Monday, February 6, 2012

Downton Update and A Life of Leisure Discovered

OK, first things first, what did you think of Downton Abbey? I simply cannot get enough! I will tell you that I do not want the injured and burned man to be the real Patrick, I do not like that character.  As for Bates, please do not tell me that he went to London and killed his wife. And Maggie Smith, we need to see more of her. She is such a fantastic actress and her character is a delightful dragon. As the Earl of Grantham said, I think with the end of the war life is indeed entering a new phase. On a side note, if you would like to see what your favorite characters look like in real life check out this link on Paper Mag, you cannot believe some of these photos.

I have always been fascinated with the life of the aristocrats of Edwardian England, a time in which women were rarely educated except with a working knowledge of French and German, playing the piano, and dancing. The goal for an aristocratic woman was an advantageous marriage. The eldest son inherited the family land and wealth and the younger sons either joined the church, purchased a commission in the military or perhaps became lawyers, doctors or engineers.  Unlike the French, whose aristocrats never worked and considered it vulgar, the English aristocrats are responsible for advances in farming, and technology to name just a few areas.

Recently an interesting set of diaries went up for auction, they were owned, written and illustrated by Solicitor George Cooper. Mr Cooper was a wealthy county squire who spent the majority of his time painting scenes of his life rather than working.

The diaries written in 1881, 1886, 1891 were recently auctioned for 700 Euros at Chilcotts of Honiton Auction House and show the leisurely life of hunting, shooting, fishing, and dining with friends and family. Each day is documented with a watercolor or a pencil sketch; clearly George Cooper was very talented and obviously wealthy because it seems that little work could actually get done in a day, what with all of the socializing, leisurely pursuits and documenting it in such beautiful detail.

Wouldn't you just love to discover a beautiful and interesting journal such as this? A little insight into another and different world.

Have you ever found such a treasure trove such as this in your travels? I often purchase old letters and post cards and am always left wanting to know more about the people. I am fascinated by their handwriting, their life, their adventures and everyday life. I have never been lucky enough to find something like this though. I will have to be on the lookout in the future. Dear Di at Yonks have you found such wondrous diaries such as this?

I hope you have a fabulous week ahead.  Did your team win the the Super Bowl? Did you enjoy the game? What was your favorite commercial?

 Be warm and safe if you are over in Europe dealing with all of the crazy weather.


  1. Hi have intrigued me to with Downton Abby. And what a journel! Just Sunday. This Sunday it was all about the Superbowl and yea Giants, they got the job done (I sound like a major football fan, which I so am not) You asked about my knee, took a bad fall about 3 days ago, Teddy had a round hard bone left on the floor and I slipped on it and becuase I was wearing hard soled clogs, didnt' feel it and fell really hard on the stone floors right on my knee. It was really hurting but today feeling a little better, thanks for asking!!

  2. OK, I HAVE GOT TO FIND THIS SOMEHOW because I LOVE LOVE LOVE British mysteries and thrillers and comedies and the whole lot of them! DEAR ONE...I HAD SO MUCH FUN WITH IRINA!!!!!!! More to you precious! Anita

  3. Elizabeth,
    I'm with you, the burned man seems like a fraud, but who knows. I love Bates and want him and Anna to live happily ever after!
    What an amazing journal. I wish I could paint, it would be fun to create a similar journal with occasional water color art to enhance it. Wow! I've visited a lot of antique stores and never seen anything as lovely. I did inherit a book of art from my great grandmother and have framed some of the drawings for use in my home. I tried to investigate the artist, not sure if he was family or friend of our family, to no avail.
    Karen at Garden, Home and Party dot com

  4. I don't watch Downton Abby but I could get into that diary. What a wonderful gift to have left behind. I feel like I received something somewhat of the same with the box I received with all my families treasures.

    Enjoy your day!

  5. Thank you for posting the Downton Abbey article. i can't believe how different and modern they all look!!! I am so addicted to this show, it's ridiculous, but I do wonder sometimes if I am watching Dallas, with some of the plots! Guess human nature is what it is!

  6. Good Morning Dear Friend!!!
    First of all, thank you so much for visiting me...yes, I really hope we will be able to see each other in Wisconsin! The day with Anita was magical, as always, and we were talking about how wonderful it would be to bring together dear blogger friends!
    This post is so fabulous, Elizabeth. First of all, these diaries, wow. How I would love to just peruse them for an afternoon..
    And thank you for the link to those photos, oh my, how fun! You are right, I never would have recognized some of them:))What a little lipstick and high heels can do! I actually will be starting the series from the beginning on Netflix, because I have not been watching every week. But what I have seen, I have LOVED!
    And I really wish for a happily ever after for Bates...
    Another warm day for us here...(no crocuses though)..colder temps are on the way.
    Have a beautiful week, sweet friend!
    - Irina

  7. Hi Elizabeth, much to talk about. First, yes I watched "Downton Abbey" and loved it! I agree with you about the burned man, I believe he is a fraud. I have a feeling that Matthew at the end of the show was regaining feeling in his legs...remember that the doctor in his diagnosis, said something like, "If I am right, he will never walk again..." A big if.
    I never watch the Super Bowl and instead went to see "Hugo." Loved it! But we did record the half time show which was fun.
    The journal you featured with all the sketches is so wonderful. It represents another way of life, when people were recording their experiences in such a leisurely and lovely way, through sketches. I have a book of Queen Victoria's sketches from when she was young. They are so charming.
    Finally, my daughter had sent me the link for the photos of the cast of "Downton." and it was so much fun to see how they look in real life. The one that surprised me the most was O'Brien. What a difference between her on the show and in real life.
    Have a wonderful week!
    xx Sunday

  8. Hello darling girl,
    What a great post and as for Downton, all will be revealed! Keep watching and enjoying. Will you be seeing the Christmas special in the US also? Hope so, it tied up so many loose ends.

    As for that wonderful journal, I have not come across anything that wonderful yet. I am not sure I could sell it. Such an historical insight. I'm with you on the love of old documents. I daydream so much about the writer.

    No, our team did not win the superbowl, but what a great game. My favourite ad, which we don't see in the UK but I did watch online was the graduate thinking he got the car but infact it was a fridge. I howled with laughter at that.

    Thank you so much for all your support. You are such a star.
    Much love

  9. oh i am so very hooked on downton abbey...and i love bates too!

    my favorite commercial of the super bowl was the chrysler commercial with clint eastwood....i don't need to buy a new car at this time....but i am a native detroiter and it was marvelous to see some positive film for the city of detroit. i loved eminem in last year's commercials, not because i am a fan of his music, but because it was such a powerful message for the city itself......

    love your blog!


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