Sept. 10, 2016: Farewell to an era?

 

Last summer, while walking back to a bus stop after visiting Liverpool's Speke Hall, we spotted this moving van with the evocative name (at least for those of us glued to the Sunday-night screen for all the years of the Edwardian soap opera).

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Then, earlier this week, as I was assembling this week's blog on Speke Hall itself, I realized that some of the Speke photos reminded me strongly of my favorite part of Downton Abbey: the servants' hall. Below, the dining table and the row of bells, waiting to summon the servants from their meals to their employers' whims.

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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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Yes, but far more than 1 in 10 million worked there to serve that lifestyle! As with the plantation houses, we're often shown the homes of the rich and powerful as though the servants either didn't exist...or were no more than appliances!

To be honest, one of the best parts of the Downton series, for me, was the depth with which they were portrayed, and the way in which new realities developed as the servants began to imagine independent futures.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

What I like best about the Downton Abbey series is not its portrayal of class struggles, but of how beautifully characters of all types are developed and how their appreciation of people of all types is portrayed.  The estate owners genuinely like and looked after their employees.  The employees were loyal and genuinely like and looked after their employers. 

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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