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'Downton Abbey': Behind the scenes of health and illness

Medical themes are threaded throughout PBS’s wildly popular “Downton Abbey,” from Matthew’s temporary paralysis during the Great War to Sybil’s tragic death from eclampsia.

The Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine illuminates medicine of Edwardian England through its current exhibit, which is free and open to the public. It explores such topics as nursing, combat injuries in World War I, maternal and child health, and household medicine using books and artifacts from the library’s extensive early 20th-century collections.


Downton Abbey: Behind the Scenes of Health and Illness


Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine, fifth floor of Diehl Hall at the University of Minnesota, 505 Essex St. SE, Minneapolis


8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, now through May 16. Exhibit open until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, and Thursday, May 1, as well as from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.

Group tours may be arranged by contacting Lois Hendrickson at 612-626-6881 or

Learn more at

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