The Remains of the Day

The Remains of the Day Glossary


Many aristocrats in the novel carry attache cases, or briefcases.


August means marked by grandeur, majesty, or dignity.


A Baedeker is shorthand in British language for a travel guide.


Mr. Farraday wants Stevens to become better at 'bantering' or delivering witty comebacks, prompting Stevens to practice very hard at his bantering skills.


The blackshirts are a pro-German, pro-Nazi fascist organization to which Lord Darlington sympathizes, because many of his friends are members.


Chemist is the British term for pharmacist.


Conviviality is the act of feasting and indulging in good company.


Demonstrativeness refers to an open display of feelings.


The act of discernment is to carefully parse out the circumstances of a situation and to have the insight and ability to see all facets of it.


Disingenuous refers to a someone who gives a false impression of sincerity or simplicity.


Equanimity is the preservation of mind and equilibrium, particularly under stress.


Giffen's is the source of the finest silver polish in England, which Stevens uses in order to impress guests.

Hayes Society

The Hayes Society was a group in the 1920s that exerted considerable influence over much of London and the Home Counties and admitted butlers only of the 'very first rank.'

House of Commons

The House of Commons is one of the houses of Parliament in England to which the British Aristocracy had much control over until 1911.


'Man-servant' is the term that many British aristocrats use to describe a butler.


A person who is presumptuous assumes too much, and as a result, oversteps the boundaries of courtesy.


Proximity refers to geographical closeness between locations.

staff plan

In a country house like Darlington Hall, the smooth running of the house depends on a staff plan, or a hierarchical ordering of employment positions, allowing for each individual employee to know his or her responsibilities.

The Wonder of England

Jane Seymons' book is a photographic tribute to England's landscape which Stevens uses as a guide in planning his journey to meet Miss Kenton.

Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles ended World War I in 1919 and imposed harsh penalties on Germany for causing the war. Lord Darlington is pro-Germany and holds a convention in 1923 in order to convince the Allies to ease these penalties.