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A History of Violet: Downton Abbey’s Queen of Quips

In Tidbits on January 18, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Would someone please explain the concept of weekends to this nice lady? (Screen cap)

Whether her character is bemused or bewildered, no one delivers a line like Dame Maggie Smith, the dowager countess Violet Crawley on Downton Abbey, PBS’s latest Masterpiece soap opera.

My favorites, so far:

• “No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house!”

Upon learning that Turkish attaché Kemal Pamuk died while visiting the Downton Abbey estate

• “One can’t go to pieces at the death of every foreigner. We’d all be in a state of collapse whenever we opened a newspaper!”

Explaining why granddaughter Mary should get over Pamuk’s death

• “I don’t think things are quite that desperate.”

Responding to a suggestion that lovelorn Mary visit New York to find a husband

• “We had better get her settled, before the bloom is off the rose.”

Discussing Mary’s marital eligibility

• “What is a weekend?”

After hearing when a middle-class relative plans to tend to his duties as Downton’s new master

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