Summary: Audrey used to love Christmas and her only wish is to put up a tree at the Sanctuary.
“What’s on the menu today, ladies?”
The familiar voice strides into the stuffy kitchen of the Sanctuary. And it sounds chipper. A good sign. The pick-up went well.
Audrey looks up from her soaked baking tray, which is ready to scrub. She smiles as Simon’s eyes find hers.
“The usual,” Edith pipes up, placing about a dozen pots and pans into the sink. She was always Audrey’s favorite person. Her warm personality complimented by the crinkles in the corners of her eyes were the first two things she noticed when Negan brought Audrey to the Sanctuary. She is the definition of a perfect grandmother. Or a nice neighbour at the end of your street that hands out bags of candy to trick-or-treaters.
Aside from her lovely attributes, she makes Gelato. Which makes her even more amazing. Especially in Simon’s eyes.
“Although Audrey managed to mock up some brownies for dessert,” the middle-aged lady grins, winking at Audrey. Simon widens his eyes goes to stand with the girl, almost directly next to her. He pokes at leftover food on his way, sucking it off the tip of his finger.
“How the hell did you manage that, sweetheart?”
Audrey blushes and grabs a dry towel, pulling it between her fingers, “It’s not the best.”
“No, come on,” he smiles, pulling his trousers up, “Let me be the judge of that.”
Time for Friday Reads! Here’s what we’re working on:
NPR Executive Editor
Edith Chapin: A Great Place to Have a
War by Joshua Kurlantzick. It is about the war in Laos and how it was the
beginning of the CIA engagement in military conflict beyond traditional
espionage. I heard Kurlantzick on our air recently and it moved the book even
higher up my enormous reading pile.
Blogger Colin Dwyer: Still
on my stroll down Bolaño boulevard, as they call it. (They call it that,
right?) Savage Detectives.
And I’m reading Things
We Lost in the Fire, a short story collection by Argentine writer Mariana
Enriquez. It’s set in my parents’ hometown (Buenos Aires) and it’s suuuuuuper
Different breed I know, but to me, Doug is the real life equivalent of Doug from "Up," same wide eyes, huge nose, and goofy smile! :D
Totally! We actually live like a mile away from a house with a very similar story as in the movie, Edith Macefield’s place in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. She refused to sell to developers and now it’s right next door to the Trader Joe’s where I grocery shop!
Why can’t we just stay forever? I don’t want to leave!
Do you like the new sign my uncle made, though? The cottage used to belong to my great-aunt Edith, and when she passed away Aunt Carol + Uncle Eldie bought it so we could keep it in the family. They still call it Edith’s Place because that’s all it’s ever been and we like to remember Aunt Edie.
When we first met Lady Edith, played by Laura Carmichael, we met a woman who was unsure of her place in her family. She was not as confident as her little sister Sybil nor as fiery as her elder sister Mary, she was unsure of her identity. As the series progresses we’ve seen Lady Edith have a less than easy journey from unrequited love to most recently, inheriting a newspaper. Edith is only recently finding out who she is.
In series one, Edith learns that love is never as simple as one believes. Genuinely loving the original heir to the Crawley fortune - Patrick Crawley, Edith was devastated when he died, but realised she stood no chance in gaining his hand when Mary was originally put under pressure to marry him. After trying unsuccessfully to woo Matthew Crawley, Edith turned her attention towards Sir Anthony Strallan. With sisterly rivalry reaching its height between Mary and Edith, Mary embarrasses her younger sister in front of her suitor claiming that Edith was simply using him for her own amusement. With their relationship at a breaking point and fuelled by revenge and embarrassment, Edith writes to the Turkish Ambassador, disclosing that Mr Pamuk - a wealthy Turkish diplomat - was found dead in Mary’s bed.
Lady Edith’s dark side does not stay for long however, after she realises the error of her ways following Mary’s meddling with Sir Anthony, who leaves after a change of heart, leaving Edith to return to her fragile, and vulnerable self.
In series two, however, Edith really starts to become her own person, due to the war putting the sisterly arguments into perspective. Carmichael says, “In the war she evolved and realised that she could go out and make something of herself”, which evidently she does. Edith learns to drive a tractor and begins to enjoy her newfound identity and freedom.
Lady Edith’s most dramatic series to date is series three, which shows Edith at both her highs and lows. After their initial heartbreak back in series one, Sir Anthony and Lady Edith’s relationship rekindles and despite her Father Lord Grantham’s scepticism towards their large age gap, Edith is yet again infatuated. Strallan, wary of the age difference, begins to move away from her, insisting she finds a younger man to take his place. Edith however, does not accept a word of it, and thus the couple become engaged. The middle sister, after witnessing Mary and Matthew’s marriage, is dreaming of her own, though the idea soon turns sour, when Strallan terminates the wedding at the alter insisting he cannot go through with it. With Edith in tears, she returns to Downton Abbey, mourning the loss of her relationship. She is feeling fragile and alone, leaving us to truly sympathise.
But later in series three we have a turning point for Edith. Having written a letter to ‘The Sketch’ magazine, Edith is offered the role as columnist. Romance yet again rises as the Editor of the magazine, Michael Gregson, expresses his affection for her. Hearing this, Edith is shocked, but soon returns his affection and the couple start seeing more of each other. Yet, like many of Edith’s relationships, this one is not without its complications- for the Editor is already married. With his wife incarcerated into an asylum, he attempts to divorce her and free himself from the clutches of an unhappy marriage.
During this series, Carmichael says of Edith’s recent romantic interest: “The relationship with Michael Gregson comes out of a passion for writing and for work and being good at something – really good at something – that is artistic and sexy and glamorous. We’ll see how that still manages to get her into trouble, but at least she’s embraced all of that change and really, really grown up.”
In the beginning of Series four, Edith is slowly becoming quite the city girl from spending frequent periods in London. Gregson has certainly helped in this, with his bohemian nature- opening up Lady Edith’s eyes to what London truly has to offer.
With Gregson leaving for Germany to divorce his wife, Edith is yet again left alone. As time goes by, Edith receives no word from her beloved and begins to worry. The young woman finds more to worry about when she receives a letter from her Doctor informing her she is with Gregson’s child. Rosamund suggests Switzerland to Edith, who readily agrees, though Mary questions her intentions, her suspicions leading her to assume Edith is leaving to find Gregson incognito. By the late summer, Edith has given birth to a daughter, and while originally intending to leave the child in Genèva, Edith ends up having a change of heart and brings her child back to Downton.
Fast forward to season six and ‘Poor Edith’ is not so poor anymore. No longer the naïve girl we first met in series one, Edith now owns the newspaper, due to the death of Gregson, and has found a way to live with her daughter back at Downton. Carmichael says of Edith in this series “She’s got this other life now in London, but she’s just found some calm at Downton with Marigold. It’s a question of whether or not she can fully embrace London life, move down and live in Gregson’s flat and become an editor”.
“[Its] an incredibly relevant and modern dilemma.” Carmichael tells all when she speaks of Edith’s future, “[women] couldn’t go back to just living meaningless lives on the social scene. They needed to do something and be active”. Edith has certainly achieved a lot in the most recent series- gaining a newspaper, giving birth and falling in love, we can safely assume Lady Edith Crawley of Downton Abbey will certainly have a fulfilling life as what Carmichael explains is “a working mother”.