Monday, February 4, 2013

Aunt Hazel and Downton Abbey Recap

My great-great-great-great-aunt Hazel
(Okay. She was just my great aunt.)

This photo could have been taken for Hazel's 1916 graduation from high school or a later graduation from normal school or business school or maybe simply because she got a new hat. Nah, that's doubtful.  But, it could have been an engagement photo. The story goes that she was engaged to a man named Arthur, but my great grandmother guilted her into breaking the engagement and staying home to take care of her. And she did...for years and years.

Now that all my great aunts are gone, I can tell you that Aunt Hazel was my favorite. She was fun and witty, and never fussy about her house. She never made a kid feel uncomfortable. I loved her.

I figured that Aunt Hazel, with the photo taken in the late teens or early 20's, (1920's, that is), would make a perfect segue to...

Right! (You are just too clever!)

Sunday night's episode of Downton Abbey!!

Okay, you know I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this episode...or the previous episode...or any episode at all. Is there anyone who doesn't like Lord Grantham? Is there anyone whose heart doesn't break for Cora? Is there anyone who wonders if Edith is ever going to be happy? Is there anyone who is sick of Bates?

And is there anyone who is starting to wonder if Mary has any heart at all??  (And she was always my favorite!)

Wasn't that last scene just heartwrenching!

Is Mrs. Patmore losing weight?

***

Anti-Abbey Snobbery

Have you noticed that there seems to be a group of people out there who feel intellectually superior for not having watched Downton Abbey? I was made aware of this by an online article I read somewhere recently, in which the author had a sort of contempt for Downton Abbey, contrasting it with Brideshead Revisited and other works. In my most recent issue of BBC History Magazine, Paula Byrne writes, 'Having finally finished the proofs of my Jane Austen biography, this month I'm setting to work on  the history of the country house in the English novel...Downton Abbey will not feature!'

Really? Does anyone care? Did anyone ever say that Downton Abbey was the great British novel? I think people like it because we love the character development, the costuming, the house itself, the clever, witty writing of Julian Fellowes, the superb acting of Maggie Smith, the great villains in Thomas and O'Brien, etc. 

So Downton naysayers, back off. Let us enjoy Downton Abbey and go pick on someone else. Besides, I remember in the 1970s, when some literature groups were claiming that A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh wasn't good children's literature. Yeah? Well, let's ask the children about that, shall we?

***


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This post may be linked to some of the following: Mop it Up Monday  and  Cure for the Common Monday and Mealtime Monday and Clever Chicks Blog Hop and Mosaic Monday  and Barn Charm and  The Marketplace  and On the Menu Monday and  Mix it up Monday and Make it Pretty Monday and   What's in the Gunny Sack and  Making the World Cuter Mondays and Make the Scene Monday and  Something I Whipped Up Monday and  Motivate Me Monday and  Making Monday Marvelous and Get Your Craft On and   You're Gonna Love it Tuesday and Take a Look Tuesday and  Tasty Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday and Love Bakes Good Cakes and  Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays  and Overflowing With Creativity and Mom on TimeOut  and Adorned from Above and Cast Party Wednesday and  We Did it Wednesday  and It's a Party at Creative Princess and Artsy Corner Thursday  and The Self-sufficient Home Acre and  I'm Lovin' it Thursday and  Mandatory Mooch   and Foodie Friends Friday and  Serenity Saturday and Get Schooled Saturday  and Inspiration Friday(ThursNite) and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Photo Friday and  A Favorite Thing Saturday and Sunny Simple Sunday and  Saturday Nite Special

33 comments:

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

i wonder where the downton abbey is headed? Edith has always been my favorite of the daughters. glad to see that Bates is getting out of jail - finally. have a great week. ( :

Suzan Sweatman said...

I don't know why - but I don't like Bates! Lord Grantham is just a pompous fool - but he IS a product of his world so I can sort of let it go by....and Judy you won't believe this
I fell asleep halfway through it last night LOL - I wait all week for it!!!
Love the picture of your Aunt!
XOX

Debbie Jones said...

I am surely enjoying Downton Abbey. Watching it is one of my favorite hours of the week. I have the first two seasons on DVD and plan to get the third soon. Last night, I loved it when none of the "girls" would leave the Dowagers luncheon when Lord Gratham came and insisted that they do so. I loved the Dowager's response about not wanting to "miss out on a good pudding." Classic!

Terri D. said...

Ours was a rerun of last week (I guess because of the Super Bowl?). Now I am curious!

I don't care about those who don't watch. Joe and I both love it, and that's all that matters.

I'm anxious to see how Matthew grabs the reins and takes over management of the Abbey. Lord Grantham is obviously oblivious...

We just started watching Call The Midwife, and are hooked on it after only two episodes!! Have you seen it? Check it out, if not. It is so well done, and based on true happenings.

Sandra said...

I love that photo and the hat. i had a great aunt Hazel to. I had 5 aunts on my daddy's side of the family. 2 of them I love like my own mother, when i was in their house it was my house to... the other 3 aunts i tried to stay far away from them. one of the 3 was plain mean.
As for what we watch on TV, i watch what i like as doe we all, and there are a lot of bloggers that would not like what i watch. that is just we all have different taste and I beleive we should not say anything about what others watch.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I'm with you. I could care less what anyone says about DA. I love it, and so does my husband. I have studied history more extensively and probably read more widely than many of its critics, and I think that they are just major buzz-kills. There is always some pompous naysayer that belittles everyone else's fun (read, they are jealous that someone is making more money or is more successful than they are, boring dullards that they are!), and I pay them little mind.

That being said, we both chuckled as O'Brien set Thomas up for the kill. And Lord Grantham is getting on my last nerve. He is so sanctimonious that I can barely stand him these days. I was proud of the women for standing their ground at the luncheon that Mrs. Crawley hosted. Ethel has had ENOUGH bad mouthing for a lifetime. I have to admit chuckling at the discussion at the servants' table about Mary Magdalene and Jesus. Do those men really think that Jesus didn't eat with her? That He only let her wash His feet? Please! I guess they know the Prayer Book better than the Bible if they think that. ;-) I love it that the men in this case are the ones being so judgmental. An interesting twist. In America, it was often the women being judgmental (think the Peggy Eaton Affair where Mrs. John C. Calhoun refused to accept Peggy Eaton's invitations as did the other cabinet officials' wives), or the newspapers when they had a candidate they didn't like and decided to castigate the candidate or the candidate's family member, e.g., Andrew Jackson's poor wife, Rachel. They actually killed her with their viscious tongues prior to his innaguration. He went to Washington in deep mourning. To that end, Carson is starting to really irk me regarding Ethel. I want Mrs. Huges or Mrs. Patmore to slug him. LOL Or I want Carson to fall for Ethel. Right. When hades freezes over, but still a fun thought. ;-) And what is it with Lady Mary? Can she not talk without sounding like she is short of breath and about to go into an asthma attack? Have you noticed that? At least she stood up for Sybil's husband on the baptism issue.

No, this show is great fun, and I love the fact that people in England and people in the States are all so excited about it. I love the scripts, the costumes, the settings, everything. Reminds me of "Dallas" in the old days. That was our guilty pleasure the whole time my husband and I were in law school and grad school, respectively. Everyone I knew watched it, and there were Friday night gatherings. Last season, we had a Sunday night dinner party routine for DA, but I have been out of town too much to participate with my friends this year.

XO,

Sheila

Deanna said...

Oh, pooh on the naysayers. Downton Abbey is one of the loveliest hours of my week. My husband watched the Super Bowl last night so we recorded DA and will watch tonight. I am looking forward to settling in with my cup of Earl Grey and indulging my Anglophile proclivity.

Mama Hen said...

I do not watch Downtown Abbey, but I love the picture of your great aunt! I cherish all the pictures I have of my family from years ago. I always like looking through and thinking about what they were doing in their daily lives and so on. This is a great picture! I hope you are well my friend! Have a great day!

Mama Hen

Donna said...

The photo of your dear aunt is precious! I adore old photo portraits like that.

We're thoroughly enjoying this season of the series. I think the drama with Bates has gone on too long. It's about time that was resolved. There were so many witty lines sprinkled throughout. The strength of the women comes through loud and clear. The menfolk aren't cast in nearly as good as light.

Ruth Kelly said...

I am tired of the prison scenes. I wish that part to be over.

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

Loved your great aunts photo!! cause I just love vintage photos!!

Kim said...

I am loving the transformation of O'Brien and her new loyalty to Lady Grantham. And her setting up Thomas! That is going to be fun!

Yenta Mary said...

I love a woman who isn't fussy about her house, and who welcomes children ... :) I haven't watched "Downton Abbey," despite virtually everyone I know telling me that I'd love it (which I'm sure I would), but not because of snobbery - I simply don't have time! Otherwise, I'd likely immerse myself in catching up during a weekend fest, to be ready for the next Sunday's episode. But then I wouldn't get little things like blog posts, newspaper articles, and other details tended to ....

Dewena Callis said...

Your aunt's picture is wonderful! But I'm sorry she didn't marry the man she was in love with.

I yelled as loud as my husband did watching the bowl game when the women all kept their seat at the table for Ethel's lunch! Way to go, women!

I've said before that I'm not buying any Free Bates tote bags. I think he not only did that but has a string of murders hidden in his past.

Mrs. Patmore is a good egg!

Olive said...

I am tired of Bates being in prison. That whole story line is old to me. Lord Grantham does annoy me sometimes but I know he represents tradition. Matthew annoys me too and he represents youth and all that's new so maybe I annoy too easily. The women's story lines do it for me. Love them. They looked wonderfully Gothic in mourning dress at luncheon.

Denise said...

Lovely picture of your aunt, glad you shared.

Ellie VanCaster said...

Doesn't it seem odd that some people have to decimate someone else's enjoyment to heal their insecurities?

Diane said...

Great photo of your great aunt! I agree with the above comment. Some people take an opposite stand on popular trends, etc to make themselves out as knowing more than everyone else.

Tammy Chrzan said...

I've only seen season one of Downtown Abbey and I became addicted within minutes, I have to see season 2 before I will allow myself anything else, I'm just waiting for Netflix to get it!!
By the way, about that hat... could you imagine if someone tried to graduate with that on their heads these days? and I bet she was all the rage back then!!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

I just started watching it this season so I am a little lost. Plan on getting the past season's shows this summer to catch up. Since I have a vintage website and am always on the hunt for items, I find myself looking at the paintings and home decor on the show. What fun! Thank you so much for visiting.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

We are enjoying Downton Abbey and can't wait for each week! I was heartbroken last week and cried so hard, I had a headache! I don't see many posting about it though. I'm always out of the loop! lol This soap looks so nice!

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Ack I have no idea what happened on DA last night...we taped the wrong one.....Did they kill anyone else off? Did they free Bates?

Oh my, oh my...lol.

I love this show, and those snotty people are always out there trying so hard to be different. There is always someone that does that, isn't there.

DA rules!

Jen

Annie One Can Cook! said...

I LOVE the picture of your aunt! I am such a fan of old pictures--that's one to keep and cherish forever.

Samantha said...

I'm not going to comment on DA, I don't trust myself not to make a comment that will ruin the future for you. However, the DA writer has done a series here on stately homes and it showed just how much he knows about historical buildings and the lives that were lived inside them. Sometimes I think if things are entertaining there will always be some who have their holier than thou attitude and must be seen to 'rise' above popular culture. I just look down on them as though I was the dowager. :)

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Love the picture of Aunt Hazel! That era seems to far away, but when you think of it generations, it isn't really.
We still haven't caught with Downton Abbey. I don't know why there always have to be a few killjoys, what are they expecting?? It is only a tv show. A very very good one, but still a tv show.

Anonymous said...

I thought this week's episode was one of the best. And from the previews it looks as if Bates IS finally out of prison. That story line was getting to be a bit too much... LOVED the ladies luncheon. I wish they hadn't put highlights in Matthew's hair this season. Everytime he is on, it is what I seem to dwell upon. Mary does sound a bit asthmatic, but I,too, was so happy she stood up for her sister's wishes. Don't want the season to end......
Chris K in Wisconsin

Henandchix said...

I love your comments about Downton Abbey but I have to make a correction. E.B. White did not write Winnie the Pooh. He wrote Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. A,A, Milne wrote Winnie and he was castigated at the time for he was far better known for detective novels and sharp and witty humor.

Henandchix said...

I love your comments about Downton Abbey but I have to make a correction. E.B. White did not write Winnie the Pooh. He wrote Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. A,A, Milne wrote Winnie and he was castigated at the time for he was far better known for detective novels and sharp and witty humor.

Henandchix said...

I love your comments about Downton Abbey but I have to make a correction. E.B. White did not write Winnie the Pooh. He wrote Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. A,A, Milne wrote Winnie and he was castigated at the time for he was far better known for detective novels and sharp and witty humor.

Robin said...

Loved the picture of your aunt. I love Downton Abbey, my husband watches also. Thanks for sharing the picture.

Cranberry Morning said...

Henandchix, thanks for the correction. How silly of me, of course I knew that. I have all the books here on my shelves. I just misspoke, or in this case, 'miswrote.' :-) Thanks for stopping in and leaving the comment!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Judy, since I don't have cable I had to wait till my friend bought the DVD of season 3. (I knew she couldn't hold out much longer!) Then I had a DA marathon while my husband was away. Wow! Must say I loved it, even if that brands me in some people's eyes as being intellectually inferior! The Bates business was really wearing on me, that was drug out a bit longer than it should have been. Couldn't bear the pompous, arrogant specialist who attended Sybil at the birth. And one does want to give Lord Grantham, much as I like him basically, a good slap every once in a while. Violet is the best (and you will love the Maggie Smith quote in my latest post!).

Terra said...

My husband and I love Downton Abbey, for the reasons you list. Lord Grantham is so noble, while worried about the future of his family estate. And the Dowager Duchess, formidable, in a good way per the French usage. Super acting.

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