Re-establishing Class Privilege: The Ideological Uses of Middle and Working-Class Female Characters in Downton Abbey
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This paper argues that the British period drama Downton Abbey, which aired between 2010 and 2015 and encountered worldwide success, uses working class and middle-class female characters to promote the aristocracy and conservative ideas, while hiding behind historical accuracy and seemingly progressive patterns of behaviour. Through a close reading of four female characters, I will demonstrate how the series’ author, Julian Fellowes, uses the show to endorse his own political agenda, as a Conservative member of the House of Lords in the British Parliament.
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