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The Daily Glean: The Yorkshire Dales: vintage guidebooks, spectacular vistas, and treasures of stained glass

 
  Wednesday, March 05, 2014  
 
  The fictional estate of Downton Abbey is nestled among the real-life towns of Ripon and Thirsk in the fabled Yorkshire Dales. The Daily Glean explores this bucolic setting with paintings, photos, and vintage guidebooks. 

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The Real Downton Abbey: Own a Country Estate

 
  Monday, March 03, 2014  
 
  Some contemporary owners of a English manor predict what Downton Abbey's Grantham family will face in the future: fewer servants, and less money leisure.

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The Daily Glean: Downton Abbey Season 4 Retrospective

 
  Sunday, March 02, 2014  
 
  Season 4 of Downton Abbey was certainly a corker. Mary emerged from her "Stygian gloom" after the death of Matthew and attracted a coterie of suitors whom Granny calls "Mary's men." Edith loved and lost (just how much only Granny and Aunt Rosamund know). Footman Thomas Barrow continued his perpetual plotting, but Mrs Hughes ousted another downstairs snake in the grass. Anna and Bates faced a horrific test of their marital bond, while Cousin Rose threw both gentry and servants into a tailspin on more than one occasion. Revisit the characters, events, costumes, and locations of Season 4 with the Daily Glean's pictorial highlights.

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Downton Abbey and The Cult of the English Country House

 
  Sunday, March 02, 2014  
 
  Evelyn Waugh wrote Brideshead Revisited as a eulogy for the country manor house, which he assumed would become a forgotten relic. Instead, Waugh's masterpiece generated a wave of nostalgia that has continued down to the present, as exemplified first by the televised version of his masterpiece in the 1980s and now by Downton Abbey.

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The Country House and the English Novel

 
  Saturday, March 01, 2014  
 
  From Wuthering Heights to Atonement, and from Mansfield Park to Brideshead Revisited, the country manor is the symbolic cornerstone of the English novel. This article explores the history and relevance of Britain's national treasure, as seen through the eyes of the nation's greatest writers. 

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Daisy Scrubs Up for Downton Abbey Christmas Special

 
  Monday, February 24, 2014  
 
  Downton's down-on-her-luck scullion Daisy Mason finally gets her day in the sun.

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The Daily Glean: Season 4, Episode 8 Recap

 
  Sunday, February 23, 2014  
 
  Lady Rose is presented at court, and the Earl hosts a ball; Bates comes to the rescue of the future king, but is still suspected by some of Mr Green's murder; Daisy receives a surprise proposal; Barrow spies on Tom and snitches to Lord Grantham; Lady Edith is conscience ridden; Mary is surrounded by a "flight" of suitable suitors; Violet is acerbic to Isobel and to Cora's American mother (Shirley MacLaine), but they both give as good as they get. Paul Giamatti is rather endearing as Cora's brother, as are the new downstairs twosome Molesley and Baxter. There's oodles more drama, and a wealth of gorgeous couture, on the Season 4 finale of Downton Abbey.

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Hugh Bonneville: I don't know whether Downton Abbey series five will be the last

 
  Saturday, February 22, 2014  
 
  Downton Abbey patriarch Hugh Bonneville provides some droll answers to the question, "Will season 5 be the last?"

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The Daily Glean: Flappers, the jazz age, and Downton Abbey couture

 
  Wednesday, February 19, 2014  
 
  Flapper styles come to the forefront as Downton Abbey moves into the 1920s. For women, silhouettes are streamlined, hems are higher, and corsets are gone, giving freedom of movement with both daytime and evening attire. Explore with the Daily Glean some of the highlights of this revolutionary era in fashion.

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Rebel in Evening Clothes

 
  Monday, February 17, 2014  
 
  Witty, well-attired, and well ahead of her time, Dorothy Parker was America's foremost gadfly of the interwar years. Here is her story.

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Prohibition Life: Politics, Loopholes And Bathtub Gin

 
  Monday, February 17, 2014  
 
  Prohibition was the product of deep social, political, and racial apprehensions, suggests author Daniel Okrent. As we well know, however, this didn't stop anyone from having a drink. Here's the inside track on the world of the speakeasies.

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Rise of the Flapper

 
  Sunday, February 16, 2014  
 
  If you're going to demand your rights and freedoms, you might as well look great doing it. Here is a short history of the flappers, with photos of course!

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The Daily Glean: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 7 recap

 
  Sunday, February 16, 2014  
 
  The Abbey hosts a church bazaar!  And Molesley's sweet on Baxter! Lady Rose is determined to pursue jazz singer Jack Ross. Tom sees Rose with him at the local tearoom and tells Mary, who later warns her to be careful. Tom might have himself a girlfriend in a local schoolmarm, if he's willing. Granny susses out that Edith is pregnant. Edith wants to use one of the tenant farmers as a cover for the baby, but Aunt Rosamund thinks it's risky. Isobel receives a bouquet of flowers, and Mary has suitors coming out of the woodwork. And Anna worries about Bates and Green being thrown together, begging her husband to not do anything foolish.

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40 Candid Mugshots of Dapper Criminals from the 1920s

 
  Saturday, February 15, 2014  
 
  The average 21st-century CEO or movie star doesn't dress as impeccably as these 1920s criminals. Take a look!

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18 Fabulous Photos of Famous Flappers

 
  Friday, February 14, 2014  
 
  Here is the pantheon of flappers: the icons and the long forgotten, but glamorous regardless.

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Wayne B. Wheeler: The Man Who Turned Off the Taps

 
  Thursday, February 13, 2014  
 
  The tireless Wayne B. Wheeler was a force of nature in his quest to outlaw alcohol. Here is the story of Prohibition's architect.

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The Daily Glean: Virginia Woolf, Downton Abbey & the Bloomsbury Group

 
  Wednesday, February 12, 2014  
 
  Early in Season 4 of Downton Abbey, middle sister Lady Edith meets some of London's literary lights at a party thrown by her gentleman suitor, Michael Gregson. One of the writers she meets has gone on to enduring fame: Virginia Woolf. The Daily Glean looks at the early works and the social circles of the great modernist novelist, whose Jacob's Room was published in 1922, the year of Gregson's soirée.

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The Daily Glean: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 6 recap

 
  Sunday, February 09, 2014  
 
  Lady Rose takes some "recreation" on the river. His Lordship heads to America because Cora's playboy brother Harold "is in an awful fix." Lady Mary's still having a cutting contest with houseguest Mr Charles Blake, who thinks she's a clueless, entitled aristocrat. Oh no! it looks like the Dowager (Dame Maggie) is ill. Anna is hysterical because Mr Gillingham is back, with the loathsome valet who raped her. Lady Edith is also frantic, in more ways than one. Sneaky Thomas continues to suss out something he can exploit from Cora's new maid, Baxter. And there's way, way more in an action- and intrigue-packed episode.

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Vita Sackville-West: Her Gardening Legacy

 
  Sunday, February 09, 2014  
 
  Vita Sackville-West's contributions to gardening may be unique among experimental 20th-century novelists. If you've never seen her masterpiece Sissinghurst, take a gander at this photo!

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Bloomsbury Bytes

 
  Saturday, February 08, 2014  
 
  Here is an excellent introduction to the luminaries of the Bloomsbury Group, with capsule biographies and a wealth of illustrations. Think of them as Downton Abbey with an avant-garde worldview!

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New Poirot Book to be Published With Permission of Agatha Christie's Family

 
  Saturday, February 08, 2014  
 
  Master sleuth Hercule Poirot comes out of retirement in a new adventure, the first authorized by Agatha Christie's estate.

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Bloomsbury Set: Love Triangles, Suicide, and Communism

 
  Friday, February 07, 2014  
 
  As doomed as they were brilliant, Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group are as fascinating as ever. This article touches upon some equally interesting, lesser-known members of the circle.

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On This Day:Virginia Woolf Believed Day

 
  Friday, February 07, 2014  
 
  Virginia Woolf's suicide has long been the stuff of legend, but these two vintage articles take you back to when it was current news.

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The Daily Glean: The joint is jumpin: 1920s jazz

 
  Wednesday, February 05, 2014  
 
  In the 1920s, jazz went "viral", as artists like Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Django Reinhardt made known to anyone with a record player what was previously available to listeners mainly in metropolitan areas like New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas City, Paris, and New York. Sample with the Daily Glean some of the sounds that made jazz of the '20s so new, so popular, and so very, very "hot."

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The Downton Abbey Law Would Let British Women Inherit Titles

 
  Monday, February 03, 2014  
 
  In the U.K., having a title of nobility isn't quite as meaningful as it may sound, yet British lawmakers are debating whether women can pass these titles down to their daughters. Essentially, it's a new round in the old battle over sexism in the aristocracy, and the girls are gaining ground.

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The History of the Flapper, Part 1: A Call for Freedom

 
  Monday, February 03, 2014  
 
  Little-known fact: in the Roaring '20s, there were semi-flappers, flappers, and superflappers. These intriguing first person accounts delve into the reality of an image that has become both iconic and stereotyped.

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The Daily Glean: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 5 recap

 
  Sunday, February 02, 2014  
 
  We learn more about what's behind Evelyn and Blake’s visit to Yorkshire's "landed estates." Will Mary find a way to pay those crippling death taxes? Edith, who is worried about her sweetheart Gregson, gets a letter that troubles her. Bates and Anna attend a fancy dinner, but things are still strained between them. Questions remain about the new ladies' maid Baxter: does she have Cora's back …. or will she put a knife in it?? Come mull over these matters with the Daily Glean's Episode 5 recap.

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Vintage Photos: Inside the Cotton Club, One of NYC’s Leading Jazz Venues of the 1920s and 30s

 
  Saturday, February 01, 2014  
 
  Harlem's Jazz Age hotspot the Cotton Club had celebrities, bootleg liquor, and A-list entertainers. Shamefully, however, minorities were not admitted—unless they were onstage. Here is a trove of vintage photos of the infamous venue.

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Costumes of Downton Abbey

 
  Friday, January 31, 2014  
 
  Forty costumes from the popular series will be on display at Winterthur Museum in Delaware beginning March of 2014.

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Dorothy L. Sayers's Life and Loves

 
  Thursday, January 30, 2014  
 
  She was a brilliant British eccentric who wrote a string of remarkable novels in the 1920s and 30s. Virginia Woolf? No, Dorothy L. Sayers. Here is a profile of this misunderstood modern Renaissance woman.

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The Daily Glean: Consider the Fork

 
  Wednesday, January 29, 2014  
 
  Mmmm … looks like someone's going to have a lovely tea! In this scene from Downton Abbey, Mrs Patmore the cook continues to mentor Daisy in the fine art of getting proper food on the table for both gentry and servants four times a day. In Consider the Fork, her best-selling book on culinary history,  Bee Wilson illuminates the cuisine of the period, how dishes were cooked, what implements were used to eat it with, and so much more.

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On the Production Line in the 20s and 30s

 
  Monday, January 27, 2014  
 
  A treasure trove of early-20th-century photographs of working-class Britons—a nice reminder as to why machines do this sort of work today. 

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The Science of Sizzle

 
  Sunday, January 26, 2014  
 
  Medieval Britons probably didn't have the same table manners as Lord Grantham and company.

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The Daily Glean: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 4 Recap

 
  Sunday, January 26, 2014  
 
  Will Bates and Anna regain the sweetness and light that Gillingham's valet robbed them of? Will Mary find a way to pay the death taxes on Matthew's estate without having to sell off land? And will the new ladies’ maid recommended by Thomas be another devil with a grey dress on, à la O'Brien and Brathwaite? We'll consider these topics and more in our Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 4 recap.

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Musical Chairs with Ribbentrop

 
  Saturday, January 25, 2014  
 
  Nancy Astor: Britain's first female member of Parliament, world-class socialite, and appeaser of Nazi Germany.

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The Daily Glean: Downtrodden Abbey and Downton's Highclere

 
  Wednesday, January 22, 2014  
 
  If you are confused and/or bemused by the persistent view of the dog's behind in the opening credits of Downton Abbey, have a look at Downtrodden Abbey: The Interminable Saga of an Insufferable Family, a parody by "Gillian Fetlocks." And if you wish to focus your eyes and mind on higher things, then we have that for you too, in our tour of key rooms of Highclere Castle, the fabulous setting graciously donated for the series by the current Lord and Lady Carnarvon.

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The Daily Glean: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 3 Recap

 
  Monday, January 20, 2014  
 
  After the eventful house party in Episode 2, a trip to the bright lights of London occurs.  Here Sir John Bullock shows his true colors and Rose finds unexpected gallantry. Gregson shares ambitious plans with Edith, taking their relationship to another level. Back at the Abbey, Mary faces questions about her future, Isobel accepts an offer of sorts from Dr Clarkson, and the manipulative ladies' maid Edna is stymied. Below stairs, Carson divulges intimate details of his former life, and Daisy's attempts to get closer to Alfred backfire. And most important, what of Anna and Bates in the aftermath of the trauma she endured but refused to tell him about?

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The Scandalous Truth about Downton Abbey’s Royal Gigolo Jack Ross

 
  Friday, January 17, 2014  
 
  Downton Abbey features a new character based on 1920s cabaret star Leslie "Hutch" Hutchinson, a jazzman who enjoyed the roaring decade even more than most. Just don't count on any of Hutchinson's more interesting antics to appear on a primetime TV show!

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How to Get Some Downton Abbey Glamour into Your Home

 
  Thursday, January 16, 2014  
 
  Giving your house that Downton Abbey look doesn't require unlimited resources—all you need to do is select the right colors and a add a few choice furnishings.

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The Splendid Table: Styling food for Downton Abbey is like catering, except one meal has to last all day

 
  Thursday, January 16, 2014  
 
  There are a lot of experts behind the scenes at Downton, including of course a culinary whiz. She does plenty of research, as well as making it look like Mrs. Patmore and Daisy aren't just pretending to stir an empty pot.

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The Daily Glean - There is nothing like a Dame: Kiri Te Kanawa as Nellie Melba in Downton Abbey

 
  Wednesday, January 15, 2014  
 
  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (pictured above with Dame Maggie Smith) portrays the first character on Downton Abbey who was a real-life person. In the "house party" episode of Season 4, the New Zealand–born soprano appears as Australian diva Dame Nellie Melba, an international opera star whom Cora engages at great expense to give a private concert. The Daily Glean takes you backstage, as it were, to discover more about these legendary singers from "Down Under." 

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Downton Abbey: Kiri Te Kanawa—Exclusive Interview

 
  Tuesday, January 14, 2014  
 
  She has appeared at opera houses all over the world and she sang at Charles and Diana's wedding, but Kiwi megastar Kiri Te Kanawa was beside herself at the prospect of appearing on Downton Abbey.

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BFI Archive Footage of 1920s London Goes Viral

 
  Monday, January 13, 2014  
 
  Yes, the Downton Abbey era was as beautiful and elegant as all that, as this stunning archival footage amply proves.

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Downton Abbey Season 4: Michelle Dockery on the Joys of Playing Mary

 
  Sunday, January 12, 2014  
 
  Lady Mary is never satisfied, but Michelle Dockery is more than satisfied to explore this compelling and contrary character.

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The Daily Glean: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 2 Recap

 
  Sunday, January 12, 2014  
 
  An extravagant house party at the Abbey gives the family a chance to reconnect with old friends and new acquaintances. But some guests prove more welcome than others, and along with the celebrations come chicanery, shocking brutality, and heartache. 

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Downton Abbey’s U.S. Fans Are Much More Affectionate

 
  Friday, January 10, 2014  
 
  Downton's irrepressible cook Mrs. Patmore is practically invisible in the UK, but they love her at your local Costco!

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Star Wars Heir J.J. Abrams Is Still a Diehard Downton Abbey Fan

 
  Thursday, January 09, 2014  
 
  Should we expect a subtle Downton Abbey influence upon the upcoming Star Wars sequels?   
 
 
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The Daily Glean - Downton Tabby: A Parody

 
  Wednesday, January 08, 2014  
 
  Groom, sleep, groom. Loaf about in a decorative and highly charming manner. Embark on the occasional mouse or mate hunt. Get fed. Sleep. Repeat. That's the life of the upstairs cats at Downton Tabby. While the aristocats play, however, the downstairs felines work, gossip, and lie in wait to pounce on each other when they least expect it.

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The Daily Glean: Downton Abbey: Season 4, Episode 1 Recap: Part 1 & 2

 
  Tuesday, January 07, 2014  
 
  New mother Mary and her mother-in-law Isabel are finding it hard to come to terms with Matthew's shocking death. Robert and Violet fall out over how to handle the situation. Jimmy takes an interest in Ivy, while Carson receives an unwelcome reminder from his music-hall past. Daisy masters new kitchen devices, while Mrs Patmore wrestles with them. One Downton mainstay has gone missing, while a relative newcomer is given the boot. Check The Daily Glean each Monday for the "Downton Dish!"

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Downton Abbey Season Four: What We Know and What to Expect

 
  Thursday, January 02, 2014  
 
  Who are all these new characters on Downton Abbey? Will Edith finally get to have some fun? And which cast member is known as "Jo-Fro?" Here's a tantalizing preview of Season 4. (The Guardian)

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25 Secrets About Downton Abbey Season 4

 
  Wednesday, January 01, 2014  
 
  Change, turmoil, and surprises remain the order of the day at Downton Abbey in Season 4. The actors comment on what is (and isn't) in store for viewers. (Buzzfeed)

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The Daily Glean: Ghastly tragedies, marital bliss, flying zingers, and a dash of intrigue: Downton Abbey: Season 3 Recap

 
  Monday, December 30, 2013  
 
  Two ghastly tragedies. A financial meltdown. Two sets of lovebirds finding marital bliss: one upstairs, one down. A longtime mischief maker suddenly turning on her co-conspirator.  Zingers continuing to fly, from the Dowager Countess in the drawing room and from Mrs. Patmore in her subterranean domain. All this and more made Season 3 yet another riveting installment in the dramatic saga of Downton Abbey

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One is Not Impressed: Police Injured Breaking Up Rave Near Downton Abbey's Highclere Castle

 
  Sunday, December 29, 2013  
 
  Illegal narcotics and a confrontation with the police? Surely not in the neighborhood of Downton Abbey! (The Independent)

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Downton Abbey Expert Dives Deep Into Social History

 
  Saturday, December 28, 2013  
 
  Julian Fellowes's niece sheds some light on the man behind Downton Abbey. (USA Today)

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The Anti-Snobbery of Downton Abbey

 
  Friday, December 27, 2013  
 
  Julian Fellowes speaks out on the underlying message of Downton Abbey—underneath our tuxedos and liveries, we're really all the same. (The Wall Street Journal)

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How Much Would It Cost To Live In The Downton Abbey Castle?

 
  Thursday, December 26, 2013  
 
  How much would the annual upkeep of Downton Abbey's Highclere Castle actually cost? With the gardening alone costing more than $600,000, let's just say that the Granthams might be better off renting a nice condo in the city, and pocketing the rest. (Huffington Post)

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