Downtown Birmingham home circa early 1900′s. Michelle Summers Photography (above)
I breathed a small sigh of relief last night at the conclusion of episode 6 of Downton Abbey. Lord Grantham has finally accepted the cold hard truth that the financial management of Downton has to change if it is to survive. Matthew, Lord Grantham’s son-in-law, heir and co-master of the estate pretty much put it to him like this: “Look here–your pompous @ss wasted Cora’s fortune on the mismanagement of Downton, and I’ll be d@mned if I’ll let you flush my inheritance down the crapper too.” Except Matthew has that haughty British accent that gives an air of authority even if using words like “crapper.”
Tom, Lord Grantham’s chauffeur cum (other) son-in-law, was much more diplomatic, stating that Downton needed all of their strengths—Tom knows the land, Matthew knows the business and the law, and Lord Grantham knows what’s in the best interest of the residents of Downton. Which is polite-speak for: “We really don’t need you, Old Man, but we’ll humor you out of respect for our wives.” Bless his heart, Lord Grantham and his refusal to adjust to the unglamorous post-war way of life is doing no one any favors, least of all, himself.