An afternoon in the 1920s

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tuesday, many avid readers and “Downton Abbey” followers took a trip to the 1920s.
This month, the Friends of the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library’s brown bag book review was celebrated with a twist.
Former educator, Morri Finley presented a book review of “Lady Catherine, the Earl and the Real Downton Abbey,” by the Countess of Carnarvon.
In a previous Item story, brown bag book review chairman Gloria Crassons said one of the reasons this event was unique was because the group is raising money to purchase copies of the show’s seasons four and five for the Crosby library.
The event was held at the Magnolia Columns and guests dressed in their favorite 1920s inspired attire.
Finley presented her book review by assuming the role of Lady Catherine and gave a recital in the first person.
The book is about the real life inhabitants of Highclere Castle in England, which is the setting for the popular BBC drama “Downton Abbey.”
In 1922, Finley said, Catherine married, Porchey, the heir to Highclere and the sixth Earl of Carnarvon.
Finley described the ups and downs of Lady Catherine’s life, which included children, divorce and of course living in the castle made famous by the popular television show.
“I wanted to focus on her life,” Finley said. “As I read the book I noticed relevant events between the book and the show. It made the book very interesting to read.”
Attendee Carol Werner said Finley’s presentation was wonderful.
“It was excellent and I feel as if I know almost the whole story,” Werner said. “In years past, I have watched the television show and now I’m interested in picking up where I left off and reading this book.”
Friends of the Crosby Library board member Charleen Schrock found the presentation interesting that while she does not watch the show, she probably will now.
David Fred Smith, who was dressed as the American uncle character from “Downton Abbey,” said he has been an avid fan of the show since the beginning.
“It was a pretty good review of the book,” Smith said.
After Finley’s review, guests were invited to partake in a “chocolate fantasy.” Tables were lined with a variety of chocolate goodies.
While guests sampled the treats, Picayune on Stage members Bonnie Hughes and Debbie Craig delighted guests with their musical performances.
Crassons said she thought the event went well.
“I love the way Finley personified Lady Catherine and her use of pictures during the PowerPoint presentation was excellent,” Crassons said.

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