Downton Abbey 101


As we move within a week of the premiere of the third series of Downton Abbey, there are a few people on the planet that are a bit late to the party and are in need of a bit of refresher course before Sundays premiere as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series.

While it might be a bit labor intensive to go over the lives, point-by-point, of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants, it is important to first understand that Downton is under the watchful eye of the Earl and Countess of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern). It takes almost 10 years, but Lady Mary, the eldest daughter of Lord and Lady Grantham, and Matthew Crawley, the presumed heir to Downton by virtue of his being the third cousin, once removed, who first crossed paths in 1912 are finally to be wed in the Roaring Twenties. Lord Grantham’s mother, the Dowager Countess, has no idea what a weekend is, is not all the excited about electricity, believes allies are ‘more effective’ than friends and constantly wonders why everyday involves a fight with an American.

There’s so much more to the story that is all but impossible to explain. Thankfully, the site, Grasping for Objectivity, has the back of all those that are in desperate need of Downton Abbey 101 and has put together a quick one-page graphic that is a ‘simple explanation’.
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Simple, isn’t it? In addition to the above, Carson ‘manages all’, Thomas is the ‘spawn of Satan’ and the Dowager Countess ‘controls all’. For a printable version to study up close between now and Sunday, click here.