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Friday, August 24, 2012

Did you love Downton Abbey? Try one of these until Season Three arrives.

Posted by Alana T.

Have you seen the trailer (released last week) for the upcoming season of Downton Abbey?  As many others were, I fell in love with the characters, plots, and setting of the series. Season three isn't coming out until January 2013, but until then, there are a few other options to fill your Edwardian cravings.

Cold Comfort Farm (book by Stella Gibbons, also available on DVD).  This 1932 novel is a cutting and hilarious tale about a city-bred young, 'orphaned' woman and her move to the country to live with her poor (and ill-mannered) relatives.  The DVD features some well known Brits (Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen) having a great time mocking the class system of the post war 20's

The Buccaneers (book by Edith Wharton and BBC adaptation). A visually rich production, the DVD follows four American heiresses, marrying into titled British families who are nonetheless desperate for American money.  The story follows the generation of Brits that created the Crawley dilema featured in Downton Abbey - her American money tied to his British estate.

Gosford Park (DVD)  set in the 30's, written by Julian Fellowes (creator of Downton Abbey), stars Helen Mirren, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Clive Owen   The story follows the the untangling of a murder and the intricate and delicate relationships among the staff and family.  The unsung star is an amazing house, very similar to the one featured in Downton Abbey

House of Eliott (DVD) Set in London during the 1920s, the series follows the story of two British sisters who turn their dressmaking business into a fashion house.  It is a complementary look at a changing British society set after the first world war..

Looking for a good read?  
The Crimson Rooms by Katherine McMahon may take place in 1924, but Edwardian morals and the ghosts of WWI infuse the tale with a sense of repression and unease. It tells the story of a young female lawyer as she deals with her first murder case, a family scandal, and an illicit love affair.

The Fox's Walk by Annabel Davis-Goff. After 10-year-old Alice Moore is left in the care of her autocratic grandmother at a country estate during World War I, she is forced to piece together her world, which is on the brink of revolution, from overheard conversations, servants’ gossip and her own keen observations.

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. A story set in England between the two world wars about 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.

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (also a DVD adaption). A tragic, spiritual portrait of a perfect English butler and his reaction to his fading insular world in post-war England. 

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