No more Downton Abbey.
When Downton began in 2011, I hadn’t figured how to write about my family – or if to write. But then, during Lady Baby’s first January, the Crawleys and their staff gave me ideas.
Looking back at that first Downtown Abbey post, I remember the old days of Barrow and the evil housemaid – how things have changed! But Lord Grantham’s words about living “our lives around our children” still ring true.
I also see the comments on that first post, and I’m grateful to readers who have followed Downtown Abbey stories all these years – the exploits of Lady Baby, the Sweet Friend becoming the Sweet Bride, and the birth of Sweet Baby! Through the years the Lords Cromwell and Wolsey thrived. Sadly, Lady Megan died, but Lady Winifred, a lovable, scruffy character from bush Alaska joined the family. It seemed appropriate when Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes married on the show, because our Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes had always been.
Old Downton scenes come to mind – the Turkish diplomat’s body being carried out, Sybil’s saddest of deaths, and Matthew’s – a shock ending for that season. Days being planned at civilized breakfasts. The interventions of Aunt Rosamund and the thought of “going down to London.” Scenes replete with always-polite formality – a respite from so much on offer.
Downton chronicled eventful years – small changes like toasters and record players – and momentous ones like war, and voting and careers for women. Occasionally the plot threads irritated – Bates and Anna and the police with so many frowny faces, but most satisfied even if improbably (Matthew’s condition being just a bruise!).
No one was ever more pompous than Carson – except sometimes Lord Grantham. Oh, but remember when he kissed the maid! (I have a photo of our Mrs. Hughes taken at the moment when that happened – tiny Lady Baby in her arms, disbelief on her face.)
And I will miss Lady Grantham’s zingers, and her prickly friendship with Mrs. Crawley. I used to love the encounters of her maid Danker and the butler Spratt – those faces! How clever to make Spratt an advice columnist at Edith’s magazine.
And the clothes, flapper dresses and wedding gowns – and the house itself – luscious red sofas in the library, livery, china, and linens. In all six seasons I never wanted to speed through the opening credits.
Once I read an interview where the creator Julian Fellowes said that some people just have bad luck – like Edith. So how perfect he changed his mind – or did he always know? Fellows gave us so much material to laugh about and discuss together.
Thank you Julian Fellowes, cast and crew for years and years of pleasure, you’ll be so missed!