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We can all breathe a sigh of relief now that Season Two of Downton Abbey has ended happily. Well, somewhat happily. If you haven’t watched it yet, please don’t read any further – there are major spoilers below.
Matthew finally proposed to Mary, ending the turbulant season pockmarked by WWI, death, murder, family defections, out-of-wedlock babies, social blackmail and the Spanish flu – on an up note.
So where does the show go now? Season three will face the Roaring ‘20s – with all the accompanying freedoms – both in fashion, entertainment, travel, work and society. Downton Abbey is a staid old manor but its occupants will surely feel the effect of this new era.
Corsets will vanish as the slim low-waisted flapper silhouette come dancing into fashion. Bobs and flapper spit curls will be the au courant hairstyles. Fashions inspired by silent movie stars will be made in factories cheaply enough for the lower classes to afford. Costume designer Sarah Buxton is going to have a lot of fun in the upcoming season.
Right after WWI, British women over 30 who were householders could vote. By 1928, all English women over 21 get the vote. Women will enter the workforce in areas other than domestic help. But unemployment will continue to be high in England. We may hear the characters using the new era’s slang, phrases like “bee’s knees” (the ultimate compliment), “cat’s meow” (another top compliment), “giggle water” (alcohol).
Cocktails will make their debut in London’s first night clubs. Ragtime jazz dance halls will flourish and everyone will dance the Black Bottom, the Shimmy and the Charleston. People will also start to listen to two new inventions, the grammophone and the crystal radio.
With so many social changes afoot, we fear that Downton’s posh and proper Empire Days are gone forever. But before all you DA fans begin your long wait for the new season, here’s two video tours of the upstairs and the downstairs TV sets to tide you over.
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