Roberts' Guide for Butlers & Household St - Robert Roberts

I picked up this book as research for a presentation I'll be doing later this year. Written by the author of Robert's Rules of Order, this is basically a "how-to" manual for the below-stairs operations of a household in the early 19th Century.

It's written as though the author is speaking to two young men, Jonathan and David, who are entering service. Some of it is as dry as ditch water, as I'm sure you can imagine, but some of it is downright entertaining (in particular, the section on using anthracite coal). The recipes for various items, such as fireplace grate cleaner that uses lead and quicksilver (mercury), demonstrate that service was not only hard work but also dangerous.

It's not a book for fun reading, in my opinion, but it is one that authors of historical fiction might do well to include in their research.