Adam Sherwin: Why some people think Downton Abbey is nothing more than cultural necrophilia
LORD Grantham would describe it as the height of bad manners. American viewers have been urged to reject Downton Abbey's "silvered tureen of snobbery" by Simon Schama, the British history professor whose populist books have made him a New York celebrity.
Schama, professor of history at Columbia University, launched a stinging attack on Julian Fellowes, creator of the hit series, accusing him of peddling derivative plot-lines and historical inaccuracies to a US audience dazzled by anything set in a British country house.
Schama's assault arrived the day after Fellowes claimed a Golden Globe for the series, which has doubled the Sunday night audience for the American PBS channel.