Downton Abbey Series 6 Episode I Review

As many Downton Abbey fans across the globe know, the sixth series is its last.

Last night, I was lucky enough to be able view the first episode. I promise to keep this review as spoiler free as I can.

Based on the first episode, the overall feeling is loss and change. Not just for the audience who have already or will in the few next months say goodbye to their favorite show, but also for the characters.

The world is changing. While Robert, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) and the Dowager Countess (Dame Maggie Smith) can wax poetically about the past, even these stalwarts of another era know that the world as they knew will soon be gone. The 1920’s is in full swing. While the Wall Street Crash of 1929 is still four years away, there is a hint of how catastrophic the crash maybe on the Crawley’s and their servants.

Downstairs, the specter of Mr. Green still haunts Mr. and Mrs. Bates (Brendan Coyle and Joanne Frogatt). All they want is peace and prosperity, but all they seem to get is agita and trouble. Chelsie (Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes(Phyllis Logan)) are a go, but Julian Fellows has added enough comedy to lighten up the seriousness of their relationship.

As usual, the odd couple of Violet and Isobel (Penelope Wilton) go at it, while Violet and Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) vie for the best lines.

I laughed, I cried, I cheered. I want more. It’s going to be a good series.

The sixth series of Downton Abbey premieres on Sunday, January 3rd at 9PM on PBS. 


Young Elizabeth Book Review

For those of us under a certain age, Queen Elizabeth II of England is simply the Queen Of England. She has ruled England since 1952. We don’t know her as anything else or anyone else.

Kate William’s new book, Young Elizabeth, The Making Of A Queen,  takes the reader back to Elizabeth’s childhood and tells the story of how she became Queen.

Born in 1926 to the Duke and Duchess of York, Elizabeth was not expected to become Queen. Her father (who would only ascend to the throne after his elder brother abdicated to marry his American mistress) would later become King George VI, was the second son. Having no brothers or close male relations who could step in front of her, Elizabeth, the first-born of two daughters, became heir to the throne when her father became King.  The book starts with an overview of Elizabeth’s family tree and includes her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.  It then takes the reader through Elizabeth’s life up to her 25th year, when she ascended to the throne.

As an Anglophile, a history nerd and a feminist, I found this book to be very interesting. History is full of Kings, but Queens, especially ones that have ruled for as long as Elizabeth has are far and few between. However, the writing tends to be dry in some areas. I get that this is a memoir and not a novel. However, that does not mean that the writing cannot have a life and a bounce to it. I enjoyed it, but someone who does not have the interests I have may not.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.


%d bloggers like this: