By Patricia Treble - Monday, January 14, 2013 - 0 Comments
Oh poor Edith! She just can’t get married. First she falls for Patrick Crawley (the first heir and Mary’s fiancé who dies in the Titanic), then John Drake, the unacceptable farmer (married and not of her class) during the war. And her timing is awful: so many men were slaughtered in the battlefields of the First World War that women outnumbered men by nearly two million in the 1921 census. And those men who survived were often horribly scarred. But Edith isn’t one to give up. She goes after Sir Anthony Strallan a second time (older sis Mary nastily dashed their first romance). Who cares if he’s older by a decade or two and has an arm crippled by the war? She gets her man to propose so she can, for once, be the centre of attention. Of course it ends in disaster. (For a traditional recap of the episode, read Michael Hogan’s fun piece on the Huffington Post.)
While the episode itself was a mess—wasn’t it amazing that Lavinia saved the Crawley home by forgiving Matthew, in writing no less, on her deathbed!—it’s full of the best feature of Downton Abbey: clothes and especially jewellery. This time, we get a second viewing of the family tiara, last worn by Mary at her wedding. Then, helpfully, we get a third when she tries to rip it out of her hair after Strallan dumps her at the altar and a fourth when Anna, the maid, nearly steps on it while trying to console Edith. This isn’t just any headpiece but a “beautiful garland of leaves and cloral clusters, pavé set with old-cut diamonds,” states The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, that has been “worn by numerous Crawley brides in the years since its creation in 1830.” In reality, the headpiece is a loaner from Bentley & Skinner of Piccadilly in London, which has royal warrants from the Queen and Prince Charles.