Down and Out in the Abbey.


I’ve had some free time on my hands lately so I’ve been immersed in the world of Downton Abbey. I think the writing is superb and I love the characters and their storylines. I adore the fashion of the time period, especially all the hats!

I have to say though, that my favorite character is Maggie Smith’s Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham. She is snarky, sarcastic, and completely set in her ways no matter how old fashioned or patronizing they may be. You never know what she is going to say and some of her comments have actually made me laugh out loud. To that end, I have compiled some of my favorite quotes from the Dowager Countess:

“What is a week-end?”

“Is this an instrument of communication or torture?”

“I don’t dislike him, I just don’t like him. Which is quite different.”

Mary Crawley: “I was only going to say that Sybil is entitled to her opinions.”
Violet Crawley: “No she isn’t, until she is married. Then her husband will tell her what her opinions are.”

“Don’t be defeatist dear. It’s terribly middle class.”

“She’s not being rude, just wrong.”

Isobel Crawley: “What should we call each other?”
Violet Crawley: “Well, we could always start with Mrs. Crawley and Lady Grantham.”

Isobel Crawley: “I like the new fashions – shorter skirts, looser cuts. The old clothes were all very well if one spent the day on a chaise lounge but if one wants to get anything done the new clothes are much better.”
Violet Crawley: “I’ll stick to the chaise lounge.”

“Will someone please tell me what is going on or have we all stepped through the looking glass?”

Richard Carlisle: “I am leaving in the morning, Lady Grantham. I doubt we’ll meet again.”
Violet Crawley: “Do you promise?”

Matthew Crawley: “Sorry about the vase.”
Violet Crawley: “Oh don’t be, don’t be. It was a wedding present from a frightful aunt. I have hated it for half a century.”

“It’s like living in a second rate hotel where the guests keep arriving and no one seems to leave.”

“Oh don’t look at me. I’m very good at mixing. We always danced the first waltz at the servants ball, didn’t we Carson?”

“I was right about my maid. She’s leaving! To get married. How could she be so selfish?”

Earl of Grantham: “Tell her about James and Patrick. She won’t have heard.”
Violet Crawley: “Of course I’ve heard. Why else would I be here?”

“No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house. Especially someone they didn’t even know.”

And my favorite Violet Crawley quote:  “No one wants to kiss a girl in black.”


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