Sunday Salon - Ensconced in Downton Abbey

This past week I was brought back into the world of Downton Abbey, not only because it was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic (yes I did watch my fair share of stuff on the Titanic last Sunday), but because two items I requested from the library became available to me (the second season of Downtown Abbey and the companion book The World of Downton Abbey) and also because my grandparents watch the show on a Canadian cable channel on Wednesday nights.  I also found out that my mom likes the show in addition to my sister who also watches (or rather downloads the show).

Anyways, safely to say, I am ensconced in the world of Downton Abbey.  But in someways I find this rather odd.  The reason I say that is because all branches of my family are of German-Dutch origin and either came to the States or Canada via Russia or Germany at some point (apparently some of my distant relations were involved in the Oklahoma Land Rush in the 1890s) and really had no notion of what the Edwardian world was like.  Sure I had family who worked in "English" homes during the Great Depression and World War II, but there is no known connection in my family to that world.  Which is strange because my mom's parents have this affinity to all things British (well, maybe not all things British) despite our German-Dutch background.  And I think that was imparted to me and my sister, as the two of us spent a lot of our growing up years with them, and therefore we sort of idealized that world, despite the fact that for the vast majority of Britons living during that period lived a very rough life.  Its not something I would want to be in, especially when you considered that the servants of places like Downton Abbey had it pretty good when it came to the working class.

Maybe its because my mom's grandparents grew up in an era in which the Royal Family was very much idealized and venerated, despite the abdication of Edward VIII to marry the woman he loved.  Or maybe it was because they both came families that immigrated to Canada for a better life.  But the historian in me realizes that TV really does over idealize that segment of history, sort of glossing over the nasty aspects of society, like Dickens likes to expose in a number of his works (I think A Tale of Two Cities is the only novel in which he doesn't look at the plight of the industrialized worker or at orphans in great detail, but I could be wrong).

But safe to say, I will be watching the third season to see what sort of witty things Lady Violet has to say (never knew that Maggie Smith could be so funny; I guess the HP movies didn't give her a lot of wit with Prof. McGongall, even though there are moments, like teaching Ron and the others to dance), especially with Cora's mom around (who knows what lines Shirely McClain is going to have).

No reviews this week, but I should have a few next week.  Toodles.


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