An occassional blog dedicated to further exploring the historical context behind Downton Abbey, as well as encouraging debate over the historical context/interpretation of the programme as a whole. Beware of spoilers. Unless otherwise specified all graphics made are mine, with all screencaps coming from DowntonOnline.
There’s more on shell-shock here, here and here. This source here details the experience and treatment regime of British wartime psychiatrist W.H. Rivers who treated soldiers with shell shock from 1915-1917. A very, very good introductory article is given here by Prof Joanna Bourke. The section on medical symptoms is very interesting when exploring Lang’s character. Here are some interesting facts:
The Wellcome Collection here has a variety of slide-shows regarding their previous exhibit “Remembering War”. Of particular interest is From Shell Shock to PTSD and, especially in reference to later episodes of series 2 and series 3, The Visual Culture of Remembrance.
The Wellcome Gallery, as per usual, has some great online content: the relatively new phenomenon/increased emphasis regarding medical inspection is explored here. Look particularly at the “Gas Fiend” cartoon. Also the cross-section from the lung poisoning from phosgene shell poisoning might be interesting for William Mason fans.
The mental effects of battle is an incredibly interesting section relating to shell shock and more generally to the mental effects of war. Also regarding the kind of makeshift soup kitchen Mrs Bird and Mr Molesley set up, this poster in particular supplies us with relevant context.
If you have a stronger constitution than I there are videos on “War Neuroses” as treated by Netley hospital in 1917.