The anti-snobbery of ‘Downton Abbey’

The anti-snobbery of ‘Downton Abbey’

Julian Fellowes, the creator and writer of “Downton Abbey,” doesn’t take long to say what he thinks is the message of his smash television drama.

“I think the—well, not even the subtext, the supertext—of ‘Downton,’ ” he says not five minutes after we sit down for coffee Monday morning at the Savoy Hotel in central London, “is that it is possible for us all to get on, that we don’t have to be ranged in class warfare permanently—that for the general public, the fact that people are leading different lives with different economic realities and different expectations is perfectly cope-able with.

“If you can’t deal with that,” he continues, “then your life would be unlivable. And I think politicians try to encourage us to think in a hostile sense [of] people who have a different circumstance to our own. Which I find very unproductive and uncreative.”

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