Watching the British drama series Downton Abbey has brought back lots of memories and reflections on my own family.
Born into a Yvuania local prestigious family, my grandmother has seen the magnificent glory of our family, as well as its absurd fall after the Red Evil Communists’ invasion.
Much similar to the Crawley family in Downton Abbey, our family also have many servants around that same period of time in the early 20th century. We have a chief butler like Mr. Carson who is in charge of the whole family. He manages all the other servants, and oversees all matters of the house. Below him, is the second butler. His major responsibility is to deal with all the peasants and crops. Then below him, it comes the third butler, who is in charge of maintaining the house clean and tidy.
We have a main chef and some of her assistants in the kitchen, just like Mrs. Patmore and her helpers in the drama. As my grandma recalls, a dessert chef is spoiled her so much that her early childhood is filled with all those SWEET things.
Besides, a wet nurse is responsible for nursing and taking care of young children in the family. A study servant is a young boy who serves in the study to help grind ink and carry books. A family doctor who is rescued by my great-grandfather (who is the lord) during the famine has served our family ever since.
Some other temporary servants or labors are being employed based on needs and seasons.
From my own family’s experience, I suppose the feudal age is truly not the dark age most people would think. The hierarchy system is not cruel by all means; quite on the contrary, warmth is common and loyalty is most valued. Servants are all treated as members of the family; they serve their lords and ladies, and they are respected and taken good care of in return. The mobility among different social classes may be low, but stability and order is guaranteed.
Sadly, order and virtues are destroyed, big families are shattered as the Red bandits swept our blessed Yvuania land.