High Tea at Fairview Library celebrates Downton Abbey's fourth season

By Cheryl Petersen
A day before the fourth season of “Downton Abbey” premiered on January 5, fans and tome lovers, gathered for High Tea, cucumber sandwiches, and scones at Fairview Library in Margaretville.
Library Director Susan Carver has been a devoted follower of Downton Abbey, a PBS Masterpiece drama, since its inception. “The Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith, gets all the best lines,” said Carver. “Each set design is impeccable and the writing is exquisite.”
The series, set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey, depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era, with the great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.
For those of us who have never heard of Downton Abbey, on the shelves at Fairview Library in Margaretville are DVDs of the last three series. They can be checked out with a library card and watched at home on the TV or computer.
“The library also has a book, The World of Downton Abbey, available for checkout,” said Carver. The book is replete with a history of the PBS show that has burgeoned into an international hit series over the last few years. The book offers a comprehensive introduction to the show’s characters plus some historical facts on families in England.
“The writers do an excellent job with their research,” said Keri Dudek, library clerk. “I got hooked on the show last year. It’s an historical fiction, however, their history is accurate.”
Dudek watches it online. “PBS airs each show the next day online. To be able to watch it online is great for me. I can watch it around our children’s schedules instead of at a set time on TV.”
“Downton Abbey has spurred a new interest in England,” said Carver. “There are new books on the market with English recipes and how to host a High Tea party.” The library’s Saturday afternoon High Tea welcomed others from Margaretville and Roxbury who came to sip between three species of tea blends.
“I’ve watched a few shows,” said Elena Len with her spirited Russian accent. “I came to the High Tea because tea is tea, and friends are friends. I love to be in the library.”
Naomi Lurie also arrived due to her love of the library. The two women participate in the book clubs in both Margaretville and Fleischmanns libraries. Everyone is invited to the monthly meetings.
“We are currently reading for the Margaretville Club, the book, Defending Jacob, and for the Fleischmanns Book Club, we are reading, Lincoln: Team of Rivals,” said Elena.