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  1. #1
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    Default Wouldn't Lady Mary Crawley ask for a "leg up" rather than a "hand up"?

    It's the third time that I've seen (all or part of) the first episode in Season 6 of Downton Abbey, and this grates on me every time.


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  2. #2
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    I registered just so I could answer this!

    Lady Mary was born before Queen Victoria died. While social mores were in flux throughout her dramatic life, it would have been scandalous for her to mention her legs, even in this very innocent context.

    I imagine that, if she broke her leg in a hunting accident, she would have fainted and been insensible until she was carried home on a door and someone sent for the doctor.


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  3. #3
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    A "leg up" was something men said/did when getting assistance in mounting whatever they were climbing on/upon.

    A lady was always "handed up" for anything regarding assistance - getting on a train, getting in a carriage, getting on a horse.

    DA had an expert on Edwardian era customs on set, so he would be keen not to let a lady use a gentleman's terminology.
    Last edited by gothedistance; Jan. 13, 2016 at 08:19 AM. Reason: era


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  4. #4
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    I'm not sure how expert their expert is in everything. Few people can be experts in every little detail, and I've noticed other oddities in this series.

    Someone else on COTH questioned the presence of the piebald hunter in an earlier season.

    Did anyone else notice some rough cuts in a couple of scenes? One when Mrs Patmore was in with Mrs Hughes and Carson, another when Lady Mary was coming down the stairs ... just looked like tiny editing glitches?
    RoanPonyMare


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPM View Post
    I'm not sure how expert their expert is in everything. Few people can be experts in every little detail, and I've noticed other oddities in this series.

    Someone else on COTH questioned the presence of the piebald hunter in an earlier season.

    Did anyone else notice some rough cuts in a couple of scenes? One when Mrs Patmore was in with Mrs Hughes and Carson, another when Lady Mary was coming down the stairs ... just looked like tiny editing glitches?
    I would love to hear more about why the piebald Hunter was anachronistic.



  6. #6
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    Oh man I totally went off on another direction.

    I thought "leg up" was when the assisting person grabs the rider's calf and tosses them up (like how jockeys sometimes mount) and I thought a "hand up" was when the assisting person folded their hands on their knee and boosted the rider up. I guess I was wrong!



  7. #7
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    I think this came up in discussions about the War Horse movie.
    But I'm wrong, because that would be after the tv shows time period.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DancingArabian View Post
    Oh man I totally went off on another direction.

    I thought "leg up" was when the assisting person grabs the rider's calf and tosses them up (like how jockeys sometimes mount) and I thought a "hand up" was when the assisting person folded their hands on their knee and boosted the rider up. I guess I was wrong!
    Not necessarily! It would be fairly indelicate for a gentleman to touch a lady's leg. It would be much more appropriate for a gentlemen to offer assistance by kneeling and offering his hands for her foot, like a human mounting block.

    In most cases, for most of the period, gentlemen were supposed to mount their horses without assistance from the ground. A groom might assist by holding the horse. Only children and jockeys got tossed on by someone holding their leg. Having a servant grab your leg, while effective, is excessively familiar.


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  9. #9
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    My question is what's with the black cuffs on Robert's red coat? Never seen them before.

    But I still enjoy the eye candy that Downton Abbey provides. Nicely filmed hunt scenes, even if it does show the huntsman in front of the hounds. Which I see in so many movie hunts. When I get the farm fully operational I'm going to have to *insist* on White Tie at my dinner parties....


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  10. #10
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    1) I love COTH, and the wealth of information it provides.

    2) GTD, I love the little side-bars that PBS does about the etiquette of the period, but I truly didn't know there was a distinction in this phrasing. I did love Mary's response to her father's concern about riding astride.

    3) Major Mark, I chuckled when I saw hounds behind the huntsman. Oopsie...



  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Major Mark;8479762]Nicely filmed hunt scenes, even if it does show the huntsman in front of the hounds./QUOTE]

    But there weren't any jumps!


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  12. #12
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    I would love to hear more about why the piebald Hunter was anachronistic.
    Throughout most of the 19th and 20th century, the British Horse World did bay, chestnut and grey with rare roan and dun. Most British breeds still exclude piebalds and skewbalds as coat colours and preferred coats still tend to be 'hard' colours, often with limited or no white marking permitted. Until recently, only the gypsies had coloured ones - the gypsy cob -and travelers were unlikely to be out hunting.

    Coloured horses only became popular as recently as, ummm, the 1980/90s. HM the Queen has a fondness for them and that helped make them popular. I still see 'palomino' listed as 'chestnut' and appies as 'roan' at events.

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/...45_634x601.jpg
    "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chall View Post
    I think this came up in discussions about the War Horse movie.
    But I'm wrong, because that would be after the tv shows time period.
    War Horse was the Great War, WWI 1914-18. Downton Abbey is 1912-25.
    RoanPonyMare



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willesdon View Post
    Throughout most of the 19th and 20th century, the British Horse World did bay, chestnut and grey with rare roan and dun. Most British breeds still exclude piebalds and skewbalds as coat colours and preferred coats still tend to be 'hard' colours, often with limited or no white marking permitted. Until recently, only the gypsies had coloured ones - the gypsy cob -and travelers were unlikely to be out hunting.

    Coloured horses only became popular as recently as, ummm, the 1980/90s. HM the Queen has a fondness for them and that helped make them popular. I still see 'palomino' listed as 'chestnut' and appies as 'roan' at events.

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/...45_634x601.jpg
    That was one of the themes of National Velvet. The idea that a "coloured" horse could compete with solid coloured horses and win. Even at the local gymkhana The Pie is unique. He is THE Piebald in the neighborhood ; no one else has a coloured horse.
    The story takes place before 1931.

    Other than the Drum Horses of Her Majesty's Household Cavalry, the first time I saw a member of the Royal Family with a coloured horse was Prince Edward out for a ride with his then fiancee. The Queen may like piebalds/skewbalds; I don't know; I don't remember seeing any in The Queen Rides, although there may be some. Even native ponies in Britain and Ireland historically don't come coloured.
    RoanPonyMare


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPM View Post
    I'm not sure how expert their expert is in everything. Few people can be experts in every little detail, and I've noticed other oddities in this series.

    Someone else on COTH questioned the presence of the piebald hunter in an earlier season.
    I noticed the etiquette expert was more along the lines of general day to day living, and not so much equestrian. Mary's comment about riding astride being "safer" was a big gaff - from what I've read of diaries and such written by ladies who rode to the hounds in the 1880's-early 1900's, sidesaddle was highly preferred as a more secure seat overall - what with having both legs secured with the fixed head and "leaping horn" and having the saddle constructed so to keep you in a tight position without all that rocking around an astride saddle allows. One has only to look at the many, many photos of Viola Winmill (Master of Warrenton Hunt) in "Gone Away With The Winmills", and of the plethora of ladies hunting sidesaddle in Kitty Slater's "Hunt Country of America" - Miss Charlotte Noland of Foxcroft School, Mrs. Fletcher Harper (nee Harriet Wadsworth) being two that immediately come to mind - among many many other ladies from 1900 up to 1950's still riding sidesaddle. Photos of ladies mounting always (as far as I've noticed) included a solid wood mounting block as well as a groom to hand the lady into her saddle. (We're lucky today to have those lightweight plastic Costco 2-step stools as our traveling mounting blocks for setting out at a hunt meet. What a godsend those plastic stools are to have handy!)

    Regarding the piebald hunter in the hunt scene - it wasn't all that common to find a colored horse in the field in the past century, but it wasn't unheard of, either. The usage of horses to fill in for both carriage and general riding was very normal prior to the 1900's, and since the generally preferred carriage horse was most often only 1/2 or 1/4 hot blood, there was lots of opportunity for color to be in harness or under saddle via the cobs, ponies, and trotting breed types (most with lots and lots of bling, enough that today we would call colored). Back prior to the 1890's there wasn't a lot of snobbery in regards to the color of your mount. That changed once the car became the preferred mode of travel, and the genetically boring bay/chestnut Thoroughbred became the preferred hunt horse of the modern foxhunter. Interestingly enough (just as an additional piece of trivia), a lady often did NOT drive a gray because the gray hairs floating back to her would attach themselves to her outfit and this was not looked upon favorably. Yet, I have noticed that a lot of early photographs show ladies on grays foxhunting - perhaps because they were easier to spot, even out of the corner of one's eye, and a gentleman was more likely to not accidentally jostle a lady if her horse "stood out" among the sea of bays and chestnuts. One thing about the piebald - if one was seen in the hunt field way back when, it rarely made the transition to the show ring where solid bay and solid chestnut were the only colors preferred by the judge (the less white, the better).

    Since the hunt scene was shot with real foxhunters and real staff (and of course the hounds) it stands to reason that a piebald owned by one of the hunt members in that shoot would have been used as that color is really popular nowadays.
    Last edited by gothedistance; Jan. 12, 2016 at 08:42 PM.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebeginner View Post
    1) I chuckled when I saw hounds behind the huntsman. Oopsie...
    At the point in the filming where the hounds are behind the Huntsman leaving the meet - the hounds were being taken to cover. In that case they need to be behind the Huntsman (and flanked by whip staff) to maintain order until the cover is reached. THEN they are allowed to disburse and hunt.

    I heard one or two horn calls that were not correct based upon the scene (I think that was done in the editing room for effect), but for the most part the calls were done right by an accomplished Huntsman.

    It's when you see the field galloping and overtaking running hounds that you need to shake your head in disgust. Saw that at one point and I couldn't roll my eyes enough.


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  17. #17
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    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  18. #18
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    I LOVE that book The Hunt Country of America!

    I also remember a painting from about Jane Austen's era that showed a coach and four and at least one of the horses was a piebald.
    RoanPonyMare



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPM View Post
    I LOVE that book The Hunt Country of America!

    I also remember a painting from about Jane Austen's era that showed a coach and four and at least one of the horses was a piebald.
    Now (more driving trivia) there was a custom among the public use coaches during Austin's time (and on forward) that one of the horses - either in the left side lead or at the left side of the pole (at the wheel) - would be a light "color" (usually gray but a piebald would do) so that the coachman (who sat on the right side of the box if there was a passenger sitting alongside him) could judge where the hidden left edge of the road was at night.

    Keep in mind that the coach lights were not meant to light the road - instead, they were meant to give a visual heads-up notice to pedestrians, other vehicles, and the station stable crews, that a coach was on the road. Because those lights were just a "notification", not road illumination, the coachman driving at night had to use either natural light (moonlight) or the reflective color of a light colored horse, to know how far he could move the coach over before it went off the road. The horses would naturally be disinclined to step off the roadbed, so a good carriage or coaching horse would do its level best to keep all 4 feet on the road and not veer into the roadside ditches.

    Even during the day a gray would be put in the team, just in case something held up the coach and daylight ran out before the coach reached its destination. With a gracious nod to past tradition, proper "road coaches" and "mail coaches" with a guard today will often have a gray put to the team.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Mark View Post
    My question is what's with the black cuffs on Robert's red coat? Never seen them before.

    But I still enjoy the eye candy that Downton Abbey provides. Nicely filmed hunt scenes, even if it does show the huntsman in front of the hounds. Which I see in so many movie hunts. When I get the farm fully operational I'm going to have to *insist* on White Tie at my dinner parties....
    Can I hope for an invitation to such a party?



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