"Downstairs at Downton" program coming in September

(photo contributed)

Kathy Wilson will present a program next month about what life would have really been like during the period portrayed in Downton Abbey.

What was life really like below stairs at a place like Downton Abbey? Could the chauffeur really marry the daughter of an Earl? Would a maid help move a dead body to protect her mistress’ reputation? What about all that free time?

On Thursday, Sept.12, the Atlantic Public Library will be hosting a special event at Heritage Hall (at Heritage House) with historian Kathy Wilson. She will reveal the answers to these questions and more in Downstairs at Downton: The Reality of Running a House like Highclere Castle, the Real Downton Abbey. The program will be offered twice: once at 2 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Coffee, tea, and scones will be served. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis with doors opening 30 minutes before the program. This program is partially funded by Friends of the Library. Donations will also be accepted at the program.

The library chose this program in anticipation of the Downton Abbey movie that will be released later in September. Patrons can find the TV series on DVD and two non-fiction books about the time period of Downton Abbey at the library: The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes and Real Life Downton Abbey by Jacky Hyams. Hoopla, one of the digital library services, has many resources on Downton Abbey including audiobooks, music albums, an e-book of the television series scripts, and a documentary.

About the presenter:

A professional historian and educator, Kathy Wilson believes learning about the past can be fun as well as interesting. To prove that point, she draws on more than 20 years of experience to create programs that engage and entertain as well as educate her audiences. Wilson received her BA in History from Bemidji State University in Minnesota, before traveling to England where she completed her Masters at the University of York. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Iowa and specializes in 18th and 19th-century British-American social history. Her dissertation investigates the role of kinship networks in the social transformations of Catholic families, 1760-1850.