Things I’ve Learned From Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey has stolen my heart.

I’ve used the past week to watch the entire series thus far available: from episode the first to the most gratifying Christmas Special. It amazes me that it’s not based on a book–isn’t everything a book first?!–and that’s a frightening aspect because I can’t cheat by looking up spoilers to make sure everything turns out the way I believe it should. It’s also very impressive and I applaud the writer, Julian Fellowes, with great zeal. He better not upset me in the third season, or I’ll retract my applause. Worse than that, I may turn Lannister on him. And I assure you, no one wants an angry Lannister on their hands.

Watching hours upon hours of this drama has taught me some things. In my ever benevolent way I will share them with you. Although you should know, there may be some spoilers. I can’t promise there won’t be. Perhaps not outright “this is what happens!!” kind of spoilers, but if you’re far enough in the series you’ll be able to piece things together that might ruin a surprise or two. So with that in mind, continue at your own peril.

20 Things I’ve Learned From Downton Abbey

1. A period romance is a series in which the two most likable characters do everything in their power to upset your plans for their marriage.*

2. A footman and a valet are not the same thing.

3. Emmy Rossum has a rival for “fairest of them all” status.

4. I want I need It is vital to my existence that I procure a maid to bring me hot chocolate and tea on demand.

5. “Pub” is short for public house.

6. History in fashion, customs, and social structure could have stopped at 1890 and I would have been happy.**

7. The Dowager Countess should have lines in every scene.

8. I can cry upwards of five times in any given episode.

9. I appreciate class distinction more than I thought.

10. Blondes are a nuisance.***

11. Don’t love a man who’s in love with someone else or God will kill you with the Spanish flu.

12. Never hire an Irishman.****

13. No one says “darling” like the British gentry.

14. I would do almost anything to have an Englishman call me darling.

15. Taste your ingredients before you bake your cake.

16. Don’t date a newspaper man.

17. No one wants to kiss a girl in black.

18. The episodes are like Pringles; the more you taste, the more you must have, and just one is never enough.

19. I must have Mary’s closet.

20. If you’re not invested in the Matthew/Mary love arch by the end of Episode I, you don’t deserve to be watching it at all. In fact, spare yourself a lot of cruel comments and cold shoulders from fans like myself and watch Dr. Who instead. Because we are a fierce bunch who are prepared to take our case to parliament should our dreams of their eternal togetherness be dashed like a dish out of Daisy’s hands. We have pitchforks and a vague understanding of how to use them. You have been warned.


*By ‘most likable’ I do mean the two most likable single people of the opposite sex. If I meant it literally, I’d be implying a union between Maggie Smith’s character and Isis, the family dog.

**Not medical advancements. Those can continue, thanks very much.

***I speak merely in terms of this series. …Or do I?!?

****It didn’t do Mr. Thornton any good and it didn’t do Lord Grantham any good.



7 thoughts on “Things I’ve Learned From Downton Abbey

    1. You really do. When I started it I thought, “Oh, this is going to be one of those depressing period dramas where I lose interest halfway through the first season.”

      I was so very wrong. It’s beautiful.

      And now we’ve put Highclere Castle (the site for Downton) as a stopping point on our England tour in May!! :D It’s that good!

      And yes, Dame Maggie Smith is enough incentive right there. ;)

    1. I have to stress the importance of getting through the first episode(s?). Part of me doubted whether I’d continue or not at the start, but soon enough I was hooked!

      I was hoping not to offend any Irishmen! My best friend is determined to marry one so I’d better be careful. :P Maybe I should say, “Use caution when hiring an Irishman.” It never seems to turn out well in those British dramas.

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