The Last Footman
Macbain was born in Scotland but moved to Ireland in the 1960s with a bicycle, a suitcase and a tent. His subsequent careers have included butler, footman, farmer, a restorer of an ancient house that burnt down, possibly twice. This is a memoir of that first decade, more of less, spent above and below stairs in various crumbling, damp Anglo-Irish piles with a fine spectrum of crumbling, damp owners, as well as the odd jet-setter (Mick Jagger, inevitably, and Marianne Faithful, etc). He finds himself at Mount Melleray, Castletown Kildare, Castle Leslie; Macbain is hell-bent on getting into scrapes… One such delightful misadventure takes place in Dublin just before Christmas, when, warmed and fuddled by a few gins, and with a fine plucked goose under his arm, he liberates a dog from its plump owner in the Royal Hibernian hotel. Funny, scurrilous, with many bars and bookies. And no capital letters either.