Belgravia, or Servantgalism

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Belgravia, or Servantgalism is a variety sketch from the 19th century.

F.C.L. Bosman (1980) gives the title as Belgravia, or Servantgolism, but this is almost certainly a misspelling by his source.

The original text

The sketch most probably derives from the wonderful series of satirical sketches in Punch magazine in the 1850s, drawn by John Leech and others to illustrate a phenomenon they called "Servantgalism", referring to the "servant problem" and especially the phenomenon of servants "getting above themselves" and trying to act or dress like their masters.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1871: Performed (according to Bosman, 1980, as Belgravia, or Servantgolism) three times by the D'Arcy Read Company in the Mutual Hall, Cape Town (on 9, 16 and 23 October), with The Ring and the Keeper (Wooler) and "reminiscences of" Sheridan Knowles's The Cousins.


"The Servant Problem: Servantgalism" in the Servants' Stories Blogspot, Friday, 4 September 2015. [1]

John Leech Archive, John Leech Sketches: keyword "servants"[2]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p. 250

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