Fans of Downton Abbey, the UK-produced drama about the Crawley family and their servants that PBS imported for Masterpiece Classic, will be happy to know that NY publishers have taken notice. In addition to the companion book, The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes, dozens of 20th century novels about the British aristocracy are being rushed to print in hopes of cashing in on what one New York editor describes as the Downton Abbey wave. According to the New York Times “Mad for Downton?” , the last time this much interest in the British aristocracy was shown by the book buying public occurred in the 70′s when “Upstairs, Downstairs” was the PBS darling. Booksellers are also looking to push titles about the Titanic and World War I as well.
For an inside peek at the real Downton Abbey, the Countess of Carnarvon has written a biography of Lady Almina and Highclere Castle, the setting for the series. As Bookbeast so aptly puts it,
Despite the fact that Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle contains no references to Downton Abbey beyond its sales-friendly title, it is a fascinating insight into how the seriously rich once lived.
The British online Daily Mail suggests the following Downton inspired literature on shelves now.
1. New paperback edition of Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford
2. The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy by David Cannadine
3. Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
4. A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd
5. Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison