007 (CDT) Stephen Ewen 20:03, 18 October 2007 (CDT)

Butlering in India

What was the classical butler paid

There's no mention at all of what butlers in the good old days were paid. Surely they didn't work for free? Certainly something more than just room and board. But what could they spend their money on? They didn't apparently have much time off. Seems to me that in British novels there were occasional references to so-and-so the butler, who, upon retirement, bought a modest pub in the neighborhood and reigned there thereafter. In fact, the whole question of salaries in great houses, of, let's say the high Victorian era, ought to be the focus of an article. Here we've got a house with Mama and Papa and four kids and maybe *18* servants to take care of them. What on earth are they being paid? Hayford Peirce 18:55, 28 August 2007 (CDT)

Found and added info from the Victorian era. Stephen Ewen 04:19, 31 May 2008 (CDT)

External link

The Butler in Kubrick's The Shining

Might this line or something like it be added?

"One of the eeriest scenes in Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed film The Shining (1980) features the important character Delbert Grady, a butler working at a July 4, 1921 party at the Overlook Hotel."

I wouldn't, just because this strikes me as trivia; I don't actually remember this bit. Why not put this into the catalog? And I would change "scene" to "sequence" to satisfy the purists. Aleta Curry 18:58, 30 October 2007 (CDT)

Modern art


Version 1.1

This is ready for another approval nomination. Differences are a new section on famous butlers, a variety of new photos (I'll upload enough for a gallery after nomination--been collecting them for a time), a new intro, and a number of important tweaks. Stephen Ewen 02:20, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

Alright, I think I am done now. We all now know more about butlers than we ever thought there was to even know. :-)
If someone want to take a stab at improving the intro further, please do so. I seem to have a writer's block about it. Stephen Ewen 04:22, 31 May 2008 (CDT)

Can we add the photos to the gallery? It would be a shame to lose the one photo that is in the current approved article but is not in the new draft up for approval. Tom Kelly 21:45, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

In fact I think there are a couple or a few photos in the approved article that may be "lost" if the draft is approved. I think we should just copy all of the photos to the gallery. That is what the gallery is for, right? Tom Kelly 21:47, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

I'm actually not adequately satisfied that the person in the previous lede photo is a butler; I think he may be a valet. The only photo in the current approved version not in the current draft is just a book cover. Stephen Ewen 00:04, 2 June 2008 (CDT)

Ferry's Buttling Job Description

It's excellent. I'm placing it here for good keeping:

The Butler manages all affairs of a household and servicing of principals and guests, providing the service themselves and/or hiring & supervising outside contractors, vendors, housekeeping staff, chef, chauffeur, valet, or personal assistant or secretary, etc. He or she develops manuals, trains staff; makes purchases, and may handle the budget and bookkeeping; runs projects around the estate; and orchestrates social events under the direction of the principals. He or she is knowledgeable in etiquette, protocol, formal service, fine wines and household trappings and specializes in the reception and cosseting of guests, serving of refreshments and meals, maintaining fine silver and china, and valeting.

Stephen Ewen 23:59, 1 June 2008 (CDT)

Mark Stock section

I requested Mark Stock look at this version of the section that discusses his art and offer comment. His reply was "Beautiful Stephen!" Stephen Ewen 14:17, 2 June 2008 (CDT)

URL update prior approval

The URL for the new approved version needs updating prior approval. Stephen Ewen 23:47, 4 June 2008 (CDT)

Done. I changed in the text the verb "buttle"or its derivatives to "butler" as the latter is British English (the article's chosen variant). Hope you don't mind too much, Stephen. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 04:01, 5 June 2008 (CDT)
Fine! Stephen Ewen 06:49, 5 June 2008 (CDT)

APPROVED Version 1.1

Alright, an update! D. Matt Innis 20:03, 5 June 2008 (CDT)

Request: Gallery Subpage

I am requesting that a gallery subpage be made for this article. Tom Kelly 20:31, 5 June 2008 (CDT)

I'd love to fill it with lots of good photos; unfortunately, the perennial frustration is that the surname Butler makes it very difficult to search for photos of butlers - for example, this. Help requested! Stephen Ewen 22:24, 5 June 2008 (CDT)

Name of the country now known as the UK

I have reverted an edit which changed all instances of Britain to UK, as the UK did not exist in the 19th century. The formal name was Great Britain, Since there is also a reference to modern times, we have written "Britain" throughout, as a compromise name.Martin Baldwin-Edwards 13:43, 31 August 2008 (CDT)

The United Kingdom came into being in the 18th century. Your revert changed back every instance, despite the contexts being (per change) 1861, World War II and 2007. I am reverting the final two to the original edit. I'm sure we can discuss the first one. --Mal McKee 15:00, 31 August 2008 (CDT)

Interesting Stephen Ewen 05:16, 25 July 2010 (UTC)