Life Below Stairs, Part 9 – The Valet

Another great post!

Every Woman Dreams...

62822851_servants-poster_large_graphic The Servant Hierarchy | countryhousereader.wordpress. com

Footmen as we learned the last time often thought to join the upper servants in the role of valet or butler. (We saw the character of Thomas Barrow work in all three positions in Downton Abbey.) Today we have a closer look at the role of the valet in an aristocratic home. 

The valet is sometimes referred to as the “gentleman’s gentleman.” Often, in finer homes he was of foreign extraction. In the manner of keeping a “French cook,” many British gentleman sought the skills of a foreign valet. There were certain servants, such as the governess, the valet, etc., who did not quite fit into the categories of upper servants and lower servants. Through his connection to the master of the house the valet was often among others of Society at sporting events, social engagements, etc. This placed the valet in a…

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Do You Know These Words and Phrases?

Thought this was fascinating!

Every Woman Dreams...

Dead as a Doornail. The “doornail” is the plate or knocker upon which the hammer of a door knocker strikes.Phrases.orggives us this explanation on the origin of the phrase. In 1350,  William Langland used the phrase in a translation of the French poem Guillaume de Palerne: “For but ich haue bote of mi bale I am ded as dorenayl.” 

Langland also used the expression in the much more famous poem The Vision of William Concerning Piers Plowman, circa 1362: Fey withouten fait is febelore þen nouȝt, And ded as a dore-nayl. [Faith without works is feebler than nothing, and dead as a doornail.]

The expression was in widespread colloquial use in England by the 16th century, when Shakespeare gave these lines to the rebel leader Jack Cade in King Henry VI, Part 2, 1592: Look on me well: I have eat no meat these five days…

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Rakes And Rascals

(Dashing Widows, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

All rakes are the same! Except when they’re not…

Spirited Helena, Countess of Crewe, knows all about profligate rakes; she was married to one for nine years and still bears the scars. Now this Dashing Widow plans a life of glorious freedom where she does just what she wishes – and nobody will ever hurt her again. So what is she to do when that handsome scoundrel Lord West sets out to make her his wife? Say no, of course. Which is fine, until West focuses all his sensual skills on changing her mind. And West’s sensual skills are renowned far and wide as utterly irresistible…

Passionate persuasion!

Vernon Grange, Lord West, has long been estranged from his headstrong first love, Helena Nash, but he’s always regretted that he didn’t step in to prevent her disastrous marriage. Now Helena is free…

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Interesting interview!

Rakes And Rascals

I’m delighted to welcome USA Today Bestselling Author BRONWEN EVANS to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Hi Carol and dear readers – waving from a cold winters day in New Zealand. I’m thrilled to be invited onto this blog. I love following Carol’s posts and photo’s, she finds some amazing and interesting things to share. I’m busy writing a standalone book, or it could be the beginning of a new series…I shall wait and see, so I’ve been slightly brief in my answers but I’m happy to chat more if anyone wants to know anything in more detail.



Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Hello Dear Readers
I was born in New Zealand, I have a twin sister who is 20 minutes younger than me, and I’m the eldest of 5 girls. At the…

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This sound great!

Rakes And Rascals


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Wonderful book!

Rakes And Rascals

(Jewels of the Ton, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Her Mysterious Past is the Best Revenge…
Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

Only He Can Offer Her a Dazzling Future…
Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London.

He knows he’s putting his life on the line…
To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what makes her his heart’s desire.


The second book in Shana Galen’s Jewels of the Ton series is a fast-paced and entertaining blend of intrigue, action and…

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A Brief History of The Reformation 1485 – 1580

As always, so interesting!

Every Woman Dreams...

When Henry VII came to the throne, the York-Lancaster conflict knew an end. Henry earned a monopoly over all gun-powder, which had become the new weapon of warfare. As a result, the power of the monarchy was immeasurably solidified. With the aid of the Court of Star Chamber, Henry held that power. 

HenryVIII_1509 Henry VIII (1509) 18 years of age ~ https://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Henry_VIII_of_ England

In 1509, Henry VIII became King, and shortly afterward Thomas Wolsey became his minister. Wolsey carried out the principles of absolutism, and established a peace with France, But Henry was not as eager for an amicable French relationship as was Wolsey, and sent a fleet to ravage the French coast. Wolsey attempted to redirect Henry’s animosity toward Spain, but with little success. 

At length, when Wolsey opposed the monarch’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, Wolsey was banished. Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell now became Henry’s chief advisers. Cromwell…

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Review and Giveaway: ONE PINK ROSE by Julie Garwood

Booktalk with Eileen: Journaling a Journey -- Learning the Art of Crafting a Novel

Great news! The Clayborne Brides Series, delightful stories of the wild west, will be released this summer as ebooks.  I’ve just finished reading One Pink Rose and loved it!

More news!  If you comment on this post or on the post where I introduce all three of her books sharing why you enjoy books of this genre or author Julie Garwood, you’ll have the chance to win her prequel of the series, For the Roses, hardcopy!

OnePinkRose.CoverTitle: One Pink Rose, The Clayborne Brides, book 1
Author: Julie Garwood
Western, Historical Romance
Story Setting:
Montana, 1880
Sold by:
Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Published Date: May 9, 2016

The Clayborne Brides Series ecopy purchase:
One Pink Rose
One White Rose
One Red Rose

About the Story: #1 New York Times bestselling queen of romance Julie Garwood “knows how to reach out and touch readers’ hearts” with…

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