Tag Archives: history

Downtown Abbey’s Links to History – You should know

When a TV show takes the audience back in time and manages to get the feel and atmosphere right, it tends to succeed. That’s exactly what has happened with the immensely popular Downtown Abbey series. One of the best aspects about the show is how it manages to seamlessly intertwine historic facts into the timeline, showing the impact of such events on the characters. A few of these events especially stand out.
Titanic Sinks with the Crawley Family Heirs
The heart wrenching tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic was neatly stitched into the first episode of the very first season of Downtown Abbey and the impact it left beautifully mirrored the devastation and sorrow that was caused as a result of the event. With Lord Grantham’s heir James and his son Patrick losing their lives with hundreds of passengers on the Titanic, the entire family faced an extremely sorrowful time.
World War I Leaves its Lasting Mark
When Season 2 opened with Mathew Crawley in Northern France fighting the Battle of the Somme, viewers knew that the series would take on a darker tone. Indeed, the harsh realities of World War I were amply highlighted. The shock of the war itself, the disbelief when Britain could not subdue her enemies after a few weeks of battle and the slowly dawning comprehension that the war would not end any time soon and that casualties would be high were depicted beautifully on the show.

Spanish Flu Outbreak Debilitates the Crawleys
History’s deadliest flu pandemic got its share of the spotlight on Downtown Abbey too. The Spanish Flu hit right after the war, giving viewers little time to recover from that shock before being hit by the next. But history attests to the fact that this was, in fact, the series of events, because it was the soldiers who transmitted the disease so far and wide, within a short span of time.
Many more historic incidents have been integrated into the storyline, leaving audiences wondering where reality stops and fiction begins. The mark of a great writer is evident in the Downtown Abbey series and that is perhaps why viewers love the series quite so much.