Reviews for University Challenge
Joanne Liu chapter 25 . 8/16
Not so sure when you will read this but just want to say i enjoyed reading it in Aug 2016.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 25 . 7/9
A City fan, Matthew? How could you?
I would love to see Robert sporting the horrid 70s fashions. :D
"No. I meant me. You have me too.", *clutches chest*
And the tiny stab at Edith, while cruel, was funny and so much in character.
Getting cut out of the inheritance is not unexpected but the «Boy, it escalated quickly» (or whatever) gif still popped up in my mind.
I think you laid the groundwork for the finale well and I can't wait to read how it ends.
Thank you for sharing it with us.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 24 . 7/9
How lovely were the bits between Sybil and Edith? A bit unexpected at first, but it's nice to see another sides to characters that seem to be quite drawn out right of the gate. Thank you for that bit.
The latest news will definitely shake everything a great deal.
I'm sorry this comment seems rather vague, because I really liked it.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 23 . 7/9
Of course Molesley would throw up into the popcorn. (I kid because I'm fond of him).
I haven't finished reading this chapter yet, but I think that so far you are fleshing the whys of Mary's teenage and gap year actions very well and still in character of what we know of her despite the time-frame change.
The bit about the «twisted Jane Austen novel» was tremendous.
And Mary's friends seem like the worst.
I think you did a skillful job with balancing Mary's doubts and personality with her fear of failing.
She would hate me for saying it, but poor Mary.
The chapter was heartbreaking but at the same time I think Mary's resilience and perseverance still shine through in a very pertinent , thoughtful, talented manner.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 22 . 7/9
«"Oh, I'm not exploding. I'm very calm about it. Teenagers fall pregnant all the time. Why should my daughters be any different?"» - Once again, this rang so Cora to me.
«Matthew was so comfortable in this role as boyfriend; it came naturally to him to be kind, to be loving. It did not come naturally to her, not in the same way.» - Spot on.
«Mary stood rooted to the spot, her heart racing. With cold horror, she realised she was trembling. Matthew, kind, sweet, generous, occasionally misguided Matthew... It was Matthew and he deserved better than her.», Shhhh. No, he doesn't. You're perfect for each other.
Cora and her pancakes is hilarious but at the same time so relatable.
This is a wonderful chapter. I think you balanced tension and angst very well with hope and love.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 21 . 7/9
«He's very short». I'm sorry, Tom, I don't mean to make fun of you but I laughed.
Awkward. That's what you get when you jump to particular conclusions, Matthew, and things develop from there.
«Her expression more serene than it had been, though there was a kind of solemn resignation about her; beautiful and luminous and inexpressively sad, like a Madonna in a painting.», lovely sentence.
On one hand, I want to read the rest in one sitting, but on the other hand I'll miss being able to binge-read the story.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 20 . 7/9
There was no tie scene but Mary and Matthew are boy/girlfriend and basically burning gardens to the ground. *Screams* (I know it's getting repetitive, but your rendition of them and of their story makes me miss them so much and fuels my feels so intensely it's hard not to).
Is Sybil and Tom's situation so well resolved and so soon? I can't wait to see where it is going.
I know you like him, but I don't like Richard in canon and yours is already grating on my nerves.
«"Whenever someone tells me to relax, I feel immediately tense,"», hear hear, Mary.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 19 . 7/9
How do you make it so that even a thoroughly contemporary line such as «"Try not to sound like an Evangelical pro-lifer from Florida, it doesn't suit you," comes infused with such Mary-ness it's nearly impossible to not read it in Michelle Dockery's voice and see Mary saying it to Sybil?

I liked the glimpses into Mary's life before St. Andrews.
Please tell me that there's a «tie the tie» scene afterwards. I'm always up for them.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 18 . 7/9
*Flails over Mary x Matthew for a great deal of the chapter*
I always forget that Matthew has a motorcycle for some reason and I'm always out of place when I first read it, but I'm glad it provided us with the image of them riding away.
I had already read a post you had written about why you thought Mary would enjoy Twilight so it didn't come exactly as a surprise, but it still amused me. I do concede that for all their faults, the books are tremendously engrossing.
I think you raised pertinent questions with the bit about Matthew's thoughts on Mary, which also showcase that there's so much more he doesn't know about her.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 17 . 7/9
I like how you convey the mixture of tenderness and yet some tough love as well in the dynamics between Mary and Sybil, as I have said yet.
Mary and Matthew *-*
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 16 . 7/3
«Me? I'm always alright». I like how this, in my opinion at least, mirrors the «I don't have a heart» line from the show. Mary may seem aloof and closed-off but there's so much happening inside of her.
This party is as bonkers as it gets.
Poor Anna. After all, there's Vera?
Anna's reaction is so accurate. At risk of repeating myself (once again), you have such a close grip on the characters, you adapt their circumstances to present but it always feels organic. I must commend you for that.
Of course Mary would excell and kicking people out of the party. :D
Yeahhhhh. \o/ *At Last plays in the backdrop. Well, I better save that for the wedding*.
This was so good and close and my feels are rattled because your writing always does that. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 15 . 7/3
Bates must run for the hills if he ever hurts Anna because Mary will give him hell.
«She dreamed of being fought over by attractive men; the reality was rather more awkward.» - Nice bit.
Whatever is causing it, I think you are being very successful at conveying Sybil's teenage angst.
Oh my, it has just crossed my mind: Is Sybil pregnant? O.O
Even when he's off-screen, I think you nail Robert's obliviousness very well.
Oh, Sybil.
Mary will chew you up, Josh and Adam.
For some reason I find the idea of Anthony Strallan stuck between a plant and the hi-fi tremendously fitting and amusing.
Sybil is pregnant, isn't she?
You did such a wonderful job at making the party claustrophobic for as as it is feeling for Mary.
I can't believe you brought Vera into the fold! This is wilder than what I ever expected (not that the pregnancy news weren't wild enough, mind).
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 14 . 7/3
I don't care if some could consider the «the 3rd party isn't going after all» line a trope, because I'm sorry for Anna for being sick but I'm looking forward to that dinner with Mary and Matthew.
Also, I really like Mary encouraging Anna even if she has her doubts about Anna and John's relationship.
Their clothes match. *-*
That's a very chatty waiter, isn't it? I'm expecting to see him shouting shipping terms at Mary and Matthew from the sidelines soon.
«"Come, Matthew, we can treat each other."», Yes you can. *wink wink nudge nudge* (I'm sorry, I don't know when I turned this vulgar)
Their banter and their easiness with each other is so on point. *hearteyes*
Oh no, they will not dance.
Oh, no they are dancing. Forget the shouting waiter, I'll do it for him.
This was such a fun read the dance bits were swoon-worthy.
Well, it seems that something has happened on the Anna-Bates front at last.
Onwards to the party.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 13 . 7/3
«But Lady Mary Crawley should not have crushes on left-wing law students from broken homes in Manchester. » Except she totally does and I'm here for it.
Thinking and imagining and thinking and imagining until one is ashamed? Not that I would know what that is, obviously. *hides*
Mary and Lavinia meeting. So awkward. But then there's humanity and I even feel sorry for Lavinia.
«"Yes, of course; I'm sure you were."» Oh la.
I always liked Evelyn, so it will be hard to see him fall on his face once again.
«"Just perfect for a date with someone you don't fancy."» - Anna, you're the best.
Evelyn is going to fall on his face indeed and I can barely read it. Stop there, Evelyn. Give yourself a chance to getting out of the restaurant with your dignity intact.
Okay. I'm glad that it didn't end as badly as I feared.
«Same difference. He eats a lot of cake». I love how funny your Mary can be.
S. Winter-Fitzgerald chapter 12 . 7/3
The awkwardness is so well conveyed I'm feeling awkward on everyone's behalf.
The unravelling of a tiny bit of Mary's past does ask for ice-cream and I wish I could be having some right now as I read.
I know I've written this a thousand times, but the rich inner life you give your characters is one of the reasons why I like your fic so much. I have been enjoying the glimpses into Mary's wishes and questions as I read.
And the little details... you are so good at it. How hasn't let the DVD go to the root menu and had to endure the maddening bit of music for some reason. I feel these things give a particular sense of reality to your stories, as if what I wrote above wasn't reason enough for it.
And given Matthew's friend situation, I don't think it is out there to ask for Mary and Anna's help.
The bit about the old books that seem out of the Downton library (for further information, read the paragraph above).
«"You're staying here for a few days, Matthew. You can work it out for yourself."» - So Mary.
Of course they can be in comfortable silence with each other. *-*
Matthew's doubts are wonderfully rendered and feel very true. (I may be biased by being on a similar boat though, so I should probably also pick up Plato).
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