Part memoir, part how-to, A Butler's Life -- the account of Christopher Allen's real-life duties Behind The Silver Salver-- offers a contemporary peek into this fascinating, yet demanding profession.
Those for whom the mental picture of a British butler is the impeccable Jeeves or Remains of the Day's prim Mr. Stevens will find Christopher Allen a surprise and a delight. The engaging Englishman, while no less a paragon of service than his literary peers, is charmingly human in his ongoing endeavor to master a profession whose most perfect representative is invisible.
And, for those whose homes might not be staffed with live-in servants but who would enjoy benefiting from their expertise, nearly two dozen sidebars reveal tips of the trade--everything from hints for seamless entertaining to advice on household management.
Far from a relic of a past era, Christopher Allen demonstrates that being a butler -- in villas on the Cote d'Azur and in California, on luxury yachts in England and estates in the Hamptons -- is still a very viable, rewarding way to make a living in the twenty-first century.