Downton Abbey HEATS UP

January 5, 2015 at 11:26 am (entertainment, estates) (, , )


Julian Fellowes, stop reading over my shoulder!!

Last night Downton Abbey was ablaze – thanks to a cinder setting Lady Edith’s room on fire.

downton fire1

Emma Austen wrote about a very similar night: in October 1834, on the eve of sister Fanny’s marriage to the Rev. Richard Seymour!

The Smiths had recently moved into Mapledurham House (the wedding was the first “event” after the move); Emma, Edward and the children arrived in the morning hearing the news of the fire. In a letter she wrote, it “thank God did no personal harm – tho’ it has caused great alarm & confusion”.

Unlike Downton, Mapledurham’s cinder smouldered — an ‘insufferable smoke’ woke Mary (Lady Smith), who roused the household. “It was got under by the perseverance of the servants &c in about an hour”.

downton fire2

“The servants were very active & by means of wet blankets extinguished the fire — Engines came from Reading but it was out.”

In the aftermath, Emma’s diary tells us, “The floor of the room & a picture were burnt & the wall & ceiling smoked  the house a good deal injured by fire”.

Only next week will tell viewers if Downtown Abbey survived the conflagration with as little damage.

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