Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
1 June 2012
The reign of Queen Victoria – from 1837 to 1901 – saw the heyday of the English servant. In those much-missed halcyon days maids and lackeys were two a penny. Nobody had any difficulty finding domestic staff. Besides, the common people knew their place: a forelock was there for tugging. But things have gone downhill rapidly ever since. As everybody knows, it is increasingly difficult to find servants these days. Why, it appears that some unfortunates are reduced to cooking their own meals and even – good heavens! – doing their own cleaning. Fortunately, standards are still kept up in some parts of this sceptred isle. Take the Duke of Devonshire, for instance. He has a nice pad in Derbyshire. You might ask, why not Devonshire? But then that’s the way with England’s eccentric upper-class. They do things differently. So Derbyshire it is. The Duke’s “seat” – that is what you call a house if it is too big to see from one end of it to the other without binoculars – is called Chatsworth. Nor did the Duke buy his stately pile yesterday. Chatsworth has been home to the Duke’s family, the Cavendishes, since 1549. It has 126 rooms and is set in parkland of about 1000 acres. So you can see why His Grace needs to employ 700 servants. Who said England has gone to the dogs! Not in Derbyshire, it ain’t.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Das Vierte Reich/The Fourth Reich (6 Feb 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
5. What would Gandhi have said? (30 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.