Jan 28, 2013

Dollar Princesses: The American heiresses who inspired Downton Abbey


(thedailybeast) ... Yet these American girls paid a price for their strawberry leaves and coronets. Most had grown up in modern homes with every modern convenience: electric light, indoor plumbing, and central heating. After marriage, they found themselves chatelaines of houses where taking a bath involved a housemaid making five trips from the kitchen in the basement, carrying jugs of hot water to fill a hip bath. The stately homes of England were all too often dark, dingy, and terribly cold. Cornelia Martin, who married the Earl of 
Craven, complained to her mother, “The house is so cold that the only time I take my furs off is when I go to bed.” 
Mildred Sherman from Ohio, who became Lady Camoys, gave up going to dinner at country houses in the winter because she couldn’t face the cold in evening dress. Continued