Letters to the Editor Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, September 2019, Letters to the Editor

PostBoxLetters to the Editor

An Alex Parker just completed a series of emails/letters with the editor in order to write an article on the new lead character in the Batman movies—his butler!

“I’m working on a piece about the character of Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s butler, and I’m trying to obtain some background on how the professional role of butlers has changed. Do butlers like Alfred still exist?”

We will run this series of emails with the editor’s responses, and invite the readership to provide their own answers to the questions.

Not being a batman or any comic aficionado (“I will need to bone up on this Pennyworth chap, as, to be frank, I have not kept abreast of the character.”), Alex kindly offered the following guidance to the editor: “His Wikipedia page is very extensive.”

Thus prepared, the editor received the first of Alex’ questions: “I see Alfred as kind of the quintessential or stereotypical British butler—he’s always uniformed, polite, reserved, seems to work full-time to attend to every household need, lives on-premise, and is essentially a member of the family. Do butlers like this still exist in North America, or the world? If not, how has the role changed?”

The editor’s response: “Yes, butlers definitiely exist who are quintessential butlers—or in America, they are generally called Household or Estate Managers. The role requires that one have this attitude and approach, otherwise one cannot be of real service and also be accepted in the family as a resident alien (I just came up with that term, being one myself as a Green Card holder before I became an American citizen, but it has some applicability in the domestic environment!).”

Would you have replied with anything substantially different?

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.