If you ask me, now that the latest series of Downton Abbey has come to an end, I would like to present my Downtonopedia, which contains all the facts you will ever need to know about Downton collected into one slim volume which, I admit, could have been fatter, and would have been, if only I’d been able to sustain my interest. Still, here is an excerpt, just to give you a flavour...
What The Characters Are Least Likely To Say, More’s The Pity:
Bates: It’s a fair cop. I did it!
Anna: I saw him!’
O’Brien: Whoever it was, it wasn’t Thomas!
Lord Grantham: To hell with the status quo.
Anna: Iron your own shoelaces, Lady Mary, you lazy bitch.
Lady Cora: My whiny little voice and constipated little face irritate even me.
Carson: It does not matter from which side you serve the soup, you dolt.
Lady Mary: Enough with the agricultural talk, Matthew. As it is, you’ve sent my ovaries to sleep.
O’Brien: What’s overheard through the heating duct stays in the heating duct.
Matthew: A boner!
Lord Grantham: I’m afraid I’m not going to interrupt proceedings to announce an important political development or the invention of the Breville sandwich toaster, just so you know.
Tom: The Irish potato famine was nothing, in the big scheme of things.
Carson: As I appear to be having one of my less stoic, redoubtable days, I plan to take myself and my big head to the nearest meadow where I will dance naked with bells.
Lord Grantham: A fast-track promotion scheme for homosexuals in my employ! I’ve never heard such a thing!
Dowager Violet: Today, I will try not to say anything that could be embroidered on a cushion.
O’Brien: What bar of soap?
Lady Edith: Was I spitefully lively once?
Lady Mary: Was I interesting once?
Julian Fellowes: I’m off to bed early, as I seem to be suffering from narrative strain.
If you would like to see more of this book, which includes, for example, a section on What Downton Most Needs – a revolving door to accommodate Bates’s endless cycles of redemption and exile would be most helpful, for instance – it is available from The Independent Bookshop at £790. Steep, but includes a pull-out map of the village and the best place to buy buttons, in full colour.