Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Wait For Me! --Servants in Love

A continuing series of Neels-ian excerpts from the autobiography ("Wait for Me!") of Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire:

In most such households her position would have been held by a man, a butler, but because of my mother's bad experiences with drunken men in her father's pantry, she preferred a woman. After twelve years with us Mabel accepted a proposal of marriage from Mr. Woolven, a regular visitor who was in charge of preparing the inventory of whichever of our houses was, for reasons of economy, being let. He was probably the only eligible man Mabel ever met. When she told my father the glad news he was furious. "I would never have engaged you if I'd known you would leave at once," he stormed. Yet they remained friends and Mabel always came back in an emergency. I thought her home address the most romantic imaginable: Mabel Windsor, Peacock Cottage, Queen Camel.