Are you watching Downton Abbey? Most of us are enjoying a glimpse into the aristocratic lives of our favorite characters in season three, while the downstairs staff intrigue us with their style of living.
Charles was born 200 years ago. To celebrate, San Francisco presented a bicentennial Dickens fair at the Cow Palace. We interacted with sailors on the London docks, ragpickers in the stews and alleyways, and junk dealers with dented silver from the swells.
My favorite characters were the chimney sweeps, filthy in black clothing, who handed out gold coins for luck (with a picture of Thomas Jefferson on one side and George Washington on the other. Go figure.)
Professional singers and actors and real shops with period merchandise for sale enchanted our senses and brought us a sense of belonging to another time.
Why the craze for all thing English right now? Do you know? And why was the London pickpocket texting on his smart phone?