Spotlight: Edith Ever After
It has been a long road for Lady Edith Crawley, the once-shy middle sister turned publishing queen. From altar jilting to unplanned pregnancy, this leading lady has had a chronic case of bad luck from the start. But the Downton Abbey finale brought a big dose of happy-ever-after for Edith, prompting fans around the world to cheer, “It’s about time!”
Relive the most important moments in Edith’s journey, and see this unlikely heroine’s transformation from Downton Abbey wallflower to fierce #GIRLBOSS.
“Yes. I’d have taken him. If you’d given me the chance, I’d have taken him like a shot.”
When we first meet Edith, she’s timid, docile, and truly living in the shadow of her more socially desirable sister Mary. Underestimated by her family, Edith wants little more than to achieve freedom from the confines of her current life by way of marriage. But when her secret crush Patrick Crawley meets an untimely end on the Titanic, her flirtation with Matthew hits a dead end, and her engagement to Sir Anthony Strallan is sabotaged, Downton Abbey’s wallflower is left without options. Unfortunately, Edith’s lackluster love life is soon the least of her problems…
Violet: "Don’t worry. Your turn will come."
Edith: "Will it? Or am I just to be the maiden aunt?"
World War I hits Downton with a bang, bringing death, destruction, and big changes for Edith. While the rest of the family struggles to adapt to a new way of life, Edith thrives in an environment in which she can find purpose and personal growth. But even the rush of driving a motorcar can’t quell her desire to love and be loved, and soon that need gets her into trouble. After an ill-fated dalliance with a local farmer, and a fascination with the mysterious Patrick Crawley/Gordon, Edith is dropped back at square one—but is perhaps the wiser for it.
“I am a useful spinster, good at helping out. That is my role.”
Edith’s story soon hit a new low when Sir Anthony Strallan jilts her at the altar, and her sister Sybil dies in childbirth. But her independent status soon reveals its silver lining when Edith is offered a column in a glamorous London magazine. Little did she know, her newfound passion for the written word would soon unlock the next chapter of her life.
“I just can’t get over the fact, you’re doing all this to be with me.”
Things finally begin to look up for Edith when she enters a romance with magazine editor Michael Gregson. For the first time, the ever-unappreciated Crawley sister is thriving in both her professional and romantic lives. But soon Edith’s chronic bad luck rears its ugly head: Her lover disappeared without a trace, and she discovers she is pregnant with his child. Though she briefly leaves the baby with a couple in Switzerland, she soon brings young Marigold to live on a nearby farm. With her true love unaccounted for, and a formidable secret ready to ruin her, the stakes in the game of Edith’s happiness are higher than ever.
“I won’t be the County Failure. Poor demented Lady Edith, who lost her virtue and her reason.”
Though Season 5 brings the horrible news that Michael Gregson is indeed dead, it also finds Edith with a stronger sense of self, a child to love, and a blossoming career at her inherited magazine. Nevertheless, Edith struggles under the weight of her secret and her child’s doting, but protective, adoptive family. Luckily for Edith, her family steps up to support her when she needs them most. As the most tumultuous period of her life comes to a close, a chance encounter with her in-laws’ estate manager paves the way to her future happiness.
“I know now I need a purpose.”
In Downton Abbey’s final season, most of Edith’s life feels like a fairytale: A loving family, a career, and an adoring lover—she has somehow managed to have it all! Her fierce independence and formidable management skills have not only saved the magazine, but also attracted a man who was ready to run the world by her side. But Edith’s happiness abruptly comes crashing down when Mary reveals her secret shame to her sister’s fiancé. In an unforgettable confrontation, the two sisters finally clear the air, and Edith proves that she is through with playing second-fiddle. Unfortunately, the damage to her relationship with Bertie was already done, and for a minute it looks as though Edith’s happily-ever-after will have to remain sans prince. But just when we think all is lost, the couple has a heartfelt reconciliation, and Edith walks down the aisle in a ceremony that fans won’t soon forget.