There is a fan frenzy currently going on in America and it’s focus is on “Downton Abbey”. I’m not sure why this particular drama has caused such a stir when for years we have been the lucky recipients of so many other great British dramas, comedies and detective series on our PBS and BBC America stations but it has.
I really enjoyed the first season because it put me in mind of two of my favorite shows, “Gosford Park”, another Julian Fellowes creation, and “Manor House”, a kind of Edwardian, “Upstairs Downstairs” reality show, but the two subsequent seasons just seem too “soapy” and the writing has fallen way off. Of course that hasn’t stopped me from watching it mind you!
Today I learned something new about one of the most popular characters/actors on the show, Matthew Crawley/Dan Stevens. Apparently the 28 year is not only a talented actor but is a gifted writer as well. He studied English Literature at Cambridge and has recently started a literary magazine called, The Junket. This article on the NBC news website talks about Stevens’ decision to start this quarterly magazine to help him get over his procrastination and get down to writing regularly. He and four of his Cambridge friends originally were writing a blog, but decided this literary magazine venture would force them to be a bit more proactive and not dilly dally so much (this is my phrase not his!).
The first edition came out in October and apparently they have been overwhelmed with submissions, due greatly in part to Stevens’ growing popularity. He was even appointed to the panel of judges for the 2012 Man Booker Prize and has signed up for next year’s judging as well. As the article pointed out, he has added “a large dose of glamour to the award”.
I already liked him for his portrayal of Matthew Crawley, but I’ve gained even more respect for him because of his love of literature. No wonder he is so much smarter than Lord Granville, this explains a lot!