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I have problems witjh quoting, so I comment thus to slf who said that Edith didn't do anything during WW1 until 1916.

I think that this is one of the cases all blame should be put to Fellowes. He chose to begin the season two in 1916 - as if until then the war wouldn't have influenced in any way the characters' lives. Even Sybil had spent two years at home and only when her dance partners had fallen one after another, did she decide to be a nurse. (Or was it an assistant nurse? Her training seems to be very short.)

But although this would be strange irl, it makes a better story that we see how Sybil and Edith change their lives because of the war, instead that they had already done it when the season begins. 

On the other hand, because we never saw how Matthew courted Lavinia and proposed to her, we never are much concerned about her, but concentrate solely on Mary. Cf. when Jane Austen described all from Emma's POV, we never got full picture how cruelly she treated Harriet Smith or Jane Fairfax.       

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I agree that Edith's trajectory in particular "evolved" as a result of the show being endlessly renewed, particularly after the deaths of Sybil and Matthew (since Fellowes determined that Mary's mourning period "needed" to be exceedingly long and deep in honor the "one true love").  Edith "needed" to become interesting and more sympathetic (because frankly in the first years she was fairly lifeless and unsympathetic -- the despised younger sister without even Sybil's beauty and sweet nature to redeem her).  

As is the case in many extended stories, when we look back NOW at the Edith of the early years, our opinions are colored by what and who she became -- was revealed to be -- later even if there's little suggestion of her "better qualities" THEN.  

There was/is so much that Fellowes left untapped.  Mary SHOULD have felt small next to brave Lavinia doing battle with Sir Richard Carlyle. Mary should have not only regretted her decision to break with Matthew when his inheriting became iffy, she should  have realized that even a slight fragile appearing girl like Lavinia was capable of not only standing her ground (shades of Sybil's suffragette tendencies) but fighting and winning.   Even Edith's editorials might have harkened back to Sybil's influence, but I don't recall Sybil ever being mentioned in that regard. Mary MIGHT have been proud to have a sister who wrote a popular column in a fashionable magazine, and if not Mary, then certainly Cora .... doncha think? Oh, well, water under the bridge. 

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23 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

Although I will say the not-doing-anything argument for her in season 1 isn't, well, a fault to me? Does Mary do things in that season? (Besides spending the season being auctioned by her parents to every available man in sight, I mean?) Sybil is really the only person in the family who thought they should do things rather than sit around in luxury. Even after the war, Robert criticizes her for writing and Mary rolls her eyes. We never really saw any of the characters going to charities or public gatherings; the only two I can think of is the roses thing with Violet in the first season and the pigfarmers in the last season (and Mary/Violet were both competitors in one way or another).

Is it a fault? No, not in and of itself. Plenty of people are homebodies. But my criticisms wasn't that she didn't do things, it's that she was constantly wanting praise for doing things only she wasn't doing things. Complaining about her life being unfulfilling but not going out and doing things. So in that situation? Yes, I would consider not doing things to be a fault. What Mary did or didn't do besides, Mary wasn't constantly put-out that she wasn't getting attention or praise. We didn't see much of Violet or the others going to charities and meetings and but we heard about them (for instance Mary tells Cora that she met Evelyn Napier at the races the previous November, so we know that between the series premiere and the third episode she was attending the races), heard about their friends, etc. And they all seemed, for the most part, satisfied with their lives. 

23 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

I don't agree about Tom really having it that bad on the show. Bates/Anna, I'd agree, but besides them, I can't think of other characters who were served the worst luck all the time. Maybe Moseley, who was often an object of derision? The problem with Edith's writing is that the suffering/conflict rarely lead anywhere, and just ended up repetitive and pointless. For instance, Mary suffers throughout 2 for the Pamuk affair, but it ends with her standing up to Carlisle and ending up with Matthew. Edith's suffering mostly just lead to more suffering and then more suffering and then more suffering. Was it the writer's intention for the audience to be shocked or overly satisfied when a happy ending finally came around? lol The only other thing I can come up with is Fellowes wanted to show the worst aspects of a woman's life through the Edith character. What it's like to be unattractive in that time period, what it's like to be an unmarried mother, to be jilted at the altar, to give opinions and have a career (writing), etc.

I should open with my understanding of 'taking the piss' to be 'to mock or tease'. And it kind of seemed like Tom was always being mocked; the writing in his scenes, especially when he'd get political, was always so heavy-handed and stacked against him due to Fellowes' politics. As much as I liked Tom I probably cringed through quite a few of his scenes. (Not all of them were bad; I remember him sitting with O'Brien and Bates talking about 'there being better ways to help the needy than sending stiff collars to the equator' or something that I thought was even-handed and more realistic.) But once he was pointed toward Sybil that was it. His character become almost consumed by her. Even after she died, even years after she died, he wasn't allowed to do anything that made sense for the character (like leave Downton permanently) and he wasn't allowed to really move on. I remember someone on the boards saying he become the Crawley family's eunuch and...kind of, yeah. 

It's certainly true that Edith's lows weren't often followed by many highs, and that really has to amplify the sense that Edith is suffering so much more. I do think the intention, at least in the early seasons, was to show, as you say, a woman in that time that wasn't as pretty or charming and what her life was like. Not being the eldest, the prettiest, the smartest, or even the especially motivated affected Edith's life in some pretty harsh ways. I think toward the end of the show when they realized more people felt sympathy for Edith than Mary Fellowes decided to give her a fairytale happily ever after, with a career, her own money, a loving husband, her daughter, and a title that means she outranks just about everyone else. 

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On ‎4‎.‎10‎.‎2016 at 8:43 PM, slf said:
6 hours ago, slf said:

But my criticisms wasn't that she didn't do things, it's that she was constantly wanting praise for doing things only she wasn't doing things. Complaining about her life being unfulfilling but not going out and doing things. So in that situation? Yes, I would consider not doing things to be a fault. 

 

In "normal" families a child gets love and attention simply because she is her parents' child. She doesn't need to do anything to "earn" it. Home is not a workplace. 

As for doing things in order to get praise, that works seldom if ever. But if one One does things because one loves to do them, for duty or for whatever one's own inner motives, then when one doesn't expect praise, one often gets it. But it's not so important anymore. The work well done give satisfaction in itself.

Regarding Edith, so long she searched love, she didn't get it (her parents) or lost it (Strallan). But once she begun to do things for theselves, she also got love (Gregson, Bertie). 

Why didn't she do it earlier? I think that there are two reasons. One is historical: before the WW1, Edith couldn't imagine a life of other kind. One is due to fiction: a character must first make mistakes, there is no story if she does all things right from the beginning.      

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15 hours ago, Roseanna said:

In "normal" families a child gets love and attention simply because she is her parents' child. She doesn't need to do anything to "earn" it. Home is not a workplace. 

Edith was told she was loved and such without having done anything. As I said in an earlier post she would shrug that off because she felt that she was being given pity praise. Which was likely projection given Edith's own admissions that her life unsatisfying and that she had no direction. You don't have to earn love, or shouldn't anyway, but you do have to do something if you want to praise for doing it. How can you be praised for singing if you don't sing, or being helpful if you don't actually try to help?

Go through the first season or two and count how many times they praise Sybil without her having done something. Doesn't happen.

Never in a million years did I think I'd ever discuss Edith this much, lol.

Edited by slf
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On ‎7‎.‎10‎.‎2016 at 2:09 AM, slf said:

Edith was told she was loved and such without having done anything. As I said in an earlier post she would shrug that off because she felt that she was being given pity praise. Which was likely projection given Edith's own admissions that her life unsatisfying and that she had no direction. You don't have to earn love, or shouldn't anyway, but you do have to do something if you want to praise for doing it. How can you be praised for singing if you don't sing, or being helpful if you don't actually try to help?

A projection? A child who has been loved knows it. Period.

It's not about praise or saying things one doesn't mean, but noticing that your child exists and doing things that are good for her. Any mother worth her salt would have taught Edith how to dress and behave or, more importantly, simply get to her, but Cora didn't bother to do it.

Instead, she said to Mary that Edith had "so many benefits than you". True, she didn't know that Edith listened, but a mother shouldn't never say that. Nor did she say anything after Mary said that Edith had "no benefits at all".

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4 hours ago, Roseanna said:

A projection? A child who has been loved knows it. Period.

Not always? People with low self-esteem kind of notoriously think that anyone who compliments them or expresses affection for them must be doing so out of pity or mockery. 

5 hours ago, Roseanna said:

It's not about praise or saying things one doesn't mean, but noticing that your child exists and doing things that are good for her. Any mother worth her salt would have taught Edith how to dress and behave or, more importantly, simply get to her, but Cora didn't bother to do it.

Do we have any proof that things weren't done for Edith? Her fashion sense was only occasionally off, which is true of most of the characters. I don't think it's some awful failing of Cora's which exposes her lack of maternal whatever that she didn't take her 20 year old daughter by the hand and teach her what she "should" wear just because once or twice she picked a dud. IIRC Edith actually had pretty good fashion sense; god knows she got the best wedding dresses. 

Some people just suck at fashion. I don't think that means their parents didn't love them lol.

5 hours ago, Roseanna said:

Instead, she said to Mary that Edith had "so many benefits than you". True, she didn't know that Edith listened, but a mother shouldn't never say that. Nor did she say anything after Mary said that Edith had "no benefits at all".

How was what Cora said bad? Honestly? Mary was trashing Edith and her mother admonished her. Was it cruel of my mother, when my sisters laughed at my bad dancing, to tell them to stop and that they shouldn't make fun of me even though I wasn't as talented at dancing as they were? It touched a nerve, sure, because I was never coordinated no matter how much I tried. But it was true and not remarked upon maliciously. A parent who acknowledges that their child may not be as popular or skilled academically as another isn't being insulting. It's not an insult to recognize the limitations or weaknesses of others, even if it can be hurtful to hear that recognition. An insult is a very specific thing. It's what Mary was doing.

As for Cora not saying anything to Mary afterward, Cora often didn't. She picked her battles, brushing aside snide comments to get to the heart of the matter. Edith got in snide comments that were left alone as well, as did Violet and Robert.

Edith may have been Cora's child but she wasn't a child.

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On ‎13‎.‎10‎.‎2016 at 4:42 AM, slf said:

Not always? People with low self-esteem kind of notoriously think that anyone who compliments them or expresses affection for them must be doing so out of pity or mockery. 

But a person who has as a child been unconditionally loved by her parentss simply can't have a low self-esteem.

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8 hours ago, Roseanna said:

But a person who has as a child been unconditionally loved by her parentss simply can't have a low self-esteem.

That's not how it works. A lot of things affect self-esteem; failure to meet personal goals, lack of satisfying friendships, lack of satisfying romantic relationships, failure to meet professional goals, dissatisfaction with one's body, social rejection, struggle with illness, etc. A parent can love a child unconditionally, be willing to do anything for them, and it won't matter if that parent is competing with outside forces.

If what you say is true, then Edith's confidence should have never grown over the series but it did. As she found satisfying work, fell in love, etc., she became a more confident woman and her mother still hadn't given her fashion advice or 'done more' for her. While someone can take away your self-esteem it's much harder for someone to give it to you; you have to find it yourself.

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4 hours ago, slf said:

That's not how it works. A lot of things affect self-esteem; failure to meet personal goals, lack of satisfying friendships, lack of satisfying romantic relationships, failure to meet professional goals, dissatisfaction with one's body, social rejection, struggle with illness, etc. A parent can love a child unconditionally, be willing to do anything for them, and it won't matter if that parent is competing with outside forces.

If what you say is true, then Edith's confidence should have never grown over the series but it did. As she found satisfying work, fell in love, etc., she became a more confident woman and her mother still hadn't given her fashion advice or 'done more' for her. While someone can take away your self-esteem it's much harder for someone to give it to you; you have to find it yourself.

You speak of the self-esteem that depends on success or failure: one achieved and that one therefore can loose. But the basic self-esteem isn't dependent on achievements. One can fail and yet feel one is a worthy person.

As for Edith, hers is a case not unusual that when one seeks or, rather craves, for love and acceptance, one doesn't get it. But when one stops doing it and concentrates one's energy to doing other things, one becomes such a person that one gets also love and acceptance.

Already when Gregson was missing and Edith was real low, both Robert and Cora were sympathic towards her in a way they had never been before.     

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On ‎5‎.‎10‎.‎2016 at 5:46 PM, SusanSunflower said:

I agree that Edith's trajectory in particular "evolved" as a result of the show being endlessly renewed, particularly after the deaths of Sybil and Matthew (since Fellowes determined that Mary's mourning period "needed" to be exceedingly long and deep in honor the "one true love").  Edith "needed" to become interesting and more sympathetic (because frankly in the first years she was fairly lifeless and unsympathetic -- the despised younger sister without even Sybil's beauty and sweet nature to redeem her).  

As is the case in many extended stories, when we look back NOW at the Edith of the early years, our opinions are colored by what and who she became -- was revealed to be -- later even if there's little suggestion of her "better qualities" THEN.  

Fellowes said in the scriptbook of S2 that Edith helping the soldiers was her "redemption". So he had already decided to give Edith some positive qualities in S2.

I think that Edith became interesting after Strallan jilter her and she decided to have a life of her own. She simply began to grow.

I don't agree that rewatching S1 gives Edith positive qualities, but it makes one understand her motives.  Originally, it was Mary's story. Also she became interesting bacause the Pamuk affair.

A character needs challenges. Only when she is coping with them, we get to know how she really is.  Unfortunately, Mary's challenges ended when she married Matthew.     

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Edith as lifelong spinster pre-war would have had a well-known lifestyle: maiden aunt, always available to help out, probably migrating from relative's household to relative's household, especially once her father died, or staying with her mother until her end and then beginning the migration.  

But during the war the expectations changed (not just for the duration, although that was probably the thing then).  She learned to drive, which most women in her class would never have done.  She was the most useful member of the Crawley household with the recovering soldiers.  She learned to do other things, and after a brief attempt back to the old normal which ended at the altar, she found other things to do (Granny's advice taken with a twist), starting with a letter to the editor.  Gregson recognized her talent and gave her work; the love affair was bonus.  

Something else that I don't think gets much recognition: when we see Edith away from Downton she is confident in her ability to express opinions, ruefully self-deprecating about the aborted wedding, and from series 3 on beautifully dressed.  Downtrodden useful spinsters generally don't have that confidence.  Unlike Mary, she was always expected to make a life outside and away from Downton; Gregson gave her one road out, Marigold gave her a reason to buck expectations, and Bertie, who like her didn't really have grand expectations, saw her for who she was as she did him.  Edith & Bertie were really my favorite pairing at the end, and the old Harlequin-romance reader in me lurvvved it.

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17 hours ago, Roseanna said:

You speak of the self-esteem that depends on success or failure: one achieved and that one therefore can loose. But the basic self-esteem isn't dependent on achievements. One can fail and yet feel one is a worthy person.

For many people that's one and the same and Edith was shown to be one such person. As she began to accomplish more and more her self-esteem rose.

17 hours ago, Roseanna said:

I think that Edith became interesting after Strallan jilter her and she decided to have a life of her own. She simply began to grow.  

This I agree with. She visited Violet not long after the jilting and kept sighing over every suggestion made w/r/t what she might do with her time and Violet finally snapped, "Edith, you're a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do!" (Praise be to Violet in this scene.) And so Edith did and when she did she began, as you say, to grow. 

17 hours ago, Roseanna said:

A character needs challenges. Only when she is coping with them, we get to know how she really is.  Unfortunately, Mary's challenges ended when she married Matthew.     

I've expressed my views on the necessity of conflict before in another discussion we had so I won't repeat myself except to say I don't agree that it's necessary at all. I don't agree with the notion that Mary's challenges ended when she got married. Like, her husband died the same day she gave birth. That's a challenge. Trying to help keep Downton afloat was challenging. Trying to balance her own desire for a husband with her wishes and obligations w/r/t George's upbringing and inheritance was challenging. 

7 hours ago, kassygreene said:

Edith as lifelong spinster pre-war would have had a well-known lifestyle: maiden aunt, always available to help out, probably migrating from relative's household to relative's household, especially once her father died, or staying with her mother until her end and then beginning the migration.  

Was Edith really a spinster at 20 and with at least one man interested in marrying her?

7 hours ago, kassygreene said:

She was the most useful member of the Crawley household with the recovering soldiers. 

I'd suggest Sybil as the most helpful member of the Crawley family but Edith was certainly helpful.

7 hours ago, kassygreene said:

Something else that I don't think gets much recognition: when we see Edith away from Downton she is confident in her ability to express opinions, ruefully self-deprecating about the aborted wedding, and from series 3 on beautifully dressed.  Downtrodden useful spinsters generally don't have that confidence.  Unlike Mary, she was always expected to make a life outside and away from Downton; Gregson gave her one road out, Marigold gave her a reason to buck expectations, and Bertie, who like her didn't really have grand expectations, saw her for who she was as she did him.

Agreed. Once Edith decided to make a life for herself, to try for something, she became a much more confident and interesting person. 

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Edith was jilted in 1920, and met Gregson a few months later.  According to the Downton wiki, which refers to the DA Complete Scripts for Season One, which cites Fellowes, Edith was 20 in 1912.  So she meets Gregson at the age of 28, and marries Bertie Pelham five years later at the age of 33.

And of course in post WWI there were not that many eligible men, especially in her class and age group.

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"Edith, you're a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do!"

Even better was the exchange before that:

Edith: Gardening?

Violet: Well, no, you can't be as desperate as that.

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I don't agree with the notion that Mary's challenges ended when she got married. Like, her husband died the same day she gave birth. That's a challenge

Amen.

Post season 3, I always thought the more interesting part of Mary did involve her trying involvement with regards to modernizing Downton. And I enjoyed her friendship with Tom throughout it as well.

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I'd suggest Sybil as the most helpful member of the Crawley family but Edith was certainly helpful.

Amen 2.0.

Plus, was Edith a bit distracted with lusting after not-Cousin Patrick? That was such soap-opera story.

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5 hours ago, slf said:

This I agree with. She visited Violet not long after the jilting and kept sighing over every suggestion made w/r/t what she might do with her time and Violet finally snapped, "Edith, you're a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do!" (Praise be to Violet in this scene.) And so Edith did and when she did she began, as you say, to grow. 

I actually find that one of Violet's worst scenes (from the perspective of her character, not in Smith's delivery, ofc), considering she had a hand in causing Edith's suffering in the first place. To me, it was just another example of the family's disinterest in her. Violet didn't really care about Edith's well-being or what she did with herself. Violet has many asshole scenes like that throughout the series (not just directed at Edith, to be clear). And, personally, I'd say Edith was equal to Sybil in series 2. The only difference between them is Sybil did her work as a nurse and Edith did hers as a caretaker. That's just splitting hairs when every job is equally important in wartime.

I don't agree that Mary suffered much conflict post-S3. Her grief lasted all of one half of series 4, and from then on she circled the drain with interchangeable beaus. Unless we count series 6 where there was some small conflict over her internal superiority and arrogance blocking her path to true love with a man she considered beneath her.

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1 hour ago, TheGreenKnight said:

I actually find that one of Violet's worst scenes (from the perspective of her character, not in Smith's delivery, ofc), considering she had a hand in causing Edith's suffering in the first place. To me, it was just another example of the family's disinterest in her. Violet didn't really care about Edith's well-being or what she did with herself. Violet has many asshole scenes like that throughout the series (not just directed at Edith, to be clear).

Well, the same act that hits one person real low, can make another person to decide: "I will show you".

It may be that if Edith had had a "nice" family, she wouldn't have needed to go to the world.

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4 hours ago, slf said:

I've expressed my views on the necessity of conflict before in another discussion we had so I won't repeat myself except to say I don't agree that it's necessary at all. I don't agree with the notion that Mary's challenges ended when she got married. Like, her husband died the same day she gave birth. That's a challenge. Trying to help keep Downton afloat was challenging. Trying to balance her own desire for a husband with her wishes and obligations w/r/t George's upbringing and inheritance was challenging. 

I meant that Mary had no more such challenges where she could loose "all".

Edited by Roseanna

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1 hour ago, AndySmith said:

Even better was the exchange before that:

Edith: Gardening?

Violet: Well, no, you can't be as desperate as that.

I got a good chuckle out of that scene!

1 hour ago, AndySmith said:

Plus, was Edith a bit distracted with lusting after not-Cousin Patrick? That was such soap-opera story.

Oh God, I couldn't say. That whole story was cringe-inducing so I paid as little attention to it as possible.

2 hours ago, kassygreene said:

Edith was jilted in 1920, and met Gregson a few months later.  According to the Downton wiki, which refers to the DA Complete Scripts for Season One, which cites Fellowes, Edith was 20 in 1912.  So she meets Gregson at the age of 28, and marries Bertie Pelham five years later at the age of 33.

And of course in post WWI there were not that many eligible men, especially in her class and age group.

Yep. Not Mary-level of suitors but she had Strallan on-and-off for a few years before meeting Gregson. Three serious suitors (bore a child to one, engaged to two, and married one) over the course of a decade is pretty respectable for a second daughter. Perhaps not as many men as Edith would have liked but it doesn't seem spinter-ish but I guess this is a YMMV situation.

1 hour ago, TheGreenKnight said:

I actually find that one of Violet's worst scenes (from the perspective of her character, not in Smith's delivery, ofc), considering she had a hand in causing Edith's suffering in the first place. To me, it was just another example of the family's disinterest in her. Violet didn't really care about Edith's well-being or what she did with herself.

I can see your point. I don't completely agree but I don't completely disagree. Violet obviously didn't want Edith jilted at the altar, she wanted Strallan to end the relationship beforehand because she felt Edith could do better. Which she could. Edith never tried for more, she settled, and she had unhealthy expectations as to what their marriage would be. At the end of the day, Strallan made the choice to end the relationship the way he did. Branson refused to leave Sybil no matter how much Robert yelled, no matter how much money Robert offered him. Strallan could be scared off so Edith, any woman really, deserved better. Violet I do think had Edith's best interests at heart, even if the course of action she supported would cause Edith some heartbreak for a time. 

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I don't agree that Mary suffered much conflict post-S3.

Nor do I. As I said, she did experience challenges after marrying Matthew. 

Edited by slf
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2 hours ago, slf said:

I can see your point. I don't completely agree but I don't completely disagree. Violet obviously didn't want Edith jilted at the altar, she wanted Strallan to end the relationship beforehand because she felt Edith could do better. Which she could. Edith never tried for more, she settled, and she had unhealthy expectations as to what their marriage would be. At the end of the day, Strallan made the choice to end the relationship the way he did. Branson refused to leave Sybil no matter how much Robert yelled, no matter how much money Robert offered him. Strallan could be scared off so Edith, any woman really, deserved better. Violet I do think had Edith's best interests at heart, even if the course of action she supported would cause Edith some heartbreak for a time. 

I have to disagree completely. It's clear throughout the first two series that Violet and the others didn't think Edith could do any better. Robert and Cora commiserate that Edith will be taking care of them in their old age; Violet herself describes Edith's first interactions with Strallan (before he becomes a crippled eyesore to the family after the war and thus worthy of their condescension) as "Any port in a storm." And nowhere in Violet's dialogue did she put across the idea that she thought Edith could do better, just that she would end up a drudge/nursemaid. Edith did end up better off because this show is essentially a fairy tale, not because Violet and Robert were in any way justified in their actions.

And I disagree Edith was settling either. It was clear she wanted him. Strallan allowed himself to be influenced, but Violet had an undeniable role in how it all played out.

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4 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

I have to disagree completely. It's clear throughout the first two series that Violet and the others didn't think Edith could do any better. Robert and Cora commiserate that Edith will be taking care of them in their old age; Violet herself describes Edith's first interactions with Strallan (before he becomes a crippled eyesore to the family after the war and thus worthy of their condescension) as "Any port in a storm." And nowhere in Violet's dialogue did she put across the idea that she thought Edith could do better, just that she would end up a drudge/nursemaid. Edith did end up better off because this show is essentially a fairy tale, not because Violet and Robert were in any way justified in their actions.

And I disagree Edith was settling either. It was clear she wanted him. Strallan allowed himself to be influenced, but Violet had an undeniable role in how it all played out.

I think there's a difference between not thinking someone can do better and beginning to lose optimism about the marrying options of a less than sociable second daughter in the early 20th century. (Cora and Robert also happily ate their words once Edith started seeing someone.) I think there's a detached pragmatism in the characters' assessments of each other (as opposed to when they're obviously just insulting the hell out of each other) that seems harsh but makes a lot of sense for the time. Was Violet being mean when she said they had to get Mary settled before "the bloom has gone quite off the rose"? Maybe? I guess? But it reminds me of a scene from Pride and Prejudice (2005) when Lizzie snaps at her mother "is that [marriage] really all you think about?!" and Mrs. Bennett replies, "When you have five daughters, tell me what else will occupy your thoughts. Then perhaps you'll understand." It's a nice bit of realism in the fairytale. 

I think that if Violet had believed Edith couldn't do better then she wouldn't have intervened. If Edith was of so little consequence anyway why bother? 

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IMO Violet is one of the main "enemies" to Edith in the family, she is the one who toyed with Edith´s life and then Marigold, she was the one who wanted to send Marigold to France (when she was with the Drewes), she is guilty as Robert for influencing Strallan and also during ALL the series she treats Edith with contemp, even when all the family were waving Mary and Henry she made some comments about Edith´s surprises. Having in consideration the character i bet if she would have been there when they had the news about Bertie inheriting his cousin title she would have been making plans to marry him and Mary. Agree with some others that Violet and especially Cora are to ones who never change their view about Edith habilities, even Robert in his clumsy ways realized that her daughter made something of herself with her magazine, but even in the last moment Cora had Edith in her second priorities (when she complained about a meeting of the hospital in the same day that Eidht and Bertie woudl make the annoucement).  But i think that Edith as character had so popularity because JF was so in love with Mary and never letting her loose that he turned the character in a caricature, and a lot of people were more sympathetic with Edith´s path.

The thing is that is ovbious, that Mary is Violet heir, but if we thinkg twice about a woman like Violet, is a figure of pitty, she spends her days pinning for the "good old days", incapable of doing something by herself, besides meedling in other people lives. I think that the character was symphathetic to the public because she had great one killer lines, and was portrayed by Maggie Smith. But in a similar way to Carson, their conservaturism reach some evil level sometimes. 

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7 hours ago, sark1624 said:

but even in the last moment Cora had Edith in her second priorities (when she complained about a meeting of the hospital in the same day that Eidht and Bertie woudl make the annoucement).  

I think it was a joke. Or she just thought aloud (as many people do): I have this at the same time - but of course I leave it now.  

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They recently played episodes from season six, and oy. Daisy. Her idiocy w/r/t insisting that Cora made her a solemn vow to give the farm to Mason, which is far from the truth. "She led me on!" ...Not that I recall? 

Though I didn't recall Henry's flirting with Mary being so awful but I was wrong about that. Mary told Henry she couldn't care less about cars and he, honest to God, told her that's just because she "hadn't been taught about them", not properly. Ugh.

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On 10/16/2016 at 3:32 PM, sark1624 said:

IMO Violet is one of the main "enemies" to Edith in the family, she is the one who toyed with Edith´s life and then Marigold, she was the one who wanted to send Marigold to France (when she was with the Drewes), she is guilty as Robert for influencing Strallan and also during ALL the series she treats Edith with contemp, even when all the family were waving Mary and Henry she made some comments about Edith´s surprises. Having in consideration the character i bet if she would have been there when they had the news about Bertie inheriting his cousin title she would have been making plans to marry him and Mary. Agree with some others that Violet and especially Cora are to ones who never change their view about Edith habilities, even Robert in his clumsy ways realized that her daughter made something of herself with her magazine, but even in the last moment Cora had Edith in her second priorities (when she complained about a meeting of the hospital in the same day that Eidht and Bertie woudl make the annoucement).  But i think that Edith as character had so popularity because JF was so in love with Mary and never letting her loose that he turned the character in a caricature, and a lot of people were more sympathetic with Edith´s path.

The thing is that is ovbious, that Mary is Violet heir, but if we thinkg twice about a woman like Violet, is a figure of pitty, she spends her days pinning for the "good old days", incapable of doing something by herself, besides meedling in other people lives. I think that the character was symphathetic to the public because she had great one killer lines, and was portrayed by Maggie Smith. But in a similar way to Carson, their conservaturism reach some evil level sometimes. 

I disagree, kind of. Violet made two mistakes the entire series and both of them had to do with Edith. That is why I wrote, kind of.  

Violet’s main concern was the family being a happy one and keeping their status and name unblemished.  Edith’s having a child that she didn’t want to give up was a huge problem for the family.  Violet was laser sharp in keeping the family name untarnished.  To Violet, what Edith was doing was reckless. Violet, Rosamund nor Edith ever considered that Cora would react the way she did and embrace having the baby at Downton. That was Violet’s second mistake.  

Her first mistake was inviting Strallen to tea and telling Edith that he had been asking about her.  That’s all Edith needed to pursue Strallen and when it was going in a direction no one wanted (only after Strallen was wounded in WW1), they wanted him gone.  By then it was too late.

What Violet did for the family was endless.  I know you are focusing on Edith here but when she push came to shove, she was really more flexible than given credit for.  I believe Marigold was the first situation she really didn’t know how to handle.  From the start of the show, Violet was sometimes more of a mother in the family than Cora.  Maggie Smith deserves so much credit as she did so much with so little (sometimes). As I have written on this board before, she deserved better than what Fellowes gave her.

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On ‎17‎.‎10‎.‎2016 at 1:32 AM, sark1624 said:

IMO Violet is one of the main "enemies" to Edith in the family, she is the one who toyed with Edith´s life and then Marigold, she was the one who wanted to send Marigold to France (when she was with the Drewes), she is guilty as Robert for influencing Strallan and also during ALL the series she treats Edith with contemp, even when all the family were waving Mary and Henry she made some comments about Edith´s surprises. Having in consideration the character i bet if she would have been there when they had the news about Bertie inheriting his cousin title she would have been making plans to marry him and Mary. Agree with some others that Violet and especially Cora are to ones who never change their view about Edith habilities, even Robert in his clumsy ways realized that her daughter made something of herself with her magazine, but even in the last moment Cora had Edith in her second priorities (when she complained about a meeting of the hospital in the same day that Eidht and Bertie woudl make the annoucement).  

I think you condemn Violet and Cora too harsly. As all humans, they had weaknessess, which were mostly connected with the values of their time. But neither of them were bad. Both also showed real understanding and generosity, also towards Edith. When Gregson was missing and Edith supsetcted that she was bad because she had "bad thoughts", Cora said that one is bad only if one acts badly. After Edith disappeared after Gregson's death, Violet went to Drewe's farm. Unlike Robert, Cora advised Edith to tell the truth about Marigold to Bertie.

Before all, if Edith's family had behaved ideally (which nobody can irl) and always valued and supported her, there would have been no story.    

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On ‎2‎.‎12‎.‎2016 at 0:32 AM, PBSLover said:

From the start of the show, Violet was sometimes more of a mother in the family than Cora.  

That's actually of dubious value. When the show began, Violet hadn't accepted Cora's place as Robert's wife, although Cora had been her daughter-in-law over twenty years. Robert was too soft towards her mother. 

As Cora showed in the night Pamuk died, she had much capacity. Unfortunately, JF didn't gave her later few chance to show it.  

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I got sucked into this marathon over NYE weekend, then remembered Amazon Prime has the entire series so I figured I could watch it without the torture of 20 minutes of pledge drive dvd shilling.  

It drives me crazy but I still had it on most of the weekend while cleaning, etc. And I still got teary eyed at times.  

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 But in a similar way to Carson, their conservaturism reach some evil level sometimes. 

Carson gets so tiresome, at times it's quite difficult to find anything good about him. When the family is away at the auto race and Mrs Hughes suggests they sit down on the sofa in the library, he practically had a coronary.  And wouldn't drink after Robert had his exploding ulcer, Mrs. Patmore's scandal with the adulterous couple at her inn, it goes on and on.   He wouldn't even let the staff call Bertie by the name he requested.  So aggravating. 

Violet drove me crazy over the hospital. FFS woman, let it go.  

If Edith had been half as conniving as Mary, she would have told everyone that she & Gregson eloped secretly, and that the baby was his and she was a widow.  

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6 hours ago, teddysmom said:

 If Edith had been half as conniving as Mary, she would have told everyone that she & Gregson eloped secretly, and that the baby was his and she was a widow.  

That's very interesting. I'm sure Rosamund could have helped her procure a false marriage license. It would then take away any scandal related to her birth. I can't remember if this has been asked or even mentioned on the show (the eps start to bleed together), but was it considered scandalous that Edith was Michael's sole heir? 

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It didn't seem to be. Everyone was pretty cool with it in the family. Maybe he had made arrangements for his wife to be cared for.

The actor who played Michael was on Sherlock last night. 

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