Monday, January 14, 2013

Is Lady Edith the Mary Ingalls of Britain?

Like millions of others, I am caught up in watching Downton Abbey. Some time in Season 2, I heard about this fabulous period show on PBS and had to check it out. I loved it so much, I watched the episodes I missed on the PBS website, continued through to the end of the second season, and eagerly anticipated the start of Season 3 on January 6th.

With Lady Mary and Lady Sybil both married, the attention suddenly falls to Edith in the second episode. The middle, and often forgotten, child of Lord and Lady Grantham, is excited to finally be in the limelight. As she prepares for her wedding to Sir Anthony Strallan, it seems like the sun has finally shone on her.

But just like Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie seemed to be a magnet for tragedy, Lady Edith never seems to get what she wants. The creator of Downton Abbey is also the series creator, Julian Fellowes. I'm truly beginning to think he dislikes Edith, because how much bad stuff can happen to one character? With Mary Ingalls it was numerous health conditions, going blind (historically accurate), and losing two babies. With Lady Edith, not only does love seem to elude her, she's always looking for it in the wrong places. Not to mention that she's overly snarky. She despises Lady Mary enough to try and ruin her reputation, and can't even manage to be kind to Mary on her wedding day, rambling something about her older sister getting a man with good looks and position before slipping out of the room. Some might wonder if she deserves what she gets. After all, she did once try to get between a man and his wife.

One also has to wonder if Lady Edith will ever be happy for long, or if like Mary Ingalls, her happy times will be clouded over by horrible tragedies that her mother tells her will make her stronger.

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