A Footman for the Peacock by Rachel FergusonA Footman for the Peacock by Rachel Ferguson

A Footman for the Peacock

byRachel Ferguson

Paperback | October 3, 2016

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The peacock displayed himself and paraded the lawn, sometimes pausing to look up at the sky.

Waiting? Listening? Guiding. No. Signalling.

Controversial when first published in the early days of World War II, due to its treatment of a loathsome upper-crust family dodging wartime responsibility, A Footman for the Peacock can now be enjoyed as a scathing satire of class abuses, a comic masterpiece falling somewhere between Barbara Pym and Monty Python.

Sir Edmund and Lady Evelyn Roundelay live surrounded by a menagerie of relations and retainers. The Roundelays’ history of callous cruelty is literally etched on a window of the servants’ quarters with the words “Heryn I dye, Thomas Picocke. 1792”. Sir Edmund reflects cheerfully on the running footmen who have ‘died off like flies’ in the family’s service.

But now—amidst digressions on everything from family history and servant woes to the villagers’ linguistic peculiarities and a song immortalizing the footman’s plight—war threatens the Roundelays’ smug superiority. What’s more, it appears that the estate’s peacock is a reincarnation of Thomas Picocke, and may be aiding the Nazi cause … By turns giddy and incisive, hilarious and heartbreaking, A Footman for the Peacock is Rachel Ferguson at her very best. This new edition features an introduction by Elizabeth Crawford.

‘The Roundelays are people to live with and laugh at and love’ Punch

Rachel Ethelreda Ferguson (1892-1957) was born in Hampton Wick, the youngest of three children. She was educated at home and then sent to a finishing school in Florence, Italy. By the age of 16 she was a fierce campaigner for women's rights and considered herself a suffragette. She went on to become a leading member of the Women's Soc...
Title:A Footman for the PeacockFormat:PaperbackDimensions:220 pages, 7.81 × 5.06 × 0.46 inPublished:October 3, 2016Publisher:Dean Street PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1911413716

ISBN - 13:9781911413714