WCW: Jessica Brown Findlay


She started out as our Lady Sybil, all rebellious little aristocrat, then she took off through some questionable medieval and horror flicks, and then she struck out on her own as our favorite sassy 18th-century whore! At barely 30 years old, Jessica Brown Findlay has made quite a name for herself in historical costume dramas, and it doesn’t look like she’s slowing down. She’s admitted to being fond of the genre: “Ever since I was young, I’ve read Austen and the Brontes. My friends laugh, but those books are always so tragic and wonderful — those stories, they’re just incredible.” Plus she’s always on the lookout for “strong, female roles, but they don’t have to necessarily be loud. I’m just as interested in introverts too.” Sounds promising!


Lady Sybil Crawley / Sybil Branson in Downton Abbey (2010-2012)

Lady Sybil, the rebel!


Alais Pelletier Du Mas in Labyrinth (2012)

Jessica Brown Findlay, Labyrinth (2012)


Beverly Penn in Winter’s Tale (2014)

Jessica Brown Findlay, Winter's Tale (2014)


Mary Yellan in Jamaica Inn (2014)

Jessica Brown Findlay, Jamaica Inn (2014)


Lorelei in Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Jessica Brown Findlay, Victor Frankenstein (2015)


Elizabeth McKenna in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)

Jessica Brown Findlay, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)


Charlotte Wells in Harlots (2017-)

Harlots (2018)



What’s your favorite historical costume role of Jessica Brown Findlay’s?


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

10 Responses

  1. opusanglicanum

    oooh, I do like that russet velvet coat, I would wear the hell out of that thing

    why the hell can’t costume designers put a bloody wimple on people in medeival era stuff though, she just looks silly

  2. Charity

    I really liked Winter’s Tale. It’s extremely unbelievable and flawed, but I enjoyed the surrealism of it. She was darling in that, but Sybil will always be my favorite. Sybil had strength, courage, and compassion — I sort of love/hated Mary (brat) and couldn’t stand Edith, but Sybil was sweet.

      • Charity

        That episode, followed by the ending episode for that season, made me so mad, I swore off Downton Abbey for like four years. I finally got caught up a few weeks ago. :P

  3. Roxana

    That medieval dress isn’t horrible but the neckline is wrong and it’s too fitted. Clothes were slid on over the head and if you wanted a tight fit, as in a 12th c. bliaud, you had laces up the sides. And the sleeves should be wide at the armsyce I think.

  4. Sam Marchiony

    Charlotte Wells is definitely my favorite. The occasional hair oopsie aside, she looks gorgeous, and the character is delightfully complex and charming.

  5. Susan Pola Staples

    Sybil. I loved how she cared and helped others. I was shocked when she died and cried for hours.

    I do like Charlotte Wells. Brainy and beauty.

  6. Sam Marchiony

    The hair doesn’t look quite right though, does it? I don’t know if it’s a wig, or a dye, or what, but something feels off.

  7. Sarah F

    I’ve loved her in everything she’s done except Labyrinth, which I refuse to watch because I vividly remember rage-quitting the book after 40 pages.