|The Crawley sisters of Downton Abbey: Edith, Sybil, Mary|
|Dishy Thomas, beautiful, gay ... and evil|
|Elizabeth McGovern as the American heiress Cora|
And frankly there are scenes that I think would just never happen - the grudging acceptance by the lord of the manor of the marriage of his youngest daughter Sybil to the chauffeur Branson. Never ... gonna .. happen. Those nighttime rendezvous between daughter and chauffeur, highly unlikely.
Would the Earl of Grantham keep in his employ a lame valet with a prison record even if he was a comrade from the Boer War? Would the dowager countess advocate to have a footman be treated in the local hospital after he is gassed at the front because she pities the father of the boy? Fellowes, who is affluent himself (Lord of the Manor of Tattershall in Lincolnshire), keeps insisting that the aristocracy could simply not afford to mistreat servants as they would leave - after all they weren't slaves!
It all has a tinge of "It was horribly unfair wasn't it? But didn't we get along so well - looking after each others' interests?" I wonder. Possibly, these acts of kindness were commonplace ... it's a lovely dream though isn't it - of how class relations worked back then?