20th century, bright young things, freda dudley ward, hitler, julian fellows, lady sylvia ashley downtown abbey, london's embassy club, mimosas, roaring 20s, swinging 60s, the prince of wales, world war II
How we all love a good yarn. Stories transport us, entertain us, makes us feel and show us the universality of the human condition. They are a window into viewing how others are getting on, making a go of this mortal coil.
Downton Abbey ended it’s fourth season tonight in the U.S. And as the last scene faded and the credits rolled, I instantly felt the loss of all my beloved characters. The British period series provides a needed glow during the lull of the winter months between the holidays and the budding of spring, especially when there aren’t any winter olympics figure skating programs to distract us.
How much time will transpire before we are reunited? I’m referring not only to the year until the next season, but how far creator and writer Julian Fellows will catapult us into the future of the Crawley family and their devoted staff. It’s like they go on living and breathing even when we’re not watching.
Tonight I was treated to some inside information, thanks to Silky. Some of Downton’s characters referenced the Embassy Club in London. It was the hot spot in the 1920s due to the Prince of Wales’ patronage and it was a club Sylvia frequented along with the Bright Young Things. Then there was a bit of intrigue involving a letter from the Prince of Wales to his lover at the time, Freda Dudley Ward–all of whom were Silky’s contemporaries. When the prince crashes one of the characters’ coming out ball I commented to my friend with whom I watch the series, what a coup it was as the prince was not permitted to dance with unmarried ladies. When she asked me how I knew such a fact, I replied, “Research for my book.” And we toasted with another Mimosa (or a Buck’s Fizz as they were originally named).
Silky has taught me a myriad of odd facts and tidbits from the 20th century: from British slang to etiquette, from European history to the history of popular cocktails. From high society to the horrors of Hitler and World War II, from the roaring 20s to the swinging sixties. And what a wonderful voyage it’s been!