Violet Crawley
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Biography for
Violet Crawley (Character)
from "Downton Abbey" (2010)

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Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, is Robert's mother and the grandmother of Mary, Edith and Sybil. Violet is considered to be Downton's matriarch figure and has a withering wit and a sharp tongue. She is immensely proud of her son and loves her granddaughters very much. She is protective of her family and wants the best for them -- even if her logic is sometimes flawed.

Violet's class status and tradition are extremely important to her -- when Matthew's mother Isobel aims to connect with Violet and excitedly asks, "What should we call each other?" Violet responds, "Well, we could always start with Mrs. Crawley and Lady Grantham." Although Violet has been accused of being unable to communicate across the class divide, she is kind and compassionate to the servants. However, she deeply cherishes the old ways of doing things and has been known to be resistant to change.

Background: She was born in the 1840s to a baronet and has one sister, Roberta, who loaded the guns at the Siege of Lucknow in 1857. Violet also has a niece named Susan, who is married to the Marquess of Flinthshire, known as Shrimpy. In the 1860s, Violet was pursued by Lord Hepworth of Hatton Park.