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SilverStormm

S02.E06: Faith, Hope and Charity

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22 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 

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Prince Albert died from it

I do not quibble with your point of view - which you are absolutely entitled to - but with the information under the "spoiler tag".  However, in respect of the Spoiler Policy of this forum,  I have to address it in the History Talk Thread.

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Just when the show couldn't get even more depressing... 

I thought this was the most powerful episode this season.  The juxtaposition of the wealthy clergy, living in the manor house to the starving locals living and dying in what looked like a stable block was acute.  

Victoria's desperation to help the Irish contrasting with Albert's help of a flush toilet for the palace servants while whole parts parts of the city have no sanitation whatsoever.

 

I still don't understand Fracitelli's relationship with the wealthy American, but perhaps we saw some of his character in giving the watch to Miss Cleary.

 

I can't imagine having to tithe to one religion while belonging to another because the government demands it.

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6 hours ago, SilverStormm said:

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

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.

Sometimes perspective is very hard to come by.  I live in the US and am of German descent and I have been told by quite a few Jewish people over the years that they hated me because of my German descent.(  I was born many, many years after the end of WWII.) Still, I totally understand where they are coming from. There is such a thing as collective guilt and as a German person I deserve to bear it forever. 

So I understand the feeling by some of the Irish people that the English  deserve to bear some collective guilt for atrocities and for oppressing the Irish for centuries.

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6 minutes ago, magdalene said:

Sometimes perspective is very hard to come by.  I live in the US and am of German descent and I have been told by quite a few Jewish people over the years that they hated me because of my German descent.(  I was born many, many years after the end of WWII.) Still, I totally understand where they are coming from. There is such a thing as collective guilt and as a German person I deserve to bear it forever. 

So I understand the feeling by some of the Irish people that the English  deserve to bear some collective guilt for atrocities and for oppressing the Irish for centuries.

Each to their own. I don't have guilt for things I had no control over or influence in, nor do I think anyone else should. Life is too short - and often too shitty enough as it is - to hold historically ethical grudges, (saying that, I'm pretty sure many European ancestors were enslaved by Rome way back in the day... but I bear no malice toward Italian people of today for it, I think they're great) but that's just me. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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As I said before, I lived in Ireland for a bit, and the attitudes of people I met towards the English were...complicated. Some people (especially in the older generations) are still truly bitter towards the English, and think that they will never stop feeling that way. Most people I met though, still have a rivalry with the English, but are fully aware that modern English people had nothing to do with the famine, and as long as they dont say anything dickish about it (The Irish brought it on themselves!) then no one seemed to actually care, beyond cheering against them in soccer matches and ribbing at the bar. As one cab driver said as I told him about the paper on the famine I was writing "I mean, fuck the English and everything, but they're alright really", and that seemed to sum it up for a lot of people. Just, dont say that Ireland and the UK are "basically the same thing". Just...dont. 

I can get the collective guilt thing to extent, but I think feeling guilty about things that that a person never did, or hating someone for something they never did, is pretty pointless. Its important to learn from the mistakes of your ancestors and not do awful things again, but what does feeling guilty, or hating random people for it accomplish? I mean, to each their own, and if a person has that much cultural baggage towards a culture, as long as they arent actually hurting people, thats their life. To me, almost every group of people that have ever existed have done something, at some point, to some other group of people that sucked, even if you have to go back hundreds or thousands of years. Being angry about something their great great great grandfathers people did just seems to create more pointless divisions in the world, and who does that help? Being guilty about the past is understandable, but only to an extent I think. Wallowing in it helps no one. 

I mean, my family is German on my moms side, my relatives coming from Germany in the 1920s. My grandpa would tell stories about how as a kid in the 30s/40 his neighborhood of German (mostly Catholics) immigrants and their families were constantly harassed by their WASP neighbors, with his mom almost losing her job due to prejudice, culminating in the KKK burning crosses on their lawn and fights breaking out. So, based on that, Jewish people can hate me, but I can hate WASPS? That doesn't even count the rest of my family on both sides, a mix of English, Irish, French, Nordic, Catholic, Jewish, and a smattering of Ukrainian. And thats not even counting the relatives that have married into my family (Jewish, African American, Hispanic), and the fact that we have fought in practically every war in the US from the American Revolution to the War on Terror, and...holy crap I would need a flow chart to figure out who I am allowed to hate, and who is allowed to hate me. I get collective guilt as a way to learn from mistakes, but just to start more fights? Why? Instead of diagramming a chart of all the people on the planet that I need to hate or apologize to based on stuff that happened before I was born, I say we all get cookies together instead. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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1 hour ago, SilverStormm said:

Each to their own. I don't have guilt for things I had no control over or influence in, nor do I think anyone else should. Life is too short - and often too shitty enough as it is - to hold historically ethical grudges, (saying that, I'm pretty sure many European ancestors were enslaved by Rome way back in the day... but I bear no malice toward Italian people of today for it, I think they're great) but that's just me. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I agree.  I’m a typical American mutt...English, Scottish, Irish, also German, Swiss, Norwegian (can you tell I don’t tan easily?  Lol).  All of my ancestors were probably prejudiced against other of my ancestors and no doubt some groups oppressed others.  I can’t even imagine if I adopted all their historic guilt.  I have Catholics and Protestants too.  Yep, even brothers who fought on opposite sides of the civil war.  But somehow they all came together and here I am!  

I think Victoria is doing a fair job of showing the prejudices of the day and all the opposing views.  I love the real people that are sprinkled throughout the series.  I know they are often a bit historically inaccurate but they interest me enough to go researching more on them.  Dr Traill was very interesting.  And it was cool to see the chef was real too!

Edited by morgan
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From Wikipedia on Traill: His great-great-great granddaughter is TV producer and writer Daisy Goodwin. Goodwin wrote Traill into an episode of ITV's Victoria which told the story of the Great Famine.

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Anyone explain to me how having an indoor toilet would solve the sanitation problem? The waste would still go to that horrible river underneath the castle, eight?

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An indoor wc, made if I remember correctly from porcelain, is much easier to keep clean then chamber pots and outhouses.  At this time in London houses dumped their wastes into cesspits under or behind the houses, which could and did leach into the wells.  The book The Ghost Map is a wonderful description of how a cholera outbreak led to the demostration of disease transmission and contributed to the subsequent clean-up of London's waste system.

Edited by kassygreene
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I read somewhere once that sometimes the smell from the human waste was so bad in London that they had to hang some kind of material doused in a certain chemical on the windows of Parliament  to make the stench more bearable. Good times!

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2 hours ago, magdalene said:

I read somewhere once that sometimes the smell from the human waste was so bad in London that they had to hang some kind of material doused in a certain chemical on the windows of Parliament  to make the stench more bearable. Good times!

"MPs shrouded themselves behind curtains soaked with chloride of lime to counter the fumes. "

London's Great Stink

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An indoor wc, made if I remember correctly from porcelain, is much easier to keep clean then chamber pots and outhouses.  

My confusion is, wouldn't the waste from the indoor WCs also flow to the cesspools?

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30 minutes ago, smartymarty said:

My confusion is, wouldn't the waste from the indoor WCs also flow to the cesspools?

One would assume since putting in sewers just for the palace would be a huge, years-long project.

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On 2/6/2018 at 1:48 PM, iMonrey said:

You have to wonder how much of an understanding Victoria had about her own finances.

And how much control she had over them.   Between Victoria's remove and Albert's micro-management of pretty much everything she did, perhaps some misjudgment of the situation was equally to blame.

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On 2/4/2018 at 10:34 PM, Ms Lark said:

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?

Same. Along with Martha Jones, my least favorite companion - ugh! But she definitely has some depth in this role, which is nice to see. She still has many Clara-esque moments for sure, however.

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5 hours ago, lightninggirl said:

Same. Along with Martha Jones, my least favorite companion - ugh! But she definitely has some depth in this role, which is nice to see. She still has many Clara-esque moments for sure, however.

Yes, but here she's the Queen and not trying to supplant The Doctor, so it can be overlooked a bit.

Martha was my favorite companion and Clara the least. Donna least fav before Clara, but I know I skew outside the norm!

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Harriet and Ernst never actually talked in this episode, correct?  I saw her enter a room where he was playing the keyboard, but don't recall any conversation.  I assume the scene with the doctor and the scary pictures of children afflicted with syphilis were intended to communicate that Ernst could never have someone as upright as Harriet.  But I wanted a closing conversation.  (Did the overwhelming ending of this episode blot out a scene in my mind?) 

I agree with the earlier posters that while I love seeing Ernst so frequently, it does seem to suggest that he is hopping around Europe on EasyJet flights rather than undertaking lengthy carriage and ship routes to London.  Not all carriage rides are the breezy countryside jaunts we saw in France in the preceding episode.

The end of this episode just destroyed me; I could tell where it was going even before Dr Trainn coughed.  And that folk ballad was so wrenching, and so perfect.  There are more stanzas than we heard, about the narrator's mother dying in the famine; but the parts we heard were heartrending enough. 

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I'd like a word with the cameraman, or maybe the editor, who missed out on a perfectly marvelous, if gratuitous, shot up Ernst's towel in the vapor room.  

 

As far as the "historical accuracy" of this ep (or even the whole series), I say: If you get your history from the movies (or the tube), you deserve the history you get.  If it intrigues you, crack open a book and find out more about it.  India isn't The Jungle Book, and everything isn't always up-to-date in Kansas City.

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I looked up Dr. Traill on Wikipedia and found this: “His great-great-great granddaughter is TV producer and writer Daisy Goodwin.” She is justifiably proud to have such an ancestor!

Well, I call that using her powers for good!

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On 2/5/2018 at 4:12 PM, 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 had been that kind of guy, during the establishment of the Church of Ireland.  He openly admitted that at the beginning of the episode.  But watching people die in his parish changed his heart.

This is the only episode I've watched three times.  It is incredibly well written and now, with the revelation of Daisy's relationship to Traill, it all makes sense.

But who among us have heard similar statements made by the Church of Ireland in this latter day?  Some of these sounded to me like direct quotes after the hurricane hit Puerto Rico last year.

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I rewatched this episode and I have to say how well acted the scene was with Mr. Penge, Mr. Francatelli, and Ms. Cleary!  That was so intense and it could have easily gone way over-the-top but the acting was perfect.  And I know Mr. Penge isn't well liked but that speaks volumes of the actor playing him.  His delivery was just perfect through out this episode and for the first time this season I am invested in the downstairs drama.  They should all be proud!!

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10 hours ago, floridamom said:

Did I miss something? What happened to Victoria's mother? Did she just drop off the face of the Earth?

I saw these episodes a while ago, so please excuse what may be a stupid question. Was Victoria's mother spoken about in this episode? Was there something happening that related to her?

If not, it is important to remember that Victoria wanted nothing to do with her Mother or her mother's "advisor" Conroy. They had controlled every minute of her childhood (except for time spent with Lehzen) and she wanted nothing to do with them. She moved to the "new" palace - Buckingham Palace - and made them stay in Kensington Palace. They only got to visit if she allowed it - although Albert seems to be trying to broker a truce between Victoria and her mother.

So, not seeing them... or just her... in an episode means nothing.

Edited by Anothermi · Reason: spelling
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On 2/5/2018 at 12:57 AM, magdalene said:

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?

The Irish man was a minister. If she can't trust him who can she trust?

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I watched this episode on Amazon ... just scanned through it again and I don't see any scene of an American woman in a carriage, or anything to do with Francatelli and a cookbook. What am I missing? Is it in another episode?

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On ‎5‎.‎2‎.‎2018 at 9:19 PM, taurusrose said:

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.

Well, there are contradictionary passages in Bible, so everybody can chose those she likes best. In the sermon that Victoria and Albert listened to in the beginning of the episode, the priest said that natural disasters were God's just punishment from sins. If one believed that, those sinful people didn't deserva any help. 

However, there was other reasons mentioned in the episode, Malthus's theory of excess population growth, and the high price of grain that favored English landowners.     

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On ‎5‎.‎2‎.‎2018 at 9:19 PM, taurusrose said:

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.

This reminds how AIDS patients were earlier treated.  

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On ‎7‎.‎2‎.‎2018 at 2:30 AM, tennisgurl said:

I can get the collective guilt thing to extent, but I think feeling guilty about things that that a person never did, or hating someone for something they never did, is pretty pointless. Its important to learn from the mistakes of your ancestors and not do awful things again, but what does feeling guilty, or hating random people for it accomplish? I mean, to each their own, and if a person has that much cultural baggage towards a culture, as long as they arent actually hurting people, thats their life. To me, almost every group of people that have ever existed have done something, at some point, to some other group of people that sucked, even if you have to go back hundreds or thousands of years. Being angry about something their great great great grandfathers people did just seems to create more pointless divisions in the world, and who does that help? Being guilty about the past is understandable, but only to an extent I think. Wallowing in it helps no one. 

I don't think that a person is guilty because of her forefathers', party's or nation's crimes but she is responsible how she reacts to those crimes.

Also, that a person's forefathers, party or nation has once been offers, doesn't give her right to oppress others.      

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19 hours ago, Roseanna said:

This reminds how AIDS patients were earlier treated.  

Excuse you.  Having an opinion about something doesn’t mean you think people should be vilified. My lack of interest in Ernst’s situation stands.

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2 hours ago, taurusrose said:

Excuse you.  Having an opinion about something doesn’t mean you think people should be vilified. My lack of interest in Ernst’s situation stands.

Then I am very sorry to make such a supposition. Of course you have every right not to have an interest in any character or show. 

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On 5/3/2018 at 2:44 PM, Roseanna said:

This reminds how AIDS patients were earlier treated.  

VERY different things. Ernst was engaging in behavior he KNEW was risky. The early AIDS patients did not know this disease was out there. They were still risking known STDs, but not AIDS. And they were treated poorly because of homophobia. Ernst is able to get treatment because he's a wealthy white man. AIDS wasn't truly addressed until wealthy white men got it.

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9 hours ago, smartymarty said:

VERY different things. Ernst was engaging in behavior he KNEW was risky. The early AIDS patients did not know this disease was out there. They were still risking known STDs, but not AIDS. And they were treated poorly because of homophobia. Ernst is able to get treatment because he's a wealthy white man. AIDS wasn't truly addressed until wealthy white men got it.

I'm only quoting you because you were the nearest post. This response in more about @ROSEANNA  's  original post. I think the original post was about the response to the AIDs epidemic based on judgements regarding promiscuity which I saw as Roseanna's point. Ernest was a promiscuous man. These men were more likely to contract syphilis/AIDs. Gay culture at the time included (but was not limited to) a great deal of promiscuity.  This was one of the reasons uber-religious people felt that AIDs was God's retribution... as well as the homosexual issue. 

Therefor I don't see this as a problematic observation. If promiscuity - by itself - is seen as bad, then Ernst is comparable to many gay men during the AIDs crisis.  (facts come later)

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11 hours ago, smartymarty said:

VERY different things. Ernst was engaging in behavior he KNEW was risky. The early AIDS patients did not know this disease was out there. They were still risking known STDs, but not AIDS. And they were treated poorly because of homophobia. Ernst is able to get treatment because he's a wealthy white man. AIDS wasn't truly addressed until wealthy white men got it.

 

1 hour ago, Anothermi said:

I'm only quoting you because you were the nearest post. This response in more about @ROSEANNA  's  original post. I think the original post was about the response to the AIDs epidemic based on judgements regarding promiscuity which I saw as Roseanna's point. Ernest was a promiscuous man. These men were more likely to contract syphilis/AIDs. Gay culture at the time included (but was not limited to) a great deal of promiscuity.  This was one of the reasons uber-religious people felt that AIDs was God's retribution... as well as the homosexual issue. 

Therefor I don't see this as a problematic observation. If promiscuity - by itself - is seen as bad, then Ernst is comparable to many gay men during the AIDs crisis.  (facts come later)

Anothermi has understood my meaning. 

There are many other life styles that are risky (smoking, drinking and eating too much, driving too fast) and if those persons got sick or an accident, some people may casually say that they should have knewn the risks they took, but usually they are not judged so harsly as diseases that are connected with sex and that are therefore considered to be immoral.

I don't think it was just a conincidence that the Irish famine and Ernst sickness was presented in the episode. In both cases the contemporary reaction could be of same kind: why didn't the Irish cultivate also other species than potatos? why didn't Ernst marry or stay celibate?     

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On ‎5‎.‎2‎.‎2018 at 10:59 PM, 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.  

 

On ‎6‎.‎2‎.‎2018 at 1:14 AM, tennisgurl said:

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.  

The basic reason was that for centuries Ireland was treated as a colony by the English and the Irish Catholics were considered to be lower breed. No wonder that the Irish had several rebellions. After they were defeated, the Catholics were punished collectively: they couldn't own houses, land or even horses, attend school or get an official. 

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On ‎5‎.‎2‎.‎2018 at 10:50 PM, 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.

Because the show is shown (at least here) every week, doesn't mean that there hasn't gone more time between episodes. A visit once or twice a year is hardly unusual. And because it took more time to travel, visits were earlier much longer than today.

One must remember that at that time the British royal family was much more German than English. It originated from Hannover, Victoria's mother was German and Albert was German. So it's no wonder Victoria and Alber were very close with their German relatives. In addition, they were equal, had same interests and could be trusted.  

Of course the reason can also be that in a drama, it's no good to describe people telling thing to each other in letters as they did irl.   

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