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The first leaflet issued by the Victorian Women's Suffrage Society.

This progress through the first decades of the 20th century is amply illustrated in the four seasons of the TV series Downton Abbey. The female characters, both upstairs and downstairs, dominate, from the beginning, the Crawleys’ estate, presenting a large and diversified spectrum of women’s attitudes, aspirations and development. 

From Lady Violet, the dowager countess, who starts as the representative of a rigid and seemingly unalterable social structure and progressively comes to understand – and even encourage – the new possibilities offered to her own grand-daughters, Mary, Sybil, and Edith, who each, in her own way and with different outcomes, chooses their future. 

1920s office worker 

Downstairs, it is no different. If, at the beginning of the series, Mr Carson is the undisputed ruler of the serving staff  - matching and even surpassing, in his own domain, the authority enjoyed upstairs by his corresponding character, the Earl of Grantham - little by little, his power and authoritarian stand are corroded by Mrs Hughes, whose compassionate understanding and well-balanced judgement take centre stage in season four. 

In a certain sense, the feminist ‘revolution’ starts downstairs, with the young servant Gwen, who dreams to leave service for a secretarial position and realizes her dream, encouraged and helped by Lady Sybil, who herself will brake social prejudices, marrying the Irish chauffeur – then politician – Branson, and participate in political debates and rallies. 

Many themes of female emancipation are addressed in Downton Abbey, and, though accurately representing the period in which they are set, they also echo present concerns and debates – violence against women, jobs with equal pay etc. – making the audience aware that the emancipation of women and their fight for equality is not yet complete.

Find out about our 19 day tour of Britain's Downton Era departing August 2015. One highlight of the program is a guided tour of Highclere, which is already fully booked for group visits in both 2014 and 2015. In addition we will explore many of the other stately homes featured in the series and learn about life upstairs and downstairs in the Edwardian Era.

Visit Get Up & Go magazine for your chance to win two places on this unique tour !

 

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Meet Our Program Leaders

Meet Our Program Leaders

Our Program Leaders are based in Australia and New Zealand, so have an understanding of the needs of our Australian and New Zealand participants. They are all well-travelled with a…

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Early Booking Discount

Early Booking Discount

Early Booking Discounts are now available for all 2018 tours! Registering before the Early Booking date secures a saving of up to $300 per person / $600 per couple per…

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2018 Guaranteed Departures

2018 Guaranteed Departures

Watch this space for 2018 Guaranteed Departures.

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Refer a Friend Rewards

Refer a Friend Rewards

Receive a $200 discount off any Golden Compass tour when your friends or family book with us! Your friends will also save $100 off their own booking and there is…

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Sicily & Sardinia - 23 September - 12 October 2018

Come with us as we explore dramatic architecture of cities such as Syracuse, Nota, Catania and Taormina as well as the stunning scenery of Mt Etna and the volcanic Aeolian islands, the lively port of Palermo with the Mediaeval city of Erice and the outstanding Greek temples at Agrigento and the amazing Roman mosaics of Piazza Armerina. We also visit the ancient Nuragic and Roman sites of Sardinia, the charming ports of Cagliari and Olbia and the brooding mountainous interior of Sardinia around Fonni.

 



 

Inclusive of field trips, local guides, gratuities and many meals.