Tag Archives: John Dashwood

Downton Abbey Series 6 Episode 9 Recap: That’s All Folks

As usual, this recap contains spoilers. If you have not watched the episode, read at your own risk. This recap also contains tears as this was the final episode of Downton Abbey.

Here we go.

The final episode can be summed up in one word: love.

Edith finally got her happy ending. After years of playing second fiddle to Mary, Lady Edith Crawley (now known as Lady Edith Pelham,  Marchioness of Hexham), Edith has it all. A loving husband, a beautiful little girl and a solid career. We all should be so lucky.

Edith is one of those characters that has the ability to bounce back from tragedy. Lesser women would have resigned themselves to their fate, but Edith took her life in her own hands and found her way to a happy ending.  Bravo girl, you rock, may we all learn from you.

I am not the only one who found it ironic that at the end of the series, it is Edith who is grand lady of the county while Mary’s husband sells used cars. Who could have guessed back in series 1 that this would be the fates of these characters?

The love was not just between the sisters, who found a way to peacefully co-exist.

Robert finally understood Cora’s devotion to the hospital and began once more to appreciate his wife. Rose and Atticus came back for the wedding and to introduce their daughter (via pictures) to the family. Mary will be a mother once more. A hint of a future pairing existed between Tom and Edith’s editor, which might have been an interesting plot line to see in series 7, but alas, we will never know (that is, unless the rumored movie does one day hit the theaters, fingers crossed). Isobel not only rescued Lord Merton from imprisonment by his son and new daughter in law, the Downton equivalent of Sense and Sensibility’s John and Fanny Dashwood, but she also finally said yes to him.

Downstairs, like upstairs change is happening,

After years of nothing but heartache, Anna and Bates are now parents. Baby boy Bates (whose  first name the viewer is not privy to) came into the world in Lady Mary’s bedroom of all places. Welcome to the world, young man, you are blessed to have Anna and John Bates as your parents.

As much as I would have liked to see a Baxter/Molesley romance, it appears that this relationship is squarely set in the friend zone. But that does not mean that Molesley is without prospects, his career options exploded. He can now call himself a teacher.  Good for him, the downstairs Edith has a bright future.

There was some romance or at least the possibility of romance downstairs. The potential Daisy/Andy relationship is interesting, but it’s development remains strictly in the imagination of the fans and again, the possible Downton Abbey movie.

Thomas, this episode was like a boomerang.  After spending most of the season looking for other employment, he found it, only to find that he hated it and returned to Downton. He has perfect timing, because Mr. Carson is afflicted with Parkinsons and retires with a generous pension from his employers. Thomas is now butler.

Am I the only one who noticed that first time in the series, both Anna and Mrs. Hughes referred to their husbands by their first names?

So that’s it folks. Downton Abbey is over. When they announced that the sixth series would be its last, I don’t think any of us to expect it come as quickly as it did.

As both a die-hard fan and a writer, I am satisfied. Everyone had an ending, happy or semi happy. But there is also enough room for new plots and characters down the road.

Sunday nights at 9 in the winter will never feel the same again.

 

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Filed under Downton Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Television, TV Recap

Fathers In Jane Austen’s Novels

A father is the first man in a woman’s life. No matter who she is or what she does in life, he is the blue print for how she will judge every man she meets.

The fathers in Jane Austen’s novels range from apathetic to excellent. In honor of Father’s Day, I am going to discuss how these men have an influence on their daughters and by extension, then men their daughters marry.

1. Jane Austen’s first completed novel is Northanger Abbey. The heroine of the novel, Catherine Moreland, has the best of the fathers. Mr. Moreland is a member of the clergy and a father of ten children. He is practical, compassionate and gives his children the best life he can.

2. Jane Austen’s most famous novel, Price and Prejudice follows the tumultuous courtship between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. While Darcy is the man that Elizabeth will marry, the first man in her life is her father. Mr. Bennet prefers the company of his books and the solitude of his library over the company of his wife and daughters. In his youth, Mr. Bennet married for looks and not for brains. He delights in openly mocking Mrs. Bennet. In not preventing Lydia from going to Brighton, he nearly lets her ruin the family reputation. But it is his love for his second daughter, Elizabeth that redeems him in the eye of the reader.

3. In Sense and Sensbility, the reader meets the patriarch of the Dashwood clan, Henry Dashwood, for a short amount of time.  He dies very early on in the book, setting the plot in motion. The rules of primogeniture dictate that John Dashwood  as the only son, inherits, Norland, the Dashwood’s family home and the income that comes with the property. Elinor, Marianne, their mother and their youngest sister Margaret only receive a small inheritance, forcing them into genteel poverty and out of their home. While the reader does not know Mr. Dashwood as they do other Austen fathers, I get the feeling that he loved his daughters and he wanted to what was right, regardless of custom or law.

4. In Emma, Mr. Woodhouse is the father that makes many a reader groan. A widower, he raised his daughters with the help of Mrs. Weston (formerly Miss Taylor). A hypochondriac who fears that death and disease are forever around the corner, Mr. Woodhouse’s conversations revolve around the health of his daughters, son in law, grandchildren and neighbors. In worrying about the health of others, he indirectly allows Emma to be who she is and make the mistakes that she will have to learn from. But, at the end of the day, unlike some of the fathers in Austen’s fiction, he loves his children and wants the best for them.

5. Fanny Price, had things turned out differently, might have born into the household of a gentleman and had the privilege of being a gentleman’s daughter.  Instead, she was born to a father who was former Naval office and a mother who disobliged her family by marrying said Naval officer. Mansfield Park is Austen’s most controversial novel and the father figures are questionable. Fanny’s father is a drunk and her pseudo-father/Uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram is distant (emotionally and physically), authoritarian and happily bound to the social structures of the era. But, to his credit, he does agree to take his niece into his home and raise her as if she was one of his daughters.

6. In last place, is Persuasion’s Sir Walter Elliot. Another widower, when his wife was alive, Sir Walter was kept in check. But she has been dead for years. A vain, selfish man, Sir Walter thinks of nothing but status, outward appearance and fortune.  His youngest daughter, Mary is only of use to him because she has married and provided him with two grandsons, one of whom is his namesake.  Sir Walter favors his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, because she is exactly like him. The novel’s heroine, Anne is nearly forgotten by father, except when she is useful to him.

Now that is my list. Readers, who would you choose as the worst Austen father?

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Filed under Books, Emma, Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility

Quiet

*-Of course none of these characters are mine, I am just temporarily borrowing them.

Quiet

Barton Cottage was quiet, too quiet.

Mary Dashwood remembered the day she moved into Barton Cottage with her daughters. When her husband died, she knew their time at NorlandPark was coming to an end. Fanny, John’s wife was too polite to articulate her feelings, but she was not happy having to share her new home with her husband’s stepmother and step sisters.

The letter from her cousin, Sir John Middleton was a great relief for them all. Of course, Barton Cottage was far from the size and luxury of Norland Park, but the truth was, Mary had learned to appreciate the intimacy that the small cottage allowed.

They had moved in six years ago, it seemed as only a moment had passed.

Marianne and Elinor were both married and had blessed their mother with four grandchildren.

Margaret had also recently departed Barton Cottage.

Marianne’s husband, Colonel Brandon had been offered a position with the admiralty and had relocated his family to London. The excitement of London and the society it offered had drawn Margaret in and with an invitation in hand to spend the season with Marianne and Christopher, Mary watched her youngest child depart for London.

“Mama, it’s time” Elinor’s voice broke through.

“Of course” Mary agreed as Elinor’s husband, Edward Ferrars took the last of her belongings. With her children gone, there was no need to reside at Barton Cottage with just the servants. Mary had been offered a room at the parsonage with Elinor and her family.

“I will be in your way” Mary had protested when the idea had been suggested.

 “Mama, I promise you, you will not be in the way, Edward and I would love for you to stay and the children would love your company”.

 “No, you have your own lives, I do not want to interfere, I will gladly come when asked, but I am happy to stay where I am”.

 “Mary, I assure, you will not be interfering in anyway. We have discussed the idea with Marianne and Christopher and they are of the same mind, especially with Christopher being called to London”.

 “At least let me consider the idea” Mary asked.

 Two weeks later, Barton Cottage was empty. Mary had agreed that her time at Barton Cottage had come to end. It was indeed quiet.

The End

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Filed under Fanfiction, Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility