While I understand that Mr. Fellows wants realism when it comes to sibling relationships, I tire of Mary's cutting remarks to and about Edith. The only time I have ever heard her speak a civil word to poor Edith was when Syble died and even then she was rather cold. These are women now and should be growing out of that constant sibling rivalry. I feel that Mr. Fellows has gone overboard on this particular aspect of sibling relationships.
Indeed, I find it weird how some people can judge Edith by that letter to the Turkish embassy. It was in season 1, and I don't remember anybody even speaking about Pamuk after Mary got married to Matthew. These people have also accused Edith of mistreating Michael Gregson's wife (who was clinically insane and didn't even know that Edith existed) and Mrs Drewe (who had no legal right to keep Marigold against Edith's wishes and had other children to care for anyway). I simply don't get this hatred...
It is true also that Edith grew as the years went by, while Mary could never stop being an ice cold bitch.
I disagree with your vew of Mary she was anything but ice cold....I believe another member of the family once commented on how she felt everything with every fiber, not a direct quote obviously... and I supose if that is true then of course she would have a high wall towards others a false wallbut a high one. I mean look at how she treated Anna, Sibil, and her mother. Edith was the one who always went arund sturring up trouble.
The problem is that in a lot of ways Mary didnt matured with the time, agree that Edith caused a lot of problems but who doesnt. But Mary in her 35´s still behaved like a 15 year old teenager and not like a woman as she should be; for example look how she based her relations with men, basically only playing power games with them and with Henry Talbot in particular. The war and knowing other people caused a great impact in Sybil and Edith but not in Mary, because in that period she was too absorved dealing with Matthew, in other words, her problems.
I think that the main reason behind that behaviour is that being always the favourite of her parents in the end delayed Mary´s development, besides nobody in the family besides Matthew (and in a little way), Edith and in the end Tom, pointed to her that she has flaws.
In conclusion Mary is a very sensible person, she acts as she didnt care, but she cares deeply the opinion of others about her, notice how she drop a tear when she knew that Gillingham was engaged again, and then when Mabel Lane Fox invited to her wedding, or that Tom was leaving to America. All that because she was a woman who canot deal with failure or when things dont go in their way, and that show us a very sensible but also inmature person.
I think that very deeply she is scared of people who knows "the real Mary" and among them is Edith; when they yelled each other Mary was incapable of saying anything and also when Edith came back before the wedding.
The cause of all those problem is to me the way that both of their parents raised them, especially Cora, to the very end Cora was using the same condescenting tone towards Edith. At least Robert tries to understand both of her daughters, but Cora dont do anything in that way.
Having just finished the series I disagree you see Mary wasn't playing games when it came to her family, she was trying to protect herself with Henry Talbot for example, she at first did care a bit about his station but decided to give him a chance, probably feeling lonely. But the secound she realized she had real feelings she focused in on his flaws and the reasons it wouldn't work to protect herself from her fear of his job. And both her parents called her out when she deserved it. As for Cora's constant condecending tone I don't think it was condescention as much of wearyness of her drama. I mean Mary could be a bitch but Edith was always seeing things as the world and Mary against her and her happiness choosing to either let her false feelings drag her down or cause rifts in her relationships with others, from P. Gordon all the way to Bertie.
And for the record I am pretty sure up until Sibil married Branson she was her parents favorite at least during the war and towards the end.
When i said that Mary played games i war refering the way that he behaves with men, Robert noted that she treats them like toys, Matthew saw that when she started to flit with Strallan and he simply walk away (season 1), then Blake also noted that and he even gave a warning to Gillingham saying that Mary likes to have all her man in a trail. And in the beggining of her relation with Talbot she told to him that she would enjoy the chasing.
Cora has show a lot of neglecting to Edith in the series, Robert with all his flaws at least try to do something good. For example when they received the news about Gregson being death Cora only asked about how she was, why she didnt go to see her?; then when Mary sabotaged her relation with Bertie we see that Edith went to London to work, wheere was Cora? and even when Edith came back for the wedding a few days later only then she asked how she was in condescenting tone, the same tone that she used when outside the church when Mary and Talbot were in the carriage and finally when Bertie and Edith came back she was more worried about the hospital than the wedding and Robert rightfully call her off for that.
Robert change his treatment towards Edith in the end of season 5 when he knew about Marigold and when Edith apologizes to him he also said that he also needed to apologizes towards her in a reference towards his neglecting.
Okay, I guess that we will never agree about this. For me, my sympathy will always lie with Edith. And either way, how will you explain that Mary cares more about her lady's maid than about her own sister? That is just strange to me.
The thing is, Edith is capable of showing empathy towards Mary. When Matthew went missing, when the crash happened, she respected Mary's pain. Whereas Mary acts as though being asked treat Edith as a human being with feelings as some sort of infringement on her human rights. It's not that Mary cares more about Anna, it's that Mary does not care about Edith at all. I don't even mean she fails to care for Edith as a sister, but she fails to show Edith the level of care you'd expect any empathetic human to have for another. I mean, their first interaction is of Mary telling of Edith for crying over the death of their cousin, a boy they grew up with!
18.104.22.168 wrote:The thing is, Edith is capable of showing empathy towards Mary. When Matthew went missing, when the crash happened, she respected Mary's pain. Whereas Mary acts as though being asked treat Edith as a human being with feelings as some sort of infringement on her human rights. It's not that Mary cares more about Anna, it's that Mary does not care about Edith at all. I don't even mean she fails to care for Edith as a sister, but she fails to show Edith the level of care you'd expect any empathetic human to have for another. I mean, their first interaction is of Mary telling of Edith for crying over the death of their cousin, a boy they grew up with!
Indeed, I really don't get why Mary treated Edith that way. Yes, it might be true that some siblings don't get along. And I've read that Julian Fellowes has an equally terrible relationship with his own brother. But it seems like Mary was just ridiculous in her dislike of Edith.
I think that the bad relation was because in the end both Mary and Edith were women who in reality had to compete to get a man in order to get married, that was their "job" (have a proper husband with money and tittle) and the show was very explicit in let us know that Mary was more prettier and more accomplished in the small talk, the qualities that a woman of her time required; Edith´s habilities were somewhere else (as Sybil pointed out during the war). Sybil in the other hand only "came out" in 1914 the same year that the war started, so she didnt participe in that competition, but it was very clear if the war wouldnt change the way that things worked Mary and Edith would have seeing her as a competition also, remember the face that Mary have when Matthew saved Sybil of the politic rally and she inmediatily jumped towards Matthew.
Its a sad thing, but that is how thing worked for women of the aristocracy back then, even Mary complained about it saying that she was basically in a golden cage waiting for marriage and in the end she was jelaous of Matthew because he had a life with purpose besides marriage. So basically i think that Mary ane Edith competed for the attention of men during all their teenager years and Mary is the "heir" of Violet, she can be gracious but very cunning if the moment requires it.
The ww1 changed all of that, women suddenly have more freedom and option besides a good marriage, this produced dramatic changes in Sybil but also Edith. I think that Edith following Strallan and trying to marry him was her last attempt to back to the old days. And we must remember something, in any moment, besides taking care of Mattthew Mary involved herself with the war; for her it was only a little annoyance to her personal life. For that reason, all those changes didnt affected so much. So, after the war, we have that Mary is still behaving herself as a woman with pre war values, and in the other hand Edith after being jilted triied to carve her destiny somewhere else, in conclussion there wasnt a competition anymore in Edith´s side, she even asked Mary that they could get along better but Mary rejected that because Mary was still set up with the pre war values. If we see in the show no longer Edith makes anything to Mary, for every 5 insults of Mary towards Edith, Edith made 1 only to be beaten again by Mary´s shapest tongue.
After Matthew death, Mary suddenly realizes that she must work as anyone else, that she is no longer to be the next countess something very important for her. But even she didnt mature, she continued to see Edith as a competitor, not as her sister, who in the last years didnt care about a propper marriage or nothing else to compete, even Edith knew that her parents didnt love her in the same way that they loved Mary. Also please notice how Mary behaves with other women who can be a threat, ex. Mabel Lane Fox. Then if we see season 6 Mary is having trouble with Edith succes with her magazine in London, she puts a face when Robert praised Edith for the editing thing. Then she mocked about Edith going out with Bertie, again, Edith didnt care that he was a estate agent of Brancaster or his prospects. But when Bertie inherits Mary instantly became jelaous, because in her mind its imposible that a woman like Edith could out rank her, because she thinks that its illogic that a marquess would preffer someone like Edith who doesnt have her beauty or her graces, and off course sabotage everything in order to restore the natural order of things, Edith always down to her.
We must remember that she was surprised about how well Edith "knew" her intentions that she finally accepted how low went this time, and also the words of Violet and Robert. And in some ways she matured.
So my bet, is that their bad relation is result of various things: in one hand how bad Cora made her job raising them, the times that their lived, and the lack of maturity in Mary´s part.
I find it very weird though, that Mary should still see Edith as some kind of threat. Okay, maybe it made some sense back when they were hardly more than teenagers in season 1. But like you said yourself, there had been a great war and Mary had gotten married, had a son and lost her husband. You would have expected more maturity from her in seasons 5 and 6. And we know that she could be friendly and helpful, when it came to certain people. So how could it be so difficult for her to let go off her stupid grudge against her own sister, especially after Sybil's death? I guess that Mary's and Edith's personalities simply clashed, so there could never be any sisterly warmth between them. But I still find it just ridiculous that Mary was in her 30s and went through so much, and she was still not mature enough to even be civil to her only remaining sister. Edith seemed to be ready to bury the hatchet and stop with the fighting, but not Mary.
It is also sad that Robert and Cora never did much to stop this stupid feud. But I guess that they were just too busy stroaking Mary's ego, that they couldn't see how neglected and bullied poor Edith was. Violet gave Mary that remark about lack of compassion being vulgar, but it wasn't enough either after years of bad blood.
What do you think?