There’s an obsession happening all over the UK and US right now (and probably Canada too, for all I know). That obsession is Downton Abbey.

You know who you all are out there, fellow worshipers of this show. You set your alarms to remind you it’s Sunday night. You worship the Dowager Countess and her verbal barbs. You speak in various English dialects, ranging from scullery maid Daisy to Lady Mary, at multiple intervals throughout the day. The phrase “Mistah Bates” means something to you.

I created this print for my mother. It features a bit of my own photography (yes, that’s Big Ben) and several fabulous bits of Countess Violet’s wisdom. As I was collecting these quotes, I realized that this was actually the PERFECT print for my mother because – minus 25 years and the posh accent – she IS Violet: a dichotomous mixture of deeply traditional and completely brazen. One who masterfully wields her acerbic brand of sarcasm, runs her household efficiently, and suffers no fools, yet who was horrified when she discovered her daughter was playing rugby in college (horrified, I tell you…).

Countess Violet fears the vapors given off by electricity; my mother can’t even say the word “Facebook” without getting overwhelmed. Countess Violet would never dream of not dressing for dinner; my mother’s white starched blouses (with upturned collar) are legendary among my friends. Yes, they indeed are one in the same.

Here are the quotes which appear on this print, but DO feel free to post your own in the comment section (please read that last bit in your best Violet voice, if you would be so kind):

“You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look.”
“What is a weekend?”
“Don’t be defeatist, dear. It’s terribly middle class.”
“You are a lady, not Toad of Toad Hall”
“I am a woman. I can be as contrary as I like.”
‘I hanker for a simpler world. Is that a crime?
‘Oh good, let’s talk about money.’
“You’ll find there’s NEVER a dull moment in this house.”
“I couldn’t have electricity in the house, I wouldn’t sleep a wink. All those vapors floating about.”
“Why does every day involve a fight with an American?”
“I’ll stick to the chaise lounge.”
“Would someone please let me know what is going on, or have we all stepped through the looking glass?”
“All this unbridled joy has given me quite an appetite.”

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