Virginia Woolf's 'Downton Abbey' Season 4 Cameo Will Make History

Downton Abbey isn't exactly revered by legions of fans for its historical content, but it's still pretty exciting when the show includes fun appearances from iconic figures. The British show's most recent get: Virginia Woolf, who will cameo next season and be portrayed by the Irish actress Christina Carty. 

It's not too clear in what form she'll appear, but considering what Woolf is historically known for — that is, being one of the most well-known modernists of the 20th century, and the author of countless, classic novels, short stories, and non-fiction works — it'll probably be in some way related to writing. Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) is entering the exciting world of journalism, though, so it seems the most likely that it'll be through her. 

It's also worth noting that in 1922, when the fourth season of Downton Abbey is set, Woolf put out her third novel, Jacob's Room, which followed the life story of a boy named Jacob as told through the perceptions that others have of him. She was also a member of the influential Bloomsbury Group of authors by that time, so it's likely that will play into her appearance somehow. Yeah, the literary nerd within me is having a meltdown right now.

The fourth season of Downton will premiere in the UK on Sept. 22, and in the US through PBS Masterpiece Theater on Jan. 15, 2014.


Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article described Carty as British.

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