The best books about servants (fake and otherwise)

A.E. Walnofer Author Of A Girl Called Foote (The Whitehall Romances)
By A.E. Walnofer

Who am I?

None of us had any choice about where or when we were born, nor under what circumstances. Marie Antoinette could have just as easily been born the illegitimate daughter of a scullery maid as the archduchess of Austria that she was. That’s why the whole servant-employer dynamic has always intrigued me. Servants are, in fact, real people, always have been. Though they’re often treated as little more than sticks of furniture, servants have been overhearing, observing, revealing, and plotting a lot of fascinating things throughout all time.

I wrote...

A Girl Called Foote (The Whitehall Romances)

By A.E. Walnofer,

Book cover of A Girl Called Foote (The Whitehall Romances)

What is my book about?

Young Jonathan Clyde causes mischief for everyone at Whitehall, the stately home of his privileged ancestors. As he matures, he comes to despise the vanity and conceit surrounding him. Misfortune requires Lydia Smythe, an exceptionally clever farmer’s daughter, to seek employment at Whitehall. As a parlor maid, she feels stifled and harried by those over her. Still, she refuses to relinquish her independent mind and spirit. From the moment Jonathan catches Lydia reading the books she is supposed to be dusting, he is intrigued by this unusual servant.

Thus begins a clandestine relationship that is simultaneously amusing, confusing, and enlightening. Just as it is evolving into something neither of them expected, an unforeseen truth comes to light, and the two wonder if their unconventional bond will be forever lost. 

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë,

Book cover of Jane Eyre

Why this book?

Jane Eyre is the story of a young, disadvantaged woman who is trying to survive in a cold, bleak world. She takes a job as a governess and goes to live amongst strangers. Giftedly clever, she is able to blend in when she needs to and shine when she is allowed to. I love this book because the heroine is so relatable – she has so much to offer people who see the good in others and delights us with her wit and charm when villains set their sights on her. Her ultimate victory in life is one we can all celebrate with her.

These Old Shades

By Georgette Heyer,

Book cover of These Old Shades

Why this book?

Who doesn’t love a good “nobility-in-disguise” story? They are especially pleasing when a big dose of romance and justice for a mistreated young woman are thrown in. Due to its lovable characters and fun plot twists, These Old Shades is arguably the novel that propelled Georgette Heyer to fame as a premiere Regency Romance author.


By Jo Baker,

Book cover of Longbourn

Why this book?

This book turns Pride and Prejudice on its head, but in a good way. Of course, we all love reading about the trials and triumphs of Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters, but there’s a lot more going on inside their home than what the gentleman’s daughters are aware of. Servants are the cogs in the well-oiled machine of Longbourn and they experience just as much joy and heartache as any pampered miss. To be clear, this isn’t a lighthearted story, but it is a very good one.

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

By Julie Klassen,

Book cover of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

Why this book?

Wellborn Margaret Macy is not used to hard work, so when she falls on hard times and disguises herself as a maid in a gentleman’s palatial home, she’s going to have difficulties. However, it’s not just a matter of getting the silver shiny as she also has to remain undetected by her employer…who tried to court her not so very long ago.

A Proper Charade

By Esther Hatch,

Book cover of A Proper Charade

Why this book?

A Proper Charade tells the tale of Lady Patience Kendrick who is determined to prove herself as something much more than a spoiled young woman. Disguising herself as a maid and plunging herself into the arduous work maids perform, she begins to doubt herself as it’s all much harder than she expected! I appreciate that Patience learns that determination and capability are two different things as it shows how human she is. It effectively ‘unspoils’ her which is a different way of looking at her original goal.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in romantic love, mental disorders, and social class?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about romantic love, mental disorders, and social class.

Romantic Love Explore 417 books about romantic love
Mental Disorders Explore 99 books about mental disorders
Social Class Explore 51 books about social class

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Winter King, Hero of Rome, and The Wall if you like this list.