What is it about?
Downton Abbey engages in historical issues about sex (consent and rape; birth control; women's right to pleasure; gay rights) that resonate with cobtemporary viewers' concerns and values. While often criticized for its conservative politics, the period drama has transgressive potential.
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Why is it important?
Dowton Abbey is the most watched period drama in TV history. Its impact on audiences, and how viewers interpret British history, should not be ignored.
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This page is a summary of: Let's Talk about Sex: Period Drama Histories for the Twenty-first Century, Journal of British Cinema and Television, January 2019, Edinburgh University Press, DOI: 10.3366/jbctv.2019.0455.
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