Carson’s Women: Elsie and Mary
Just a thought: We know that Mrs. Hughes thinks Mary imperious and spoiled, but that doesn’t necessarily convince me as the only reason why she dislikes Mary. I believe that Mrs. Hughes is jealous of the place Mary holds in Carson’s heart. When Carson was ill with his nervous attack from over work (I believe, that was the time and not the Spanish flu) and Mary visited him in his room, Mrs. Hughes entered with his medicine and tray and seemed ever so slightly shocked and possibly irritated that Mary had intruded on her time with him. It flashed across her face just briefly, almost imperceptibly (to anyone other than Chelsie observers). Other members of the Crawley family act imperious and spoiled (i. e. The Dowager) yet we don’t necessarily hear Elsie’s opinions on them (at all, or ) as strongly. Thoughts?
First thought: Elsie Hughes does have strong opinions about the Dowager - who she unceremoniously calls ‘an old trout’. To say Elsie is jealous of Mary for the place the young woman holds in Charles Carson’s heart is too narrowly put. I doubt she minds that so much. I think she minds that he is without criticism. He would go to Haxby for Mary, to work for a man he cannot respect - which says an awful lot.
The relationship between Elsie and Mary is very complex, much more than the ones with Sybil and Edith. Mary is strong willed, independent. Quite like Elsie is herself.
Of course this is my personal opinion and in the past three or four years I’ve not been able to channel these thoughts into a comprehensive reply!