Step back a hundred years to the world of the pampered, privileged upper classes and look inside Downton Abbey to find out exactly what goes on behind the magisterial doors of TV’s favourite stately home. They were the super rich of their times, pampered beyond belief – the early 20th century Edwardian gentry, who lived like superstars, their every desire or need catered to by an army of butlers, servants, footmen, housekeepers and grooms. Class, money, inheritance, luxury and snobbery dominated every aspect of the lives of the upper crust Edwardian family, led by Robert Crawley, The Earl of Grantham – played in the hit show by Hugh Bonneville. While below stairs the staff, including Carson the Butler (Jim Carter), Bates the Valet (Brendan Coyle), O’Brien the Ladies’ Maid (Siobhan Finneran), and Daisy the Kitchen Maid (Sophie McSherra), inhabited a completely different world, their very lives dependent on servicing the rich, pandering to their masters’ every whim, rubbing shoulders with wealth and privilege, privy to their most intimate and darkest secrets – yet faced ruin and shame if they ventured to make the smallest step outside the boundaries of their class ridden world. From manners and morals to etiquette and style, The Real Life Downton Abbey opens the doors to TV’s favourite stately home.
About the Author
Jacky Hyams is a freelance journalist and editor who regularly writes for the "Evening Standard."