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Cora Crawley née Levinson
Countess of Grantham
Viscountess Downton
87
Biographical information
Born 1868[1] (age 58)
Marital status Married to Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham
Residence Downton Abbey, Yorkshire, England
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA (formerly)
Title(s) Countess of Grantham
Viscountess Downton (prior 1890)
Lady Grantham
Her Ladyship
Your Ladyship
My Lady
Milady
Mama
Cora
Cousin Cora
Granny (for her grandchildren)
Physical information
Gender Female
Height 5'9" (1,75 m)
Hair colour Brown
Eye colour Blue
Family information
Immediate Robert Crawley (husband)
Mary Talbot (daughter)
Edith Pelham (daughter)
Sybil Branson (daughter) †
Unnamed son (miscarriage) †
Martha Levinson (mother)
Isidore Levinson (father) †
Harold Levinson (brother)
Extended
Violet Crawley (mother-in-law)
Patrick Crawley (father-in-law) †
Rosamund Painswick (sister-in-law)
Marmaduke Painswick (brother-in-law) †
Reginald Crawley (third cousin-in-law once removed) †
Matthew Crawley (third cousin-in-law once removed/son-in-law) †
George Crawley (grandson)
Isobel Grey (wife of third cousin-in-law once removed by Isobel's first marriage)
Tom Branson (son-in-law)
Sybbie Branson (granddaughter)
Henry Talbot (son-in-law)
Herbert Pelham (son-in-law)
Marigold Gregson (granddaughter)
Hugh MacClare (first cousin-in-law's husband)
Susan MacClare (first cousin-in-law)
James MacClare (first cousin-in-law once removed)
Rose Aldridge (first cousin-in-law once removed)
Lady Annabelle (first cousin-in-law once removed)
Atticus Aldridge (husband of first cousin-in-law once removed)
Victoria Rachel Cora Aldridge (first cousin-in-law twice removed)
Aunt (maternal or paternal)
Affiliation
Loyalty Crawley Family
Phyllis Baxter
Sarah O'Brien (formerly)
Behind the scenes
Portrayed by Elizabeth McGovern
"If this is it, know that I have loved you very, very, much."
Robert Crawley to Cora when he is danger of dying due to his ulcer bursting.[src]

Cora Crawley (née Levinson), Countess of Grantham, Viscountess Downton (b. 1868[1]) is the American heiress daughter of Martha and Isidore Levinson and sister of Harold Levinson. She married Robert Crawley, Viscount Downton who became Earl of Grantham upon his father's death, and brought her large dowry to Downton.

Lady Grantham has three daughters, MaryEdith and Sybil, and her main focus has been their happiness and success. 18 years after the birth of her last child, Sybil, Lady Grantham fell pregnant once again with a son, but miscarried. In 1920, after giving birth to Sybil 'Sybbie' Branson, Sybil died of complications, and Cora blamed her husband, who ignored Doctor Richard Clarkson's warnings in favor of the opinions of stuffy London doctor Sir Philip Tapsell. A year later Cora became a grandmother for the second time when her eldest daughter Mary gave birth to a son, George. Within the hour of his birth, George became the heir to his grandfather's title and Downton Abbey as his father, the Matthew Crawley, was killed in a car crash. Cora is also grandmother to her second daughter Edith's illegitimate daughter, Marigold.

BiographyEdit



PersonalityEdit

Cora is generally a sweet and tolerant person. She always sees the best in people around her and seems oblivious to certain peoples' dark sides (one example being Edna). She also accepts things and changes easier than others in her family, as seen by her acceptance of Tom Branson after and before Sybil's death. She loves her family very much, which is shown when she tells off O'Brien for insulting Matthew, supporting Mary after her affair, her deep mourning for Sybil, being unforgiving of Nanny West and firing her on the spot for her treatment of Sybbie, and her arranging for Edith to raise Marigold at Downton. She is also very loyal showing her disappointment after O'Brien leaves without warning. She has been shown to have a temper (one example being after Matthew shouted at Robert for his failed investment in season 3, another being her confrontation with Isobel Crawley over running the convalescent home during the war), and does not forgive distrust and dishonesty (she lost her trust in Violet after the truth about Edith's daughter came out).

Cora also loves her husband, Robert, which was not always the case for arranged marriages between wealthy American heiresses and English nobles. She also has a tendency to blame herself in times of trouble; for instance, when she nearly died of the Spanish Flu and her husband was flirting with a maid, she apologized to him. Again, in 1924 she punishes herself for Robert's confrontation with Simon Bricker.

NotesEdit

  • Cora's father is revealed to have been Jewish in season 5.
  • The true extent of Cora's original fortune is unknown.
  • Many British and European nobles married wealthy American heiresses, who were known as dollar princesses[9]. Some of whom are listed here: list of American heiresses.

QuotesEdit

  • "I believe there is an answer, which will secure your future and give you a position." - to Mary about marrying Matthew and becoming Countess of Grantham
  • "No one ever warns you about bringing up daughters. You think it's going to be like "Little Women." Instead they're at each other's throats from dusk till dawn."
  • "We're alright. Aren't we, Robert?" - talking to Robert after she survived Spanish flue and Lavinia didn't
  • "Don't worry about me, I'm an American. Have gun, will travel!" - to Robert after his confession of losing most of her money
  • "Very, very good luck my beautiful daughter!" - blessing Mary right before her wedding
  • "You are being tested. And you know what they say, my darling. Being tested only makes you stronger." - comforting Edith after her canceled wedding
  • "Because you are my baby. My beauty and my baby." - saying goodbye to Sybil
  • "Welcome to the Highlands." - to Robert after being woken up by a bagpipe at Duneagle Castle
  • "You don't have to give money after every conversation, Mother." - talking to her mother as she pays a visit to Downton for Mary's wedding
  • "Downton Place. How lovely." - to Robert as they visit the house they may have to move into
  • "And you never thought to involve me, her own mother?! You, Rosamund! You looked at that little girl, and you never thought it was my business too?!" - to Violet and Rosamund for never telling her about Edith and Marigold.
  • "We have quite the contrary daughter." - Season 6 Episode 8 - talking about Mary and spouse options for her to Lord Grantham.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • The inspiration for the character of Cora was in part the American Mary Leiter, who through her marriage to George Curzon would become Baroness Curzon of Kedleston and Vicereine of India.  Mary Leiter was the  daughter of a rich Chicago merchant (he would be one of the founders of what became the Marshall Field's[10] department store chain[11]) and property speculator.  Unlike Cora's father, however, Levi Leiter was not Jewish, but was instead a Lutheran of Pennsylvania Dutch background.  In addition, unlike Cora's mother, Mary Leiter's mother Mary Theresa Carver Leiter was not a brash or vulgar figure in New York society, but lived in a mansion on Dupont Circle in Washington, DC..[12]

AppearancesEdit

Appearances and Mentions
Series 1 Episode 1
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Episode 2
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Episode 3
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Episode 4
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Episode 5
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Episode 6
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Episode 7
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Series 2 Episode 1
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Episode 2
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Episode 3
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Episode 4
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Episode 5
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Episode 6
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Episode 7
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Episode 8
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Christmas Special
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Series 3 Episode 1
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Episode 2
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Episode 3
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Episode 4
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Episode 5
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Episode 6
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Episode 7
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Episode 8
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Christmas Special
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Series 4 Episode 1
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Episode 2
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Episode 3
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Episode 4
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Episode 5
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Episode 6
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Episode 7
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Episode 8
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Christmas Special
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Series 5 Episode 1
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Episode 2
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Episode 3
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Episode 4
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Episode 5
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Episode 6
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Episode 7
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Episode 8
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Christmas Special
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Series 6 Episode 1
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Episode 2
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Episode 3
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Episode 4
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Episode 5
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Episode 6
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Episode 7
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Episode 8
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Christmas Special
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ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Downton Abbey Series 1 Press Pack describes Cora as "She arrived in England, with her mother, in 1888, at the age of 20, and was engaged to Robert, Viscount Downton, as he then was, by the end of her first season" thus confirming her birthdate of 1868. As well as this, The Downton Abbey Series 1 Script describes her, in 1912, as "She's pretty, in her forties, and American" which helps to back up the Press Pack date.
  2. It is unknown as to wether the aunt was from her mother's side or her father's side, or whether the aunt was by blood or by marriage, but Cora mentions in Episode 1.06, that she has an Aunt
  3. Cora says "Oh, god!" in Episode 1.07 at the thought of her mother coming to visit her.
  4. Cora was an heiress at the time, so it must have been on or after her twentieth birthday that she came to London, as her father died sometime before she turned 20
  5. Even though the Downton Abbey Season 1 Press Pack says that Robert and Cora married in 1889, Episode 5.01 shows the couple celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary in 1924.
  6. In episode 1, when Robert states that Mary would never be happy with a fortune hunter, Cora says "I was." thus showing that her marriage, despite Robert only marrying her for her money, was a happy one.
  7. "24 years ago, you married Cora, against my wishes, for her money. Give it away now, what was the point of your peculiar marriage in the first place?"; Violet says this in 1912 and this, thus, places Robert and Cora's marriage in 1889; the press pack also confirms that Robert and Cora married in 1889:Press Pack 1
  8. McGovern talks spoilers for Series 4
  9. The woman who saved Downton: How America’s Dollar Princesses married into the crumbling British aristocracy
  10. Marshall Field's
  11. Marshall Field's was also the source of wealth for Harry Gordon Selfridge, portrayed in another ITV series, Mr Selfridge.
  12. DOWNTON ABBEY SPECIAL: The Press baron and the heiress were larger than life and Cora and Richard Carlisle were based on them, Jessica Fellowes, Daily Mail, 17th September, 2011.

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