Quite unintentionally, this site became dedicated to the complex and eccentric Michelle Dockery. My aim is to provide fresh material and perspective for her fans.
In the 'Michelle Dockery Professional Archive' link below you will find the most complete collection of her screen performances on the internet.
Thank you for the correction. I’m happy to be wrong about that one. You’re not by any chance Elizabeth McGovern are you? Haha, hoping for a Thanksgiving miracle.
I really liked Cora’s development in the third series, I did wish Fellowes would write a scene for her singing lullaby to Sybil in their last scene together. Something very obscure and intimate. How cool would that be?
The Downton Abbey script must be full of anachronisms if I’m spotting them.
In the Series 3 trailer, Cora was unfazed by her husband’s announcement that they face life changing austerity ahead and replied with the line “I’m an American. Have gun, will travel.”
Oddly enough last year I became a fan of the old TV Western Have Gun-Will Travel, so I knew exactly where that reference came from. This was a late 50s early 60s horse opera about a detective and gun for hire who used that line as his calling card. The show’s writer came up with it drawing on the expression “Have tux, will travel” used by job-seeking theater actors.
Even if it’s not quite right, it is a very appropriate line for Cora. I’m hopeful she will become a more substantial character, a bit of The Unsinkable Molly Brown to her wont hurt.
On another note, this is the second time Julian Fellowes alluded to American cowboys on Downton Abbey.
“After all, if this show were set in the early 1600’s, then yes, perhaps it would be a little strange for him to be such a great guy. But that’s probably because, in the early 17th century, the perks of being an aristocrat were things like raping the servants’ daughters and taxing your indebted tenants until they went broke and you could throw them off the land to starve. Having conquered the country by the sword – literally and metaphorically – the aristocracy kept their position because they had access to real political and economic power, and they used that power to keep their position.
That’s what real class antagonism is, the relatonship between the powerful who use their power to benefit themselves and the weak whose subjection to it makes them objects of exploitation. In industrial capitalism, this antagonism is the exploitation of labor; in agricultural economies, it’s based around rents and debt peonage. But the principle is similar enough, and in both cases, the antagonism flows out of real – and violent, when necessary – relations of power. It is because the aristocracy needs its victims that it violates them into submission and consent, producing – in the mind of the master – the Hegelian master-slave dynamic by which the master is actually, apparently paradoxically, dependent on the slave for his position. But it isn’t a paradox; the industrialist needs the laborer, and the lord needs the peasant, and because they need them, they use force to keep them.
Grantham is something very different than this. Rather than an aristocrat trying to cope with a modern world of industrial capitalism, he’s the author of a fantasy, using a wealth stream from America to recreate a “traditional” world that never really existed “Downton Abbey” – the house – is a museum and a show-piece, a theme-park for a single American tourist, and Downton Abbey – the show – is a behind-the-scenes narrative about its maintenance.
As a result, he has no reason to be anything but benevolent. Unlike a real landlord or capitalist – whose dependency on exploited labor necessitates violence or the threat of it – Grantham is dependent only on his wife’s money. And since he has that, he’s not dependent on much of anything at all; there is no Hegelian drama for him, here, no vexed relationship with the human beings he must dehumanize to maintain the hierarchy which positions him above them. He’s already got everything he needs; his only job is to enjoy it.”