Downton Abbey series three has seen the surprising return of housemaid Ethel – and now Amy Nuttall has given us a hint of what’s in store for her character.
Ethel Parks was sacked from her role as maid in series two when she had a baby with one of the soldiers who was staying at the Abbey. Despite her pleas for help, she was forced to raise her child as a single mum – and that was the end of it – until now…
Amy told The Sun: “I was told that was it. So it was a very nice, welcome, surprise phone call that I received late last year to say that writer Julian Fellowes felt he hadn’t quite finished the storyline off. It was great to come back and see what else he had written for Ethel – and it was a very unexpected storyline. But actually you go, ‘Yeah, that makes sense.’ Ethel probably would resort to certain ways.”
Amy is referring to her grand entrance in last week’s episode when she was found working at a brothel by Mrs Crawley.
She adds: “Back in those days, having a child out of wedlock was the worst thing that could happen to a young woman. You were spurned from society, by everybody. What happens to Ethel happened to thousands of women. It’s not like in this day and age, when we have the welfare state.
“It’s not unusual today to have babies out of wedlock but it leaves Ethel hugely dependent on the kindness of others. Fortunately for Ethel, Mrs Crawley has stumbled across her in unlikely surroundings and she goes out of her way to help her.”
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