All about Downton.

I don’t know if you’ve discovered Downton Abbey, but if you haven’t and you enjoy period dramas you’re really missing something special.

Where to start?

Downton Abbey takes place in Highclere Castle which is the fictional home of Downton.  The home is presided over by the Earl and Countess of Grantham, Robert and Cora Crawley, and their three daughters Mary, Edith and Sybil.

Downton also requires the extensive assistance of a full staff presided over by Carson the butler and Mrs. Hughes the housekeeper.  The series starts with the sinking of the Titanic and follows the family up through World War I and season 2 ends as the family is ringing in the New Year, 1920.

The cast is star-studded, with amazing performances by Hugh Bonneville as the Earl and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley.  But perhaps the one who steals the show every time is the Dowager Countess, the Earl’s mother, played by Maggie Smith.

The costumes are immaculate, the castle grand. The plot is somewhat contrived (I believe my husband was shocked that I was watching a “British soap opera”) but the intermingling of the nobility and those that serve them is endearing and I can’t wait to watch each time.

There are the love stories: Mary and Matthew, Anna and Mr. Bates.

There are the tragedies: those lost in the War including William one of the footmen, one aristocratic young lady to the Spanish Flu.

There are villains:

I just don’t even have the word to describe how entranced I am by this series. I am only disappointed that I have to wait until the fall for more new episodes!


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