It was an era in which females had few rights and an advantageous marriage was the only measure of success.Read the rest here.
But women in the Downton Abbey days had it better in one respect: they lived in an age of chivalry, according to Michelle Dockery, the actress who plays Lady Mary.
Dockery said that 21st century equality of the sexes had led to the demise of old-fashioned manners. She suggested that modern men should watch the period drama and pick up tips on how to treat a lady.
“We take so many of our freedoms for granted nowadays - I can travel where I like, I can have a baby when I like, I can do any job I want - but I do think chivalry has been lost a little bit,” said Dockery, 29, when asked to consider how the role of women had changed since the Edwardian era.
“Those old manners - such as men standing when women arrive at the dinner table or opening doors for you - are lovely, and it’s lovely when you see a man doing that. But young men wouldn’t think about that for a second because it’s not the culture any more.”
On a side note I strongly recommend the series for those who like period drama. It's on the same level quality wise as Mad Men, though the period and plot lines are dramatically different.