I woke up this morning yearning to tell Carson I'd take my tea on the terrace. I desperately wished for cook to whip up a healthy breakfast while an upstairs maid got my children ready for school. I felt so tired this morning--that second hour of Downton Abbey wore me out. It's exhausting to sit at the edge of one's bed, hands clenched, breath held, eyes bugged out while those characters die, marry, fall ill, vow, lie and confess. I cheered for Sybil. I wept for Anna and Mr. Bates. I felt SO DAMN CONFLICTED towards Cora. I wanted to bitch-slap Mary.
This came on the tails of a weekend marathon entrenched in the War of the Roses as I wrapped up reading The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory--which of course meant I had to skip through The White Queen because I can't read historical fiction out of chronological order. WHYWHYWHY did you write this trilogy in such weird order, Ms. Gregory? And how does the House of Lancaster turn from York to Tudor? I forget. My mind is bogged down with details. And it doesn't help that all these characters share the same name (I swear, the women are all named Anne, Mary, Elizabeth, Catherine or Margaret. And the men are either John, Edward, Richard, George or Henry). And title. When one Duke of York dies, another character gets named Duke of York and is referenced as such. One wishes Ms. Gregory would notate her novels-- (Duke of York: Richard, the one whose brother Edward became king, son of Richard Duke of York, Grandson of Richard Duke of York, AKA the evil brother with aspirations to usurp his brother's crown and kill his 2 nephews in the Tower, given humpback in Shakespeare play.)--that would help so much. Simon & Schuster could publish an entire line of Philippa Gregory books, the British History Annotated for Idiots Edition.
And the hours I've spent poring over pictures of the castles, manors, palaces referenced in these books to get a stronger sense of place. I would dearly love to make another trip back to England just to see some of these historic spots.
This behavior requires gallons of tea. And a long hike with a dog at my heels before returning home to slippers and scones fresh from the oven.
Spill it, reader. Did you spend your weekend as an Anglophile?