Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Oh my goodness, Gentle Readers, have you been watching Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Classic? If you haven't, then turn it on. Lady Mary's (Michelle Dockery) virtue has been questioned. It is the subject of much discussion in London, or so her mother, Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) has heard.

We have here a combination of soap opera, historical social commentary, Upstairs, Downstairs, and Gosford Park, all rolled into a delicious PBS package.

You see, Lord Grantham's heir went down with the Titanic. His estate -- once saved by his wealthy American wife's money -- is entailed, so it's going to a distant cousin everyone has to get to know. Doesn't matter that Lady Cora brought the money into the family -- it's not hers anymore. His Lordship's mummy can't stand the new heir's mummy; the eldest of the three daughters, Lady Mary, planned on marrying the heir who died so the estate would stay in the family and now what is she to do; and there's a marvelous rivalry with one of her younger sisters, who wants to capture the new heir for herself.

And none of that even touches on the machinations of the servants -- Carson, the butler; Lord Grantham's new valet who served with him during the war and as a result has a limp and some of the other servants have been out to get him; a lady's maid who has learned to type on a newfangled typewriter and wants to get a job as a secretary; and there's an evil footman, Thomas, who has already tried to blackmail a duke with whom he once had an affair. I don't think Upstairs, Downstairs could ever boast of such a weasely, evil footman.

I especially like Elizabeth McGovern. I haven't seen her in forever and she's still gorgeous and perfect as Lady Cora, the sweet, gentle mother who is trying to guide her daughters in a changing world, where women just might win the right to vote. And Maggie Smith is a hoot as the Dowager Countess, simpering as she barely tolerates the new heir and his mum.

If you haven't been watching, you can order Downton Abbey from Amazon or watch online at PBS. Or your local PBS station might still be showing the series. Amazon says their version has seven parts instead of only four. I haven't watched Part Four yet and I can't wait to see what's going to happen with the new heir and Lady Mary. I am addicted, so I just might have to order the longer series from Amazon so I can see what else they have to offer.

Onward Sister Sufragettes!

Infinities of love,


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