Downton Abbey devotees and Anglophiles take heed! At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 at the Allen Public Library, Dr. Jann Mackey will share some of the secrets and mysteries of Highclere Castle, better known as “Downton Abbey,” on the popular PBS Masterpiece series.
Dr. Mackey’s lecture “The Real Downton Abbey: Inside Highclere Castle” focuses on the art, architecture, and history of Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England. Dr. Mackey will share the history and stories of the Carnarvon family, which has owned the estate for centuries, including, George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who sponsored Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt in 1922. Dr. Mackey will also explain how the fictional plot of “Downton Abbey” has unexpected echoes of the real history of the castle and the Carnarvon family.
An architectural historian, Dr. Mackey focuses on historic houses and buildings in Dallas, as well as British country houses. Passionate about sharing her knowledge of architectural treasures with her audiences, Dr. Mackey is a frequent lecturer in Southern Methodist University’s Continuing and Professional Education programs. Dr. Mackey also served as president of the board of trustees of Preservation Dallas.
In 2006, she curated two exhibits at the Meadows Museum on the work of Dallas architects Hal Thomson and Charles Dilbeck. Additionally, she was awarded a fellowship from the Royal Oaks Society, The British National Trust and The Attingham Trust to conduct an in-depth study of British country houses.
Dr. Mackey holds a Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas, writing her dissertation on Dallas architect Howard Meyer, who is responsible for bringing modernist design to Dallas.
The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for more information. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free.