We just got the first glimpse of Downton Abbey's third season — complete with a zinger from Lady Violet, of course — and we're eagerly anticipating the show's return in January! If you've caught the fever or are hoping to get into it, now's the time to learn about some of the show's history. The entire plot of the first season of this hot PBS show revolves around the cultural customs and laws of heirs, women's rights, and marriage during the last hoorah of Britain's Edwardian era at the cusp of World War I. Then the second season covers WWI and beyond, from 1916 to 1920. This transition was a time of social and political turmoil, and it marked a pivotal change for women's rights in Britain. To better understand where women stood and how far we've come, let's look at the rules of love, sex, and marriage in Britain's Edwardian era, and how things changed after World War I.