The Undeniable Dazzle of Downton Abbey

Posted On February 26, 2014

By Courtney Webb

 Downtown Abbey

For four seasons many of us have been captivated by the British drama Downton Abbey, the show has secured the minds and hearts of millions all over world with it’s famed sweeping castle vistas, riveting plot and unforgettable characters. Sometimes it feels waiting as if for the next installment can be quite tortuous so why wait to get your period drama fix?

 While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

by Wendy Wax

 Take a dash of modern women, a spoonful of good southern charm and a generous helping of a very Mr. Carson-like British concierge and you have the new novel [While We Were Watching Downton Abbey.] The mix of female characters lovingly concocted by Atlanta author Wendy Wax represents a tellingly true depiction of the wide range in audience that the beloved series has drawn as devoted followers and how this camaraderie has lead to many moments of bonding among both strangers and dear friends alike. Newbie watchers of the series beware however as the book does contain some major plot spoilers from the very first season.

 Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

Lady Catherine, the Earl and the Real Downton Abbey

by The Countess Carnarvon

 Penned by the current Countess of Carnarvon who now resides at Highclere castle where Downton Abbey is filmed, these non-fiction companion books delve into the history that inspired much of the series. Lady Almina, wife of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who is best known as the discoverer of King Tut’s tomb, is most notably recognized for her nursing of wounded officers in the aftermath of World War I when she chose to open her home as a hospital for recovering soldiers.

 The American wife of the 6th Earl known as Lady Catherine in turn almost certainly launched the creation of Lady Cora who as we all know helped renew the fortunes of the family estate with her significant dowry at the time of her marriage. Diving into the family archives, records and photographs allows readers unique insight into the very real people who once inhabited the life, time and place that Downton now represents so well.

 Habits of the House

Series by Fay Weldon

 Writer Fay Weldon known most notably as the award-winning writer of Upstairs, Downstairs has turned her immeasurable talent to another historical hit in this new trilogy. Set slightly before the Downton era towards the end of the London season in 1899, readers will once again be transported to a time and place far from their own. Devotees will enjoy reading along as the Earl of Dilberne finds himself in deep financial troubles that will threaten to upset the aristocratic family and its staff both upstairs and down at 17 Belgrave Square.

 Additional Reading for the Devoted Downton Fan

 [Mouseton Abbey: The Missing Diamond] by Nick Page (Ages 3-7)

[Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Tale Memoir] that inspired [Upstairs, Downstairs] and [Downton Abbey] by Margaret Powell

[Summerset Abbey] by T.J. Brown