The family of the Earl of Grantham lives at Downton Abbey, headed by Robert who lives on the estate with his wife, Cora, an American heiress, and their three daughters, Mary, Edith, and Sybil. Mary is headstrong, while Edith believes she lives in her older sister's shadow and seeks to cut Mary down whenever possible. Youngest Sybil is intrigued by the changes happening in the world such as the issue of women's suffrage. Robert's mother Violet, the dowager countess, is protective of the old way of life and frequently tries to manipulate those around her in order to maintain her own social status and that of her family. She sometimes clashes with her American daughter-in-law.