Edward Abbey and Downton Abbey: Quotes on Assorted and Various Topics


I love reading Edward Abbey and adore watching Downton Abbey. At first, one would think they are quite different, but when one digs deeper there is a similar contrariness to them both. I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast the two by sharing some quotes. The quotes are coupled on similar topics and paired for humorous effect. Enjoy Abbey fans!


Downton Abbey: 
“Why does every day involve a fight with an American?” —The Dowager Countess
Edward Abbey:  “England. After a few months in England, one finds that one likes the Scotch very much.”


Downton Abbey:
  “What is a ‘weekend’?” —The Dowager Countess
Edward Abbey:  “What is truth? I don’t know and I’m sorry I brought it up.”


Downton Abbey: 
“Don’t be defeatist dear, it’s terribly middle class.”—The Dowager Countess
Edward Abbey:  “The rich are not very nice. That’s why they’re rich.”


Downton Abbey: 
“I’ve never been called a liberal in my life and I don’t intend to start now!” — Mr. Carson
Edward Abbey:  “Counterpart to the knee-jerk liberal is the new knee-pad conservative, always groveling before the rich and the powerful.”


Downton Abbey:
  “I’m a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.” —The Dowager Countess
Edward Abbey:  “I’ve wrecked and ravaged half my life in the pursuit of women, and I suffer the pangs of about seventeen regrets–the seventeen who got away.”


Downton Abbey:
  “I’m never wrong.” —The Dowager Countess
Edward Abbey:  “There is a way of being wrong which is also sometimes necessarily right.”


Downton Abbey: 
“Is this an instrument of communication or torture?” (on using a telephone) —The Dowager Countess
Edward Abbey:  “In the modern techno-industrial culture, it is possible to proceed from infancy into senility without ever knowing manhood.”


Downton Abbey:  
“Oh dear, have you swallowed a dictionary?” —Mrs. Patmore
Edward Abbey:  “I hate intellectual discussion. When I hear the words ‘phenomenology’ or ‘structuralism,’ I reach for my buck knife.”


Downton Abbey:
“I hope you know that really smart people sleep in separate rooms.” —Lady Mary Crawley
Edward Abbey:  “In the end, for all our differences and conflicts, most women and men share the same food, work, shelter, bed, life, joy, anguish, and fate. We need each other.”

Downton Abbey:  “Anyone who has use of their limbs can make a salmon mousse!”
—Mrs. Patmore
Edward Abbey: 
“They will complain of physical hardship, these sons of the pioneers. Not for long; once they rediscover the pleasure of actually operating their own limbs and senses in a varied, spontaneous, voluntary style, they will complain instead of crawling back into a car.”

Downton Abbey:  “If you must pay money, better to a doctor than an undertaker” —Mrs. Patmore
Edward Abbey:  “The very poor are strictly materialistic. It takes money to be a mystic.”


Downton Abbey: 
“I love you, Mr. Bates! And I know it’s not ladylike to say so, but I’m not a lady and I don’t pretend to be.” —Anna Smith
Edward Abbey:  “There has never been a day in my life when I was not in love.”


Downton Abbey:  
“No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house.” —The Dowager Countess
Edward Abbey:  “It is not death or dying that is tragic, but rather to have existed without fully participating in life–that is the deepest personal tragedy.”


Downton Abbey:
 “All this unbridled joy has given me quite an appetite.” —The Dowager Countess
Edward Abbey:  “By the age of eighteen, a human has acquired enough joy and heartache to provide the food of reflection for a century.”


Downton Abbey:  
“It seems a pity to miss such a good pudding.” —The Dowager Countess
Edward Abbey:  “In all of nature, there is no sound more pleasing than that of a hungry animal at its feed. Unless you are the food.”


Downton Abbey: 
“One way or another, everyone goes down the aisle with half the story hidden.” —The Dowager Countess
Edward Abbey: 
“In marriage, the occasional catastrophic crisis is easier to manage than the daily routine.”


Downton Abbey: 
“Are we to be friends then?” —Countess Cora Crawley
“We are allies, which can be a good deal more effective.” —The Dowager Countess
Edward Abbey: 
“I would never betray a friend to serve a cause. Never reject a friend to help an institution. Great nations may fall in ruin before I would sell a friend to save them.”


Downton Abbey: 
“You should learn to forget what I say. I know I do.” —Lady Mary Crawley
Edward Abbey:  “I believe in nothing that I cannot touch, kiss, embrace . . . The rest is only hearsay.”

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One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Running Into Life and commented:

    Today is Edward Abbey’s birthday, and it’s also the time for Downtown Abbey airing on PBS in the U.S. A couple of years ago, I compiled these quotes, paired for contrast and humor. I am a fan of both Abbeys, but I also understand, and tend to agree with their critics. These quotes are for fun and humor and clearly do not represent the complexity of either the writer, the show, or the phenomenon of both Edward Abbey and Downtown Abbey.b

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