Thursday, March 22, 2012

Downton Abbey Withdrawal?

I admit it. I'm in Downton Abbey withdrawal. For those who do not watch Downton Abbey, it is a popular Masterpiece Classic series on PBS. This period drama follows the Yorkshire country household of the Earl of Grantham. Beginning with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the story follows the Earl's family as well was their servants.

I was hooked from the first show and have been obsessed ever since. Luckily for me, the library has titles to appease my Downton Abbey appetite while impatiently waiting for season three to film.

The first is Below Stairs: The classic kitchen maid's memoir that inspired Upstairs, Downstairs and Downtown Abbey. This memoir, written by Margaret Powell, describes Margaret's life in service. Starting as a kitchen maid (think of Daisy in Downtown Abbey), she eventually works her way up to cook. Margaret tells her story with humor, though some of the conditions she endured were no laughing matter. This read is easy and quick, and Margaret comes across as spirited and plucky.

The second is The World of Downton Abbey. The publisher describes this title as: "a companion book to the popular British series about the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants offers insights into the story and characters and background information on British society in the early years of the twentieth century." I am impatiently waiting for this one - but I have leafed through it and the pictures are great.

Two other titles you may be interested in are Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: the Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle and Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor.

To learn more about Downton Abbey, you can always visit PBS.

If you are craving more TV series or films like Downton Abbey to watch, here are my recommendations: Masterpiece Classic Upstairs, Downstairs (the original and the new), North & South (the British one), The Forsyte Saga, and Gosford Park. Happy watching!


  1. I agree with you, Sunday night just isn't the same without Downton Abbey! The library also has two books by the creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes. PAST IMPERFECT about the Upper Class in 1960's London and SNOBS about the contemporary English class system. On my hold list is THE HOUSE AT TYNEFORD. It's a new book and mentions on the cover that fans of Downtown Abbey will like it.

  2. Thanks for the recommendations. I will have to put those on hold.