Thursday, 17 March 2016

Week Eleven: Downton Abbey Connection

So we say farewell to Downton Abbey, after 6 seasons it is finally over.  I am not a huge TV watcher so I am not one that would ever go gaga over anything on the tele – but this was an exception.  I did enjoy it for a number of reasons.

The first and most compelling hook of all and almost assuredly never to be topped was in the very first episode the Army Generals were having a meeting and in walks William Robertson who by wars end is Field Marshall.  Our very own William Robertson that married Mildred Palin in India in 1894.  I never expected to see a character in a TV show that represented a family member and I probably never will again.

 To See William Robertson in the tree click here

The second reason that I found Downton Abbey enjoyable is I love the accent.  I don’t know why but there are many North Americans that just about melt in hearing the British accent.  Polished, classy, educated and downright seductive!

Okay enough of that, back on track.   I also found the show fairly accurate in following the times after the war and how life was changing day to day things.  How the motor car was changing things, the houses being rewired for lights (I loved when the Dowager made a crack about the lights) and how women could get a job and not have to marry or be a domestic servant.  And yes – I loved the clothes!!!!!!

I am also a huge fan of Maggie Smith and the writers gave her such wonderful lines – how could you not enjoy that!  Her little digs at people and yet she had a heart of gold. I think my most favorite of her lines was when she asked Matthew Crawley, “What’s a weekend?”  I have always been bothered by class separation but on this show I think the biggest snob was the Butler.  He was just trying so hard to be perfect and faultless and of course felt he must set the high standard for the staff.

Growing up in Canada was very different then our ancestors had it in England.  In watching period pieces, or reading historical novels it helps me to understand some of the things I come across in my research.

There have been a couple of times I have reached out to my “Palin Guru” asking for his opinion on matters that I have found that distressed me.  His answers have been sound and quite profound.  The bottom line was for me to remember that life was different back then.  Things/actions that were quite acceptable then may be distasteful today.  That does not mean that they were wrong, it means we have evolved.

And that’s what Downton Abbey was really all about: how a family deals with change.

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