How come she didn't try to help Edith? If she believed in love and titles, why didn't she help Edith get back with Bertie? Why does she only help Mary? Couldn't she have tried to help both? Why was Mary her priority when Mary in this case did more wrong than Edith? In fact, why is Mary always everyone's priority? You'd have thought we'd see someone in the family reach out to Edith, apart from Tom. Offer her some comfort. The family as a whole seem more concerned that Mary did something wrong than Edith has lost a man she loved. But really, why didn't Violet do something fo Edith. After all, Edith loved Bertie and he had a title, you'd think getting those two back together would be her number one goal. So why does she only bother with Mary?
Yes, as said above, Tom and Violet did discuss the fact that Edith wasn't there. So it may have been a question of doing what she could do at that point. I also think it's the practicality of it.
Firstly, you can't fix Bertie and Edith instantly, whether we like it or not. This is because, for Bertie, it is a breach of trust that has lasted their entire relationship, and he will need time to absorb, reflect, put everytihng into perspective and examine whether that has affected his feelings. The cliche that "time heals all wounds," may actually be very pertinent here. With Mary, it's a pretty quick fix because it's not a breach of trust at the core of her relationship, it's just coaxing Mary out of her icey-fortress of a heart and telling her to be honest with herself, if she's fallen in love then just go for it. Violet is a wise lady so I trust she knows all this.
Secondly, Bertie is the one stopping the relationship, not Edith. Violet, by going to Edith, has no effect on getting Bertie to come back to Edith. She can be comforting, but she realised she could not do that from York when Edith turned out to be in London. Violet would have to go to Bertie and I'm sure she doesn't want to do that without figuring out where Edith is at yet. Mary was the one in the way of her own happiness with Henry, Violet knew she could talk Mary round.
Thirdly, Violet knows Edith and Mary are different and that Mary can be won round by talking to her. Edith tends to deal with heartbreak and anguish alone. You may say that is because she is abandoned, but no, she does choose: she was going to the abortion "clinic" alone (but Rosamund turned up), she ran to London with Marigold without telling anyone, and after Bertie broke up with her she went to London (even though Tom offered to help). I think the vastness of London suits her. She once said that no one cares much about how people live their lives, I think she likes that she's free and not under a microscope so much there. The way to bring Edith back to Bertie is not really by talking to her, but by bringing her out of her solitude and orchestrating a meeting is probably the best way (as we see in the CS trailer)
Mary, on the other hand, has always been lifted through pep talks whether by her mother, Carson, Violet, Tom etc. In S6E 7, Tom tried to after she broke up with Henry and I think that was when her heart had shut down completely - ultra-Violet can get through though, because she's amazing.
Fourth, I would want to sort Mary out first anyway. Shame her about how she treated Edith so that she doesn't do it again. It would be really unhelpful if Violet got Edith and Bertie back together somehow, and Mary was still being a sour puss, sulking and being destructive - it may come in the way of an already difficult reconcilliation. So for practical reasons, remove the obstacle (Mary) for Edith, and smooth the path for Bertie to come back.
Lastly, Violet's quite old now so she doesn't have time to run around England. She already returned speedily from France so I think she'd much rather deal with Mary first as she is there.
Sorry that was long, but I'm a major defender of the Crawley Family and I believe they love Edith. I just wanted to argue that they're not just abandoning her, or favouring Mary.
Besides, Violet is, by spoilers, teaming up with Isobel to deal with Larry and Amelia's plans for Lord Merton, which apparently get quite dark. So, Violet has more important things to do -- namely fucking up all of Larry and Amelia's shit. Besides, Edith can handle herself; the obstacle (Mary) is out of the way, so it's a clear shot.
Perhaps, but it would be nice to have Edith's family put her first.
Well, Edith was away at the time. Violet couldn't exactly go straight to London; no point in trying to help Edith if Mary's just going to fuck it up again.
I don't think it was a matter of not putting Edith first - chronological order has nothing to do with how much the family care for Edith - it was practicality. I want to stick up for the Crawley family because I think a lot of people are just assuming that they don't care about Edith and think she's always being pushed to the background. That may have been the case in earlier series, and they may have overlooked her, but they have changed of late.
In S6E8, I felt like the family (remember, I'm excluding Mary) were always concerned about what Edith was going to do about her issue - most of the conversations between Cora, Robert and Rosamund were about Edith's tough decision and what to do. Tom shouted at Mary for the way she treated Edith. Violet's first question to Mary was to ask about why she hurt Edith, handling that matter before getting round to the Henry issue. And when Mary told Tom she had invited Henry up etc., Tom was quick to ask out how she planned to make it up to Edith.
Just because they are not chasing Edith or Bertie round the country doesn't mean they don't care, there are many explanations for passivity:
1). They can't force the situation - it's about Bertie coming to terms with the secret and having time. No on wants the family getting right up in his face, forcing him to make a fast decision (which may be the wrong one) and looking desperate. It may also give the wrong impression, look as though Edith's parents are desperate to have a Marquess in the family (actually, maybe that is the right impression...)
2). Edith and Bertie are adults - and they act maturely, can you expect to be interfering with the way your 30 year old daughter leads her life? The same daughter who has a child and a publication of her own? Unlikely.
3). Robert, Cora and Rosamund can't scold Mary - this is their fault, they put her on a pedestal for so long and now she's a grown woman so you end up wondering whether it's going to far to scold her. They should have but they probably think it's improper. Rosamund is Mary's aunt so you don't usually tell off other people's grown children. They weren't putting Mary ahead of Edith by not telling her off, they probably have to accept that she's out of thier control.
Tom is Mary's age and friend, Edith was the wronged party and Violet is the supreme head of the family that Mary truly holds in high regard - they could scold her.
I'm basically saying that we shouldn't be criticising all the members of the Crawley family for the terrible way in which a single member, Mary, acted. I also think we need to change our views of the rest of the family and how they treat Edith - it came slowly but they do care for her and I think they were very much concerned about her for the whole of episode 8.
Also Bertie was travelling to Tangiers to settle his cousins business, so there was no point in trying to reach him in that point.
Also imo i think that in the end, Mary is the emotionally weakt sister, even Violet sayed that Mary being cold and grand is only a facade. When Matthew died, all in the familly were trying to help in some way, after that, even Robert or Cora admitted that the next house party was to make Mary happy, Blake helped her to break up with Gillingham, Tom helped with Matthew before the wedding and with Henry, Cora with the turkish diplomatat and finding husband, his father with the last blackmail attempt, Anna buying the diafragm, Carson always flattering her, etc.
In comparison when the death of Gregson was confirmed, the family show some concern (except Mary) and basically they "gave" time to think (even if they didnt know about Marigold, they knew that she loved Gregson) and went to a horse race, but nothing else, when she started to write in the magazine she had little support from her family. Also if you see, when things go wrong to Mary she always make more fuss about it, she cannot handle hardships very vell and in the end she unravels, Edith in the other hand tries to solve the problems alone (not obtaining good results, but at least she takes the chances) and she had shown that she is much more resilient person .
I also think that the rest of the family changed his mind about Edith, even Robert admited that is the daughter that give him more surprises and he didnt use a negative tone, i think that he was genuinily proud about how Edith acted in the last episode.
Giving explanations, you forgpt the crux of the matter: the story was written by Fellowes who handled it in an odd way: Mary hurts Edith, Tom scolds Mary, Violet scolds Mary and gives her advice to make peace with you sister and yourself. The result is that Mary *doesn't* make peace with Edith (which should have been her first priority if she has been canged by Violet's words) but instead she concentrates solely on her *own* happiness, calls *Henry* to herself and maarries him - and it is *Edith* who makes peace with Mary.
Of course the last makes Edith a stronger and kinder person than Mary but still it's all wrong.
Besides, the engament scene between Henry and Mary was weak and showed again that they had no chemistry.
Edith did not want to be comforted by her family, she made quite sure to Tom that she wanted to be alone and cope on her own. Which she seemed to do, on the basis of the scene in the office with Laura.
Most of all, there was no comfort because there was no easy solution, unlike it was to Mary to call Henry back.
Lord Merton was told that "the ball is now in Larry's court and only he can play it". This applies also to Bertie. Only he can now make the first step towards reconciliation.
That can happen only after he had realized that he made the decision to part from Edith too rashly in anger and hurt, letting her no chance to tell her part of story and explain why she didn't tell him. Also, just like Matthew in S1, Bertie wanted to be sure and didn't accept that there was a strong possiblity that Edith would have told him - why else she would have needed so much time before accepting his proposal than to collect her courage to tell him? Even after he became a Marquess and could offer him one of the most exalted positions of the realm, she didn't accept him straightaway (and in fact she never said yes).
In their discussion in the park after the breakfast Edith had a chance. She could have said: I tried to tell you last evening but you didn't listen to me. Which is quite true, Bertie was so happy hearing her "I love you" that he jumped to "I take it yes". But evidently she felt that she isn't "worthy" of Bertie (which she said twice and he never asked why she felt that way) and that she is permanently "unlucky" (when she meets a man, it turns to the bad result). Therefore she didn't even try to defend herself.
In defense of the family Crawley, during the episodes where Edith finds out that she is pregnant and Gregson is missing, her parents are very concerned about her. I think that in season 4 Cora is far more worried about Edith than Mary. Both her mother and her father try to comfort her, but she can not tell them the truth because she is afraid that they will love her less. Similarly, she can't tell Bertie the whole truth. She is afraid he will love her less. The happiest scene I remember for Edith is at the shoot at Brancaster the morning after she learns that her father knows and understands about Marigold and he asks for her forgiveness. She meets Bertie and in response to his question she replies that she is happy!
What do you think?