Timeline of Events in The Remains of the Day
1899 (Approx.) All within a short length of time: Stevens’ brother killed in South African War; Father has incident about car; Father must be butler to general. (40)
1914 Darlington in Great War (WWI), along with Herr Bremann
1920 (towards the end of the year) Darlington makes the first of a number of “disturbing” trips to Berlin.
1920’s (at the start of the twenties) Giffen’s Wax disappears, and leads to excessive silver polishing. Hayes Society exerts considerable influence throughout London and the Home Counties.
1920-40 (throughout the twenties and thirties) A strand of opinion (“misguided idealism”) suggested that a butler should be forever reappraising his employer’s motives and views.
1921(Approx.) Darlington voices dislike of treaty to Sir Richard Fox. Not long after, Herr Bremann shoots himself (73). Powerful and famous gentlemen visit Darlington, and he “sets upson his course.” “By the turn of 1922, his lorship was working with a clear goal in mind” (75).
1922 (spring) Miss Kenton arrives at Darlington Hall; Father comes one week later.
1923 (two weeks prior to conference attendees’ arrivals) Father falls, tripping on stone steps in yard (63). Two foreign ministers and Sir David Cardinal, of the “home team,” arrive early to “prepare the ground.” Guests arrive: Lewis, M. Dupont, and son on (71).
(last week of March) — The Conference begins. — That same day, Father becomes ill. Culminating dinner, with “toasts” by Dupont, Lewis, Darlington. At night, Father has stroke and dies 104-6).
1930s Jane Symons writes “The Wonders of England” travel guides.
1932 (’32 or ’33) The Hayes Society, which exerted considerable influence during the twenties, is forced to close. Sir David Cardinal, Darlington’s closest friend, tragically killed in riding accident (35). Receives seconmd-hand lounge suit as gift from Sir Edmund Blair.
(summer) Mrs. Barnet becomes a regular presence at Darlington Hall. Two housemaids are dismissed because of their Judaism (146-49). Pretty Lisa joins the staff (156).
1933(Approx.) Darlington severs all links with the “blackshirts”. More than one year after Jewish housemaids’ dismissal, Darlington decides the dismissal was wrong (151).
1935 (Approx.) Questioning session by Spencer and Darlington. Thrice denies ability to “assist in the matter.” Darlington apologizes the next morning.
(1935 or 1936) Relationship with Miss Kenton changes: romance novel encounter (167). She takes days off. Her aunt dies. (a few months after Miss Kenton’s aunt has died) Miss Kenton accepts marriage proposal. — The Conference — With Ribbentop, possibly Prime Minister of England, other high ranking officials. Young Mr Cardinal warns Stevens that Darlington is out of his depth, an amateur, and being used (221).
1936 Miss Kenton departs for Cornwall and marriage (11).
(1936-1937) Herr Ribbetop at height of glamor in England (136).
1938 Chamberlain cedes Czech territory to Hitler at Munich.
1940 (during World War II) Young Mr. Cardinal killed in Belgium.
1946? (after the war) Unsuccessful libel action brought by Darlington.
1949 The doctor comes to Moscombe as a committed socialist (220).
1953 Darlington dies. After transactions, Farraday spends four months in U.S. concluding matters.
1955 (1955 or 1956) Miss Kenton’s marriage apparently breaks down. She leaves Mr. Benn, for the third time.
1956 (a few months before prologue) Denies working for Darlington to Mrs. Wakefield, the friend of Farraday (122-23). (July) Prologue begins.
Prologue Farraday to spend five weeks between August and September visiting U.S.
Day One (evening) Salisbury: View of greatness as lack of obvious drama. Avoids hen in road. Stays in comfortable guest house.
Day Two (morning) Salisbury: Rises early; waits for landlady to cook breakfast.
Day Two (afternoon) Mortimer’s Pond, Dorset: Denies working for Darlington to chauffeur/mechanic (120). Visits pond. Lodges in Somerset, with “loud” landlord and wife.
Day Three (morning) Taunton, Somerset: Explores market town; has tea.
Day Three (evening) Moscombe, near Tavistock, Devon: Staying with Taylors because Ford has run out of petrol (164). Dinner with villagers, who believe he’s a gentleman. Admits Darlington’s life and work were, at best, a sad waste.
Day Four (afternoon) Little Compton, Cornwall: Doctor drives him with gas, exposes butlerhood. At homely Rose Garden hotel: Has tea with Mrs. Benn/Ms. Kenton. Waits with her for bus: questions her love for her husband; she tells of dreaming of once-possible life with Stevens (239).
Day Five (afternoon) Arrives in Weymouth.
Day Six (evening) Weymouth: On the pier: In the enjoyable evening, when the lights come on.