WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY:
THE GOLDEN AFTERNOON GIVES WA Y TO THE FUTURE
DESCRIPTION: When Noël Coward wrote, “The stately homes of England, how beautiful they stand/ To prove the upper classes, have still the upper hand,” he was thinking of estates like Downton Abbey and families like the Crawleys. Viewers have been enchanted by the television series, Downton Abbey, an inside drama of aristocrats and their servants in the early 20th century in one of the grand country mansions of England. The story begins as the Titanic sinks, moves on to the so-called “Great War,” and looks at Britain in the aftermath of the hostilities. Aside from squabbles below stairs and intrigues in the drawing room, what was really happening in England? After the guns of August, in 1914, Britain changed in ways that would prove puzzling to the Earl of Grantham, and incomprehensible to his mother, Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham. Following the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, the power of the House of Lords shrank, women were given the vote, and Ireland rose in a civil war against Britain. The situation was further complicated by the appalling wartime deaths of Old Etonians, decimating the ranks of sons of nobility who were expected to inherit their fathers’ estates, customs, and responsibilities. New and necessary attitudes transformed both public and private lives. This one-time lecture, accompanied by hundreds of vivid slides, traces the beginning of the decline of the British upper classes and their way of life. Their social inferiors, elevated through education, ambition and service during the war, were poised to rise.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Virginia W. Newmyer lectures at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and in Britain on a wide variety of topics in British history and literature. She teaches an annual series of classes at Politics and Prose, Washington’s leading bookstore, on the connective threads between novels and history, and at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at American University.
|10:00 AM – noon
Friday, December 14, 2012
Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Member: Advance registration - $25 per event/$60 for any combination of 3
Non-member: Advance registration - $30
Door Price: Member/non-member - $35
|*Enrollment for 3 or more events must be submitted on one form.|