Sunday, July 19, 2015

Downton Abbey, Threshold Girl, Furies Cross the Mersey, Masterpiece Theatre


A relation of mine has recently binged (a bit late) on all the Downton Abbey episodes, and, of course, she loved the program..

And now she's reading the Nicholson Family Letters and my e-books based on them and she told me, "It's just like Downton Abbey!"

Sure it is.

It's the Canadian Downton Abbey, neither Upstairs, nor Downstairs, but in-between stairs; the story of middle class women in 1910 Montreal.


When I first read the Nicholson Family letters, I knew nothing of the Edwardian Era in Canada (or the Laurier Era as it was called.)

Now, I know a lot.

Oddly, in 2005, I had yet to see Upstairs, Downstairs. I was away at college when that popular serial showed on Masterpiece Theatre in Canada.

So, I learned all about the Edwardian Era, belatedly, through my letters. The era of Shirtwaists and Suffragettes, even in Canada. Well,not suffraGETTES, so much.

My latest e-book, Furies Cross the Mersey, is the story of the 'inert' Montreal Suffrage Movement.

"Inert" is the word used by Carrie Derick of the Montreal Suffrage Association in a newspaper article.


Furies Cross the Mersey is a bit more Downton than the other books I wrote: I have some rich characters, including Julia Parker Drummond.

Last week I binge watched Shoulder to Shoulder, the 1975 Masterpiece Theatre serial about the Suffragettes, there  are 6 episodes.

The first episode is rather slow, introducing the Pankhursts and their 'boring' middle class life and all the issues around woman suffrage, but the serial builds to a powerful climax with the start of WWI.

I believe were they do redo Shoulder to Shoulder, they would begin with some 'militant' action to catch viewers' attention.

Even Masterpiece Theatre cannot afford to bore anyone from the beginning. Downton Abbey started with a family crisis I understand, in 1912 with the Titanic going down.