Edith Eyre?

So she got jilted at the alter before catching the eye of a mad woman’s husband. I’m still pretty astounded at the Jane Eyre rip-off of last night’s Downton Abbey episode.

Shades of Lady' Edith in a screengrab from Orson Welle's _Jane Eyre_ (1944)
Shades of Lady Edith in a screengrab from
Orson Welle’s _Jane Eyre_ (1944)

Hasn’t Edith already suffered enough embarrassment without also being cast in a previously-used British plot line? The series seems satisfied to set up the middle Crawley sister for much of Miss Eyre’s tragedy with little of her pathos. And yet, I find myself increasingly rooting for Lady Edith. I’m hoping that the screenwriters or her family–either would do–will relent in their now rather too predictable view of her as the family ne’er-do-well. How much longer will Edith be made to do a kind of storyline penance for her part in the nasty sibling rivalry of season one? Meanwhile, Mary increasingly plays the heroine (quite literally) despite her just as egregious moral failings and her jaw-droppingly consistent bitchiness. (To paraphrase: “Gee, Mary, now that Cybil is dead, do you think we might be better to one another?” “I think not, Edith. I still don’t imagine I could find a way to like you, so let’s just lower the bar to my being nice to you for the funeral.” Um… what?!)

So I’m hoping for something more for our near-spinster, editorialist.  Perhaps even legally legitimate, requited love.  Though Matthew’s words of caution to the Crawley’s jazz-club-hopping trollop of a cousin ring with foreboding beyond last night’s episode: “Married men who wish to seduce young women always have horrid wives.”

Watch out, Edith.  I fear the the fix is in.

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