History, material culture and life at Downton

Kelly and I have been watching this final season of Downton Abbey.  I have to say, I have warmed to the show a bit, especially since they have developed some of the characters a little more fully.  I am particularly pleased that they have made Thomas Barrow out to be more sympathetic and less of a villain.

Now, I will also admit that I find a lot of the storylines a bit too dramatic for my taste, although it does seem that things have calmed down at least a little bit.  I don’t know whether or not that is actually true or if it is just my perception. Frankly the soap opera-esque level of drama I can do without.  But what I really love about the show are the recreated details of daily life in another period.  Daily life is one of those aspects of history that I love the most.  It’s fascinating.  The efforts to recreate the past in such a way that you can show these intimate details of daily life the way that they do on Downton Abbey is my favorite part of the show.  I wonder if anyone has put together any cookbooks based on the food from the show (I know there are some unofficial ones).

And I love the relationship between Lord Grantham and his dog.  It made me very happy to see that he finally got another one after losing Isis.

We hear a lot about the trains, and oh how I love those old steam locomotives, but sadly we don’t see them very often.  However, we do see the cars.  And oh, what a glorious sight they are.  Lord Grantham has some beautiful cars – a 1911 Renault that we see early in the show’s run and then later on a 1924 Sunbeam limousine.  What I would really like to see is some old planes, or maybe even some old ships.  I imagine that is a lot tougher to put together.  But it would be pretty cool.

And speaking of ships and cookbooks, I do have a copy of Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner.   Of course all of those recipes are from that period, and some of them really sound pretty mouth-watering.


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