the valet of any new made lord

Category: Class | Type: Historical | Title: Persuasion (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Ch: Chapter 1

The social standing of servants corresponded to that of their employers. The valet of a lord would occupy a higher place than a baronet's valet (there's much about "precedence" in this novel). Behind Sir Walter's back, Austen draws the ignominious comparison not between him and a lord but between him and a valet (how outraged he'd be if he knew). Such a valet would tyrannize over his social inferiors while toadying before his superiors. 

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