MGA Professor’s ‘Downton Abbey’ Obsession Pays Off

As the recently released “Downton Abbey” movie draws big crowds to theaters, we thought we’d share this cool little story involving one of our professors, Dr. Monica Miller, #MGA assistant professor of English.

Miller was a big fan of the pre-movie PBS television series from the first episode that aired in America in early 2011. The show was a chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early 20th century (IMDb).

“From the beginning, the series combined the entailment drama of a Jane Austen novel with the American-British marriage drama of and Edith Wharton novel, two of my very favorite authors,” Miller said. “By the third episode, with the shocking plot twist involving Lady Mary and the Turkish ambassador, I was completely hooked.”

When the series aired, Miller said, PBS encouraged fans to “live tweet” during the episodes, sharing their reactions on Twitter.

“I enjoy live tweeting quite a bit, as it allows me to share the experience of watching a favorite TV show with literally thousands of other fans who are watching the show at the same time that I am. Not only could we exclaim over the most fabulous hats and the dowager countess’s best one-liners, but we could also share knowledge about politics, history, and other aspects of the show. I learned a lot from virtually watching the show with other fans.

“I watched and live tweeted for all but a couple of episodes of the show over its entire six seasons. When the show came to an end, I received a message from PBS, thanking me for being such a devoted fan and asking for an address where they could send me a thank you gift for my commitment. Imagine my astonishment to find this autographed poster in the mail! It’s signed by several actors from the show, including Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Allen Leech, Kevin Doyle, and others. It hangs in my office now, where I can continue to enjoy it.”