Downton Abbeyesque: Books
Annotation:Weldon's novel takes us inside an aristocratic household in the last months of the 19th century. It is a time of social upheaval and for the Earl and Countess of Dilberne – a shortage of money. Weldon wrote the pilot episode of Upstairs Downstairs, which Downton Abbey is modeled on.
Annotation:"Witty, beguiling and enthralling” writes Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes of this novel. When 18-year-old Grace Campbell arrives in London in 1914, she’s unable to find a position as an office secretary. She takes a job as a housemaid at Number 35, Park Lane, where she is quickly caught up in lives of its privileged inhabitants.
Annotation:One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honor of Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of mysterious and not altogether savory survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor-and the household is thrown into confusion and mischief.
Annotation:While on a visit to his lover’s home in 1913, a dashing young poet pens a poem to his lover’s sister. The poem elevates his reputation after his wartime death and myths evolve about his life until a modern day biographer threatens to reveal the truth.
Annotation:A battlefield nurse during World War I, Bess Crawford, returning to London for a well-earned Christmas leave, finds her holiday fraught with mystery and murder when she agrees to help a bruised and battered woman return to her small village in Sussex.
Annotation:Tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon.
Annotation:Set in England between the wars, this is the story of an aristocratic family, a house, a mysterious death and a way of life that vanished forever, told in flashback by a woman who witnessed it all and kept a secret for decades.
Annotation:1953. "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there" begins Hartley's classic novel recounting the memories of a man in his sixties, looking back on the summer of 1900, when he turned 13 at a grand country house in Norfolk.