Tea and “Downton Abbey” to be served in Edgartown


Season one of “Downton Abbey,” one of the most watched TV series of all time, comes to the Edgartown Library this month. The seven episodes will be shown over three Sundays, April 15, 22, and 29 at 1 pm on their large screen TV. Tea will be served and gloves and hats are optional. The program is for adults only.

“Downton Abbey” is a multilayered, upstairs – downstairs, portrait of an aristocratic English family struggling to survive the changes of the early 20th century. The first season begins in 1912 when the Downton heir to be is lost on the Titanic.

Downstairs, the help have their lives and their issues and their running commentary on the life upstairs. The struggles of the working class, as their destinies are shaped by their duties and needs, are never far removed from the upstairs’ folks.

Upstairs, the family must not only deal with the changing social values of the time but also the effects of the diminishing British Empire. The declining fortunes of the estate are reversed by Lord Grantham’s marriage to a wealthy American, but having daughters and no sons to inherit the estate creates more drama.

The marvelous Maggie Smith plays the aging dowager with feet firmly planted in the previous century trying, without much success, to keep the family in her century as well.

Written by the creator of another wonderful upstairs — downstairs portrait of the English aristocracy, the film “Gosford Park,” Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes has produced a classic study of a vanishing way of life.

At the library presentations, tea and light refreshments will be served. Reservations are suggested and, again, hats and gloves are optional.

A sighting has been reported on the Island of a bumper sticker that reads “Free Mr. Bates.” “Downton” fans will know what it means.

“Tea and Downton” Edgartown Library, Sunday, April 15, 22, 29, 1 pm, reservations suggested, adults only. For information and to make reservations, call 508-627-4221.