The biggest difference (as I understand it) between now and then is that we have anti-convulsants that they did not. Back then if she made it to seizures, she pretty much always died. The earlier you got the baby out, the fewer toxins built up in the system, the better chance of avoiding the seizures and the mother's survival. Now we can prevent and even stop seizures by means other than taking the baby. And even if they DO seize, we have some chance of saving them at that point though seizures still can be fatal.
Yes, it was called toxaemia because they used to believe that it had to do with toxins building up, but that theory seems to have been discarded, and currently we don't really know what causes preeclampsia.
In Sybil's case, there were apparently no symptoms less than 24 hours before delivery when Dr. Clarkson visited the night before (first scene of the episode), then Dr. Pompous (Tapsell) arrived the next day, and labor started shortly after dinner. In the show, it did appear that Sybil was asymptomatic until just a few hours (seemingly <6) before delivery. So there wouldn't have been much time to try to manage/treat.
As for usage of anticonvulsants, further research appears to show that the use of intravenous magnesium sulfate for controlling eclamptic convulsions was first suggested in May 1924 (in the US) and spread after Lazard first published an article reporting the results of these trials was in 1925, so it shouldn't be surprising that it wasn't attempted here. The first use in 1906 by German scientists was via intrathetical injection and probably wouldn't have been known/tried outside of research hospitals/institutions.
In Sybil's case, it does appear that we enter the scene just after Dr. Clarkson has administered an injection, and later in the scene, Dr. Tapsell does say that they've tried morphine and atropine -- which seemed odd, but a quick search for journal articles turn up a number of articles from the early 1900s (1900-1910) from British and European medical journals on the use of morphine for eclampsia (and atropine to counteract the respiratory depression caused by the use of "heroic doses" of morphine), so it seems that they have done all they can as far as treatment (given what they could or should know). I guess JF/the show did have some technical advisors for the medical stuff? (am also assuming/allowing that the lack of efforts to physically open Sybil's airways was just a dramatic choice to show the complete helplessness of the situation)Scoutlet
: I actually tend to agree with you about the situations with Jane and the fault in the investment is really only the all-his-eggs-in-one-basket problem. I remember others mentioning that the railway would have been seen as a good opportunity earlier (assuming he invested back before the first series of DA started) until the genius behind it died (on the Titanic) and things started going downhill (tho one wonders if he could've gotten out without too much loss in the ensuing 8 years). However, with Sybil, he did consult with both of the doctors present, so the only thing Robert says that I have a problem with is "Tom has not hired Sir Phillip, he is not master here", but then Cora and Violet tell him he is wrong, and he seems to accept that, because moments later they are talking to Tom -- who seems no more clear or able to make a decision than anyone else (other than Cora, who reflexively supports Dr. Clarkson -- even Robert's presumptive choice seems to come down to the fact that Tapsell is so much more "sure" of his opnion than Clarkson is), and then the choice is taken away from them (Sybil, being already muddled, was probably not capable to understand or make a choice at this point). Is Tapsell arrogant and pompous? sure, but no more than most (and less so than some) other expert doctors/specialists on TV (eg- House, Grey's Anatomy, etc)stillshimpy
: as for the management of the estate, so far Robert seems only to have reacted against the idea of turning out the currently underperforming tenants (and the implied insult that he is a crap manager), and doesn't seem to have actually heard any of the details of Matthew's (or Murray's) ideas on improvements moving forward. Based on Robert's previous patterns (consulting Tom, the christening, Sybil+Tom's marriage, all the house stuff during the war, Edith/Strallan's engagement/wedding, etc), I'd expect him to protest/bluster a bit about it, then hear the plans, and finally understand/accept them and move on.
Also since the house seems to be the most important character (to JF), the show would have to end if the family ever left it (which would be too Upstairs, Downstairs) -- tho I don't want to see the show go on so long (into the 30's, WW2, etc) that the actors would start needing old age makeup/start dropping off due to old age (ie- Forsyte Saga)
As for the medical stuff: while there are some attitudes that are problematic, ultimately I think there's not much actual blame that can be fairly levied here (tho that doesn't stop both Cora and Robert from blaming Robert until Violet and Clarkson step in to end that)
Also, I do feel -- based mostly on (my reading of) his facial expressions/body language, tho the show dropping the subject supports that reading -- that Robert has realised that he's "been in the wrong here" on several occasions throughout the show -- tho he (and JF) doesn't seem to dwell on it much (at least onscreen, tho I suspect he probably doesn't off-screen too much either)