Found in 3 comments
vinceguidry · 2018-07-30 · Original thread
On the sliding scale of law regimes that try to regulate human labor, going from a universal declaration of labor rights all the way down to chattel slavery, this is rather progressive for that part of the world.

Naturally no one in European or Anglophone countries would countenance such a thing, but in Asia this can provide women with a means of self-determination that they didn't have before.

I remember reading a book about Britain's service class from the Edwardian era until the end of that culture after WW2. Service class culture replaced something far far worse. And the ugly labor regimes that replaced those were better than the service class. If you had an issue with the way one particular factory treated you, well, there was another one right down the road. If you had an issue with the way your masters treated you, your options for finding better employment were far more restricted. This dynamic caused women to leave the service industry in droves to go work in factories.

The classist society in Britain had been fighting a rearguard action to maintain the service legal regime for decades, until WW2 thoroughly annihilated any chance of it ever coming back.

Nowadays any time I hear about some crazy contract law, I immediately think about what human agency is being liberated here.

Amazon link for the interested: https://www.amazon.com/Servants-Downstairs-History-Britain-N...

vinceguidry · 2018-03-27 · Original thread
Looking that book up reminded me of an easy-to-read history with a strong focus on women, taking us from the 19th century to after WW2.

https://www.amazon.com/Servants-Downstairs-History-Britain-N...

vinceguidry · 2015-12-30 · Original thread
My favorite butler book is not a part of the genre, but rather a biographical account of a real butler who lived in America and served James Madison.

http://www.amazon.com/Slave-White-House-Jennings-Madisons/dp...

Another excellent historical account of the servant class, this time in England, is this gem:

http://www.amazon.com/Servants-Downstairs-History-Britain-Ni...

I have not actually read any of the butler novels that I mentioned but the one I hear mentioned every time this topic comes up is The Inimitable Jeeves:

http://www.amazon.com/Inimitable-Jeeves-Wooster-Book-ebook/d...

Articles crop up from time to time about modern butlery, which is enjoying a renaissance as Chinese billionaires search for ever more gaudy ways to spend their vast fortunes, like this recent GQ piece:

http://www.gq.com/story/rich-billionaires-butlers-servants

View this Book on Amazon