'Downton Abbey' PBS: 10 Best Quotes From Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess In All 6 Seasons
Acerbic, witty, sarcastic and downright wise, Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, is, arguably, the best character on PBS' "Downton Abbey." Dame Maggie Smith's talent are heightened when she portrays the Dowager Countess to perfection.
Violet Crawley has a seemingly endless supply of zeal, fiery wit, wisdom and English poise. But the best part about her towering persona isn't her brutal one-liners. It's the fact that, deep down, she's a real softie. She cares about her grandchildren and often doles out the best advice in any situation.
The Dowager possess an insight many English men and women can't comprehend. She hates foreigners (especially Americans), unsuitable husbands and is an excellent frenemy to Isobel Crawley.
Here are the 10 best quotes the Dowager Countess has delivered in the six season of "Downton Abbey":
10. "Did you drink at luncheon?"
9. "Since we have a country solicitor and a car mechanic, it was only a matter of time."
In season 3, episode 7, the Dowager learns that Edith has become a columnist and journalist. Since the Crawleys welcomed Tom Branson (a car mechanic and chauffer) and Matthew Crawley (a country solicitor), it was only fitting for the sarcastic grandmother to deliver this quote.
8. "I was right about my maid. She's leaving — to get married! How could she be so selfish?"
Maids are hard to train and harder to keep. And no one knows that better than Maggie Smith's character.
7. "Of course it would happen to a foreigner. No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else's house."
In season 1, when the Turkish diplomat Kemal Pamuk died unexpectedly at Downton Abbey, the Dowager provided some light humor with this wise retort.
6. "I'm so sorry, I thought you were a waiter"
Robert Crawley wore a black tie instead of a white one at an event in season 3, and Violet Crawley was spot on in her disapproval in this witty quip.
5. "In my day a Lady was incapable of feeling physical attraction, until she had been instructed to do so by her Mama."
When the Dowager Countess found out about Mary's clandestine affair with Tony Gillingham, she was (as usual) ready with a clever jibe.
4. "I couldn't have electricity in the house, I wouldn't sleep a wink. All those vapors floating about."
She may be wise, but she definitely hates change of any kind.
3. "Is this an instrument of communication or torture?"
Alexander Graham Bell's invention would go on to change the very fabric of communication but this "Downton Abbey" character nonetheless disapproved of the telephone.
2. "Don't be defeatist, dear, it's very middle class."
Poor Lady Edith. While arranging wedding presents in season 2 of the PBS show, the columnist wonders whether she'll ever get married. Not one accustomed to losing without fighting, the Dowager Countess doled out this amusing remark for her aristocrat granddaughter.
1. "What Is A Weekend?"
Perhaps the best one-liner of Maggie Smith's character was uttered when Violet Crawley expressed her confusion about the concept of a working week. Matthew revealed he has a job with some time off and the high born had no idea what he was talking about.
Watch the English Countess dish out some meaningful advice in "Downton Abbey" every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on PBS.
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