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SilverStormm

S02.E06: Faith, Hope and Charity

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Episode Synopsis:

As news of the horrific famine in Ireland reaches the Queen, Victoria is adamant that her government should be doing more to help. However, Prime Minister Peel is trapped, knowing that to send food to the Irish would destabilise his party and jeopardise his career. With Albert blinded by his trust in Peel, Victoria begins to question her own convictions.

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Lawdy, that was positively painful to watch.  When things are in the abstract, the Irish Potato Famine is gut wrenching to contemplate but to see the faces of those kids gathered around their dead mother was horrific.  Poor Victoria - just nothing she could do despite her position.  

Francatelli gets my vote for Most Improved Character in this episode.  I don't suppose that random American woman (where the heck did she come from anyway) will give him credit for the cookbook and send him some money.

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1 hour ago, Kohola3 said:

Francatelli gets my vote for Most Improved Character in this episode.  I don't suppose that random American woman (where the heck did she come from anyway) will give him credit for the cookbook and send him some money.

If he got credit for the cookbook, he'd certainly lose his job. Is Francatelli Italian? Doesn't that make him a papist, too? And preparing the Queen's food!

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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This episode is so far the best and most affecting in the entire series. Gripping and really drove home the horrors of the Potato Famine and the British attitude toward the Irish. Heart wrenching to say the least.

I've begun to soften toward Jenna Coleman. While I still can't abide her role on Doctor Who, I am starting to appreciate her as an actress, at least in this role. I know! Who'd a thunk it?

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I do hope that nasty Penge gets his comeuppance. As Skerritt said, he is a bully.

I have to give kudos to Albert for installing the WC in the servants’ area, too.

The so-called Christians were disgusting with their attitude toward the Irish. Make them “convert” to get food? When that guy told Dr. Traill that he wasn’t “going to Dublin” for inviting the Catholic priest to the meeting, I said “and you aren’t going to Heaven” to the TV (yes, I talk to the TV). I knew poor Dr. Traill would die when he started coughing. ? 

Edited by LittleIggy
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No wonder so many of the Irish hated the English. And with good reason too. No compassion just oppression.

One of the few times I have regretted that Victoria is merely a figure head.  And if I  was Miss Cleary I wouldn't have trusted all that money to that bleeding heart English guy.

What's his name Pinch is the most odious person. In comparison Mr. Francotelli is my hero, he did help in a real way.

So Ernst and his Harriet are destined to be star-crossed , are they? Just when she is free he will probably feel compelled by decency to keep his distance.

Was that American woman the mystery woman in the carriage from the other episode who Mrs Skerrit felt jealous over?

Edited by magdalene
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I picked this show to watch over This Is Us because I didn't want to cry tonight. Big mistake- that was brutal. Poor Dr Traill and the millions of Irish that died or had to emigrate. It's good to know the real story behind Victoria's attitude towards the famine @Evil Queen so thank you for that.

I like that they showed how instrumental Albert was towards improving the sanitation system in London. And I guess no sexy times for widow Harriet and Ernst because he doesn't to infect her with his disease.

Francatelli was nice in this episode. I don't mind his character so was getting irritated with how he was being depicted on this show. Penge continues to be an asshat. The disgust that the so called Christians had against Catholics pissed me off. Aren't you supposed to be helping everyone? You're supposed to be doing God's work. Gah!

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Thank you for that link @Evil Queen.  I find it surprising that the British seem unaware of the Irish Famine.  How can that be?  I remember hearing about it, probably from my parents when I was little, and learning about it in history classes.  I also read a novel when I was in junior high that took place during that time, so being a curious kid, I went to the library and read up about it.  

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2 hours ago, CarpeDiem54 said:

Thank you for that link @Evil Queen.  I find it surprising that the British seem unaware of the Irish Famine.  How can that be?  I remember hearing about it, probably from my parents when I was little, and learning about it in history classes.  I also read a novel when I was in junior high that took place during that time, so being a curious kid, I went to the library and read up about it.  

When I looked up articles about this episode, I too was surprised that so many British viewers were surprised by the severity of the famine.  I wonder if we in America learned more about it since, by virtue of those that survived and emigrated here, it is part of our history.

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35 minutes ago, Notwisconsin said:

He was sort of the Julia Child of his day and age.

Good for him!  I hope he got money for it.

 

9 hours ago, kaygeeret said:

Sometimes I despair.

Kaygeeret, you said everything I was feeling throughout the hour.  Do we never learn anything?  As Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".

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 My relatives came to Canada from Ireland, so the trivialization of the Irish Famine by the Church of Ireland (convert and we will feed you?), and the revisionist history re the Queen's response made my blood boil.

One small nitpick: The new puppy is supposed to be a Skye Terrier according to historical records, but it looks very much like my West Highland White Terrier (Westie).

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I have been to Ireland and heard the history of the famine.   Tragic?  Certainly!   But one thing that was pointed out to me was that there was no meat famine.   These people could have and would have survived had landowners shared their spoils in the form of meats and other produce.  

 

Now, how much of the lays at the feet of Victoria, the Catholics or the Christians.....I suppose it is your individual lens.   In the end, people didn’t have to die or be relocated because of potato’s.  

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8 minutes ago, Luvmyjrt said:

In the end, people didn’t have to die or be relocated because of potato’s.  

In the end people shouldn't have to die because of religion or refusal to share food, either.

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This is one of those episodes that remind us how relatively primitive and often barbaric things still were in the 1840s. You think about the reformation and people being burned at the stake taking place during the time of Henry VIII in the 1500s but in reality, they weren't too far removed from those attitudes by Victoria's time. The contempt some of the characters seem to have with "Papists" is palpable. 

Also, these scenes with Albert learning about sewage canals and installing a water closet in the servants quarters makes you realize how much we take for granted today. I don't think I would want to live in London during the Victorian era, that's for sure.

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I don't think I would want to live in London during the Victorian era, that's for sure.

The PBS series Victorian Slum House was just shocking to watch.  What horrific conditions...I can't even imagine.  No wonder they all died young.

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1 hour ago, Luvmyjrt said:

I have been to Ireland and heard the history of the famine.   Tragic?  Certainly!   But one thing that was pointed out to me was that there was no meat famine.   These people could have and would have survived had landowners shared their spoils in the form of meats and other produce.  

 

Now, how much of the lays at the feet of Victoria, the Catholics or the Christians.....I suppose it is your individual lens.   In the end, people didn’t have to die or be relocated because of potato’s.  

Of course they didn’t have to, but they were oppressed and despised by the ruling class so they did!

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12 hours ago, twoods said:

I picked this show to watch over This Is Us because I didn't want to cry tonight. Big mistake- that was brutal. Poor Dr Traill and the millions of Irish that died or had to emigrate. It's good to know the real story behind Victoria's attitude towards the famine @Evil Queen so thank you for that.

I like that they showed how instrumental Albert was towards improving the sanitation system in London. And I guess no sexy times for widow Harriet and Ernst because he doesn't to infect her with his disease.

Francatelli was nice in this episode. I don't mind his character so was getting irritated with how he was being depicted on this show. Penge continues to be an asshat. The disgust that the so called Christians had against Catholics pissed me off. Aren't you supposed to be helping everyone? You're supposed to be doing God's work. Gah!

Catholics are Christians just a different sect from Protestants, but both are onerous in my opinion.  If you believe there is only one God, and you’re following the good book, you should care about ALL people no matter the circumstance, but people cannot help themselves.  It’s a rare thing when a human being puts equality, generosity and compassion above greed, selfishness, power and money.  We’re seeing the same disdain and contempt for the less fortunate in the United States today. Nothing ever changes.

Not feeling all that sad about Ernst. A risky lifestyle has consequences. What did he think would happen if he kept sticking his dick everywhere?  Yes, i’m judging.  When will we be finished with the longing looks, but going nowhere exchanges between Drummond and Alfred, is it? Still don’t care. I’m hoping that Harriet and Ernst don’t take their place as the sad sack, can’t be together lovers.

I thought JC gave a strong performance this episode and Victoria is certainly showing more compassion than her government or members of her household. Penge and Lehzen are disgusting. I’m amazed that Albert hasn’t given Penge the boot as dirty looking and unkempt as he appears.

I’m glad Penge got told off in front of the staff. He’s a mean, unhappy little man who abuses his position and needs to be put in his place.  I’ve never liked him, but found myself liking Francatelli and Skerritt despite myself this week.  Last comment, I’m glad Victoria and Peele have gained an appreciation for each other.  Good episode although it was painful, too.

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I kept wondering during this episode why Victoria didn't send some of her own money to help feed the Irish.  They portrayed her as being frustrated that the government/Parliament wasn't helping the Irish, yet she didn't do anything on a personal level.  Kind of what we see to a degree today-"let the government take care of it" rather than individuals getting involved on a personal level.

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25 minutes ago, seacliffsal said:

I kept wondering during this episode why Victoria didn't send some of her own money to help feed the Irish.

The actual facts as to that particular matter make her look far worse than the episode does. I'll be interesting to see how it plays out in the next episode or two.

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7 minutes ago, seacliffsal said:

I kept wondering during this episode why Victoria didn't send some of her own money to help feed the Irish.

Me too. Or insist on sending Traill back with the means to start his soup kitchen. I also hope she had sent him the money for passage to and from seeing her upon her summons, especially as it seemed he used his own resources to help supply food (and sacrificed his own family in the process.)

I think I was fixated on these details to distract me from the absolute horror of the Famine, as vividly portrayed in very spare scenes. Kudos to Daisy Goodwin and the original broadcasting network for airing it. What a fantastic tribute to her ancestor.

Thanks also to the link above, @Evil Queen. It led to another link that helped explained why the potato farmers were starving, while loads of food were available for sale as Traill walked through the London streets. Nice contrast with the stacks of food Victoria offered Traill, and the storyline with Francatelli's book.

I was surprised that Albert wasn't more involved with the discussion with Traill, or Victoria's distress over what to do. While he's normally the champion of the non-aristocratic masses (salary bumps and modern toilets for everyone!) here he was all "Meh, whatever my BFF Peel says."

Wonder if anything more will come out of the Penge/ Miss Cleary confrontation, or if Miss Cleary's now outgrown her purpose in the storyline a la Eve Myles' Chartist family character.

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I kept wondering during this episode why Victoria didn't send some of her own money to help feed the Irish. 

Didn't she? I could have sworn Traill said something about the Queen giving him some money to open the soup kitchen or to help his parish or something.

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Not feeling all that sad about Ernst. A risky lifestyle has consequences. 

I get the impression that the show as keeping Ernest more actively involved in the lives of Victoria and Albert than he actually was. I haven't read up on this or anything but he seems to be popping up in their lives every week for no discernible reason. I get it, they like the actor, they want to feature him more, but I'm betting the real Ernest didn't see Albert and Victoria as frequently as he does on this show.

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A whole culture shouldn't have to depend on one vegetable to survive.  The English landowners were responsible for all these people starving to death because they made their peasants subsist on potatoes to begin with. It's disgusting.  That's why I believe Traill is a big stinking hypocrite with his holier than thou attitude and crocodile tears. It didn't cost him anything to spout platitudes.

I have decided that the Victoria and Albert of this show are basically fantasy creatures just as much as show Ernst is a fantasy creature.  Because the more I learn about their real life counterparts the more I realize that they were neither kind or compassionate or beautiful or charming in any way.

Edited by magdalene
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2 hours ago, seacliffsal said:

I kept wondering during this episode why Victoria didn't send some of her own money to help feed the Irish.  They portrayed her as being frustrated that the government/Parliament wasn't helping the Irish, yet she didn't do anything on a personal level.  Kind of what we see to a degree today-"let the government take care of it" rather than individuals getting involved on a personal level.

I recommend researching things yourself. That is all I will saw since it seems it is not allowed for some reason to compare fact and fiction. 

58 minutes ago, magdalene said:

A whole culture shouldn't have to depend on one vegetable to survive.  The English landowners were responsible for all these people starving to death because they made their peasants subsist on potatoes to begin with. It's disgusting.  That's why I believe Traill is a big stinking hypocrite with his holier than thou attitude and crocodile tears. It didn't cost him anything to spout platitudes.

I have decided that the Victoria and Albert of this show are basically fantasy creatures just as much as show Ernst is a fantasy creature.  Because the more I learn about their real life counterparts the more I realize that they were neither kind or compassionate or beautiful or charming in any way.

Agree!!! This is why when I watch shows like this I will look up things to compare fact and fiction going on. Yes the famine happened and was a horrible time for Ireland. As well as I wouldn't be here if my Great, Great Grandparents hadn't survived. I do appreciate this done but I don't like when these things are done in such ways that its not giving us the truth where it should to make the main "characters" of the show look certain ways that they were not. I get some don't want to know the real stories and just watch the fantasy side of it all but when shows do this stuff it is misleading the viewers on the real history of things. Its as bad as keeping people in the dark about how horrible it was IMO. I have enjoyed the show up until now knowing its not all the truth but this one just didn't sit well with me at all and how it went. SMH

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That's why I believe Traill is a big stinking hypocrite with his holier than thou attitude and crocodile tears. It didn't cost him anything to spout platitudes.

Um, well, he did lose his family and open his house as a soup kitchen and ended up dying from typhoid so I'd have dispute the comment on his holier than thou attitude.  Spouting platitudes and acting on them cost him his life.

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2 hours ago, Kaiju Ballet said:

 

Wonder if anything more will come out of the Penge/ Miss Cleary confrontation, or if Miss Cleary's now outgrown her purpose in the storyline a la Eve Myles' Chartist family character.

I was expecting to hear that Miss Cleary emigrated to the US with her family. 

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21 minutes ago, Stacey1014 said:

I was expecting to hear that Miss Cleary emigrated to the US with her family. 

I would not expect that since she has a good job.  If she left it, she would be a burden to her family.  They emigrated, most likely to NYC or Boston, will likely be living in tenements with plenty of prejudice to work through as they try to find jobs and sort themselves out.  Passage was not cheap either, she and they would be better off if she kept her job and sent them money to help out if possible while they get on their feet.

On a personal level, my family came to America pre-Revolution for the English/Irish/Scots side at least, but my husband has ancesters that came over from the famine.  My MIL has said that family lore isn’t that her (however many great) grandparents came over, but her (however many times) great grandfather hated Boston so much he went back to Ireland and no one heard from him again.  I just have such a hard time believing anyone would go back.  Not if they were poor at least.  My guess is he just left and went to NYC or some other place he didn’t have to cross an ocean for.

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I studied abroad in Ireland a few years ago and wrote about the potato famine as my final project, so I was quite interested in seeing this episode. While it wasn’t the most accurate thing (I encourage people interested to do more research) it really nailed the horrors or the famine, and the cold indifference of the British lawmakers and even the clergymen. There was so much they could have done to help, but so many people either didn’t realize how bad things were, considered it the Irish’s own fault for being poor and Catholic, or, worst of all, that this was a convenient way to deal with the “Irish Question”. There were Brits trying to help, but it was almost impossible to get the lawmakers back home to listen or care.  

That clergyman charging conversions for food was just loathsome, I cheered when Dr. Trail through that bible quote in his face. It’s amazing how people who claim to be followers of god can be so uncaring to their neighbor. And Penge really is just a wormy bully. He just has such a hate on for so many people (those Germans and their hygiene! Those Irish and their Catholicism!) and is such a bully, I’m amazed he isn’t exhausted from being such a dick every day. I did enjoy the downstairs stuff this week. 

Thank God Albert is doing something about the pluming situation for as many people as possible. That is just all kinds of nasty.

Edited by tennisgurl
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1 hour ago, Kohola3 said:

Um, well, he did lose his family and open his house as a soup kitchen and ended up dying from typhoid so I'd have dispute the comment on his holier than thou attitude.  Spouting platitudes and acting on them cost him his life.

He bitched about losing donations from the Roman Catholics and from what I was told only opened his house as a soup kitchen to Catholics willing to convert. 

Also, getting typhoid is no special badge of honor, plenty of people had that without getting any recognition for it and 

Spoiler

Prince Albert died from it

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1 hour ago, magdalene said:

He bitched about losing donations from the Roman Catholics and from what I was told only opened his house as a soup kitchen to Catholics willing to convert. 

Is this historical or on the show?  Because on the show he's the one that actually invited the Catholic priest to meet with the other clergy in the episode.  And there was nothing in the episode that indicated he was requiring conversions.  He was shown ladling soup to everybody in line, no questions asked.  I always have closed-captioning on and he said nothing at all about losing donations or requiring conversion.  That was someone else, not Dr. Traill.

Edited by Kohola3 · Reason: Added link to information on Dr. Traill
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5 hours ago, taurusrose said:

Catholics are Christians just a different sect from Protestants, but both are onerous in my opinion.  

The tone of your comment suggests that you meant 'odious' rather than 'onerous' -- but this episode itself was a great example of why making a blanket statement like that is troubling. Official Church of Ireland policy is certainly shown to be odious in the episode -- but the Church of Ireland rector Dr. Traill goes to every length possible to help on the ground AND legislatively (by visiting the Queen). Meanwhile Catholic policy was manifestly odious toward young women who fell pregnant, absolutely, but as we saw in the episode, individual Catholics AND Catholic clergy and orders were on the front lines feeding people during the famine. 

It's very easy to dismiss or condemn individuals for institutional failings, but it's very seldom just. It's also easy to concentrate on institutional failings at the expense of recognizing the manifest good that's also done. All churches behaved badly in various ways in Victorian times, and still do -- but if the soup kitchens and other crucial programs that are run today by Catholics and Protestants (and other faith groups) across the country were suddenly to disappear, I think you'd have a sudden crisis that would truly be... odious.

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4 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I get the impression that the show as keeping Ernest more actively involved in the lives of Victoria and Albert than he actually was. I haven't read up on this or anything but he seems to be popping up in their lives every week for no discernible reason. I get it, they like the actor, they want to feature him more, but I'm betting the real Ernest didn't see Albert and Victoria as frequently as he does on this show.

Last season, I kept wondering who was supposed to be running Belgium with Uncle Leopold spending so much time in England (and inevitably spending so much time traveling to and fro). Now I am wondering who is supposed to be running Coburg with Ernst spending so much time with his brother and sister-in-law. A couple of his visits have made sense--I can see sneaking over to Paris when they are there and why he was featured in the funeral scenes since they were at home for him--but it is starting to get silly, especially factoring in how much time he would be traveling. 

I thought the Irish Potato Famine scenes were powerful, but I have wondered ever since Miss Cleary was hired if Irish servants would have been even allowed in Buckingham Palace at this time. I know a lot of Irish women worked in service, but my impression was that was later in the century and probably not in Buckingham Palace. Does anyone know?

5 hours ago, taurusrose said:

Penge and Lehzen are disgusting. I’m amazed that Albert hasn’t given Penge the boot as dirty looking and unkempt as he appears.

I'm surprised that someone who looks that perpetually dishelved is allowed to run the Queen's house. 

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1 hour ago, Kohola3 said:

Is this historical or on the show?  Because on the show he's the one that actually invited the Catholic priest to meet with the other clergy in the episode.  And there was nothing in the episode that indicated he was requiring conversions.  He was shown ladling soup to everybody in line, no questions asked.  I always have closed-captioning on and he said nothing at all about losing donations or requiring conversion.  That was someone else, not Dr. Traill.

The real Doctor whined about donations, it's in his online biography.  The thing about requiring conversions I got from an Irish-American friend who loathes the English to this day. Obviously with good reason I am beginning to see.

The show obviously is not that realistic.  Starting with the casting of beautiful Jenna Coleman as the unattractive Victoria. 

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45 minutes ago, magdalene said:

The real Doctor whined about donations, it's in his online biography. 

True but this was before he threw himself, his family, and his money into helping the starving people in his town.

46 minutes ago, magdalene said:

The thing about requiring conversions I got from an Irish-American friend who loathes the English to this day. Obviously with good reason I am beginning to see.

The Irish have many, many reasons to hate the English.  But in the famine, Dr. Traill was not one who required conversions.  He helped everyone as noted in his online biography.

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1 hour ago, JTM said:

The tone of your comment suggests that you meant 'odious' rather than 'onerous' -- but this episode itself was a great example of why making a blanket statement like that is troubling. Official Church of Ireland policy is certainly shown to be odious in the episode -- but the Church of Ireland rector Dr. Traill goes to every length possible to help on the ground AND legislatively (by visiting the Queen). Meanwhile Catholic policy was manifestly odious toward young women who fell pregnant, absolutely, but as we saw in the episode, individual Catholics AND Catholic clergy and orders were on the front lines feeding people during the famine. 

It's very easy to dismiss or condemn individuals for institutional failings, but it's very seldom just. It's also easy to concentrate on institutional failings at the expense of recognizing the manifest good that's also done. All churches behaved badly in various ways in Victorian times, and still do -- but if the soup kitchens and other crucial programs that are run today by Catholics and Protestants (and other faith groups) across the country were suddenly to disappear, I think you'd have a sudden crisis that would truly be... odious.

I meant the word I used, as in both sects have been burdensome and oppressive. People have been using religion to deprive others since the dawn of time and continues to this day. And Christianity, in all its forms, has been used to interfere with indigenous populations and obliterate other cultures since the first missionary left Europe. Yes, some good has been done, but how much more harm?

Edited by taurusrose
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This episode stirred my feinnien leanings. I did a lot of research on the so-called potato famine and wrote several papers on the topic back in my undergrad days, including quotes from Parliament about the blight solving the "Irish problem" and data about food exports from Ireland to England. I even wrote a competitive literature analysis about songs and poems about the famine, and "Skibbereen" was one of my subjects. Watching this episode was like seeing someone dramatize my English 102 portfolio.

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5 hours ago, magdalene said:

He bitched about losing donations from the Roman Catholics and from what I was told only opened his house as a soup kitchen to Catholics willing to convert. 

Also, getting typhoid is no special badge of honor, plenty of people had that without getting any recognition for it and 

  Reveal hidden contents

Prince Albert died from it

Dr. Traill didn’t require conversions. He spoke against it at the beginning of the episode. He also expressed regret about saying what he did about the tithing in the past. You need to re-watch the episode.

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2 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

True but this was before he threw himself, his family, and his money into helping the starving people in his town.

3 hours ago, magdalene said:

They even mention that in the show, if I remember correctly. One of the other English guys says how Dr. Traill wasn't all sympathetic towards the Irish when he was complaining about how they didn't donate to the Church of Ireland, and Traill said that he just wanted everyone to follow the law, and that it was before the famine got so bad. He had clearly had a change of heart long after that, and had dedicated himself to helping the needy, eventually sinking his whole fortune, and losing his life in the process. 

I got into a bit of a Google hole abut Dr. Traill, and he was involved in the Tithe War, that went from around 1830-1836, and the famine didn't really start until around 1846, so quite a bit of time had passed between them, plenty of time for him to grow to understand the people around him, and develop more empathy for them, even beyond just being moved by basic compassion at seeing innocent people suffering. The historical guy apparently started trying to help stop the famine right away, but it couldn't be stopped and he couldn't get other Brits back home to pay attention to the problem, so he started relief efforts himself while trying to get other landowners to help their employees, which many of them didn't. He would later spend most all of his money on relief, opened his home to the sick and starving, and eventually died of "Famine Fever" AKA typhus, helping people until he couldn't. 

He participated in a crappy thing, but he also gave up everything to help the same people he once looked down on, so I find it hard to just label him an asshole because of one (admittedly lousy) thing he did, when he would go on to apparently learn his lesson and die helping the people he previously hurt. 

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10 hours ago, seacliffsal said:

I kept wondering during this episode why Victoria didn't send some of her own money to help feed the Irish.  They portrayed her as being frustrated that the government/Parliament wasn't helping the Irish, yet she didn't do anything on a personal level.  Kind of what we see to a degree today-"let the government take care of it" rather than individuals getting involved on a personal level.

She did.  Penge was complaining that the household would have to forego bread on Fridays.

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Queen Victoria was extremely wealthy.   In addition to almost 2 million annuity from Parliament she received hundreds of thousands from various other sources.  I've seen her net worth as 100 million (in 1901 currency!)  Yet when her subjects are literally starving to death she eventually donates $2,000.   What kind of queen does that?

The writer seems enamored with her character and is spinning a fairy-tale.   

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6 hours ago, Razzberry said:

What kind of queen does that?

Most of them in history. You have to remember, prior to 1918, royalty was like the mafia....except legal.

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When Albert walks into the meeting, and is dismissive Dr Traill states: If you had asked me a year ago I would have said the same thing. But living there he came to understand the situation more fully

So Dr. Traill arrived with the common attitude of his time and class, but was able to see what the reality was and change. 

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I do agree that a donation of 2000 pounds seems fairly cheap, but I did some checking, and in the 1840's 2000 pounds spent like 200,000 today.  Also, for further perspective, at that time a British pound was worth approximately 5 US dollars, so you are talking a million dollar donation in today's dollars.  

Still doesn't seem like a lot given the scope of the tragedy, but it was more generous than the numbers suggest.  Also, Victoria's net worth was considerable, but the majority of it was in properties.  A lot of monarchs back then were actually strapped for cash. Just look at Albert's father and the need for repairs at his castle/palace. I am sure she could and should have done more, but it may not have been quite so easy to get her hands on the cash.  They did have to cut back in the household budget as seen by the grumbling below stairs.

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I have decided that the Victoria and Albert of this show are basically fantasy creatures just as much as show Ernst is a fantasy creature.  Because the more I learn about their real life counterparts the more I realize that they were neither kind or compassionate or beautiful or charming in any way.

I do agree, but if they were depicted as ugly and mean, there would be a far smaller audience...

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19 hours ago, magdalene said:

The thing about requiring conversions I got from an Irish-American friend who loathes the English to this day. Obviously with good reason I am beginning to see.

Really, wow, seems sweepingly harsh? Some of us are actually pretty nice people...not me mind you - I'm a thorough asshole, heh. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

19 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

The Irish have many, many reasons to hate the English.

Let's add some perspective in; not wholesale - my parents were Irish and English and none of my father's family hated 'the English', and they weren't isolated examples.

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Queen Victoria was extremely wealthy.   In addition to almost 2 million annuity from Parliament she received hundreds of thousands from various other sources.  I've seen her net worth as 100 million (in 1901 currency!)  Yet when her subjects are literally starving to death she eventually donates $2,000.   What kind of queen does that?

You have to wonder how much of an understanding Victoria had about her own finances. I'm sure these things were all taken care of for her and it's not like she could just pull out a checkbook and write a blank check. Also, as pointed out above, most of her assets were non-liquid: property, works of art, jewels, etc. Since it was mentioned that the servants would have to go without bread on Fridays due to her donations, it seems like she had to scrounge up some available cash she actually had direct control over (and probably needed Albert's help in figuring it out).

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