Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Downton Abbey Edition

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new subject each week and this week's topic is a freebie so I picked "Top Ten Books I Want to Read Because of Downton Abbey".

I am a huge fan of the ITV/PBS series Downton Abbey. I've been thinking of starting my own Downton Abbey reading challenge even though January is almost over. For the time being, here are some books I want to read because of the show.

For those of you not "in the know", Downton Abbey is set in the early 20th century and deals with the social changes coming because of WWI and progress. It explores the relationship between the servant class and the aristocratic Crawley family as well as changes to society like the right for women to vote. There is also humor, romance, secrets, and plenty of drama. Now on to my list!

Top Ten Books I Want to Read Because of Downton Abbey:

1. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

This novel revolves around the life of a house maid at a grand estate whose live becomes embroiled in secrets when a poet commits suicide at the house and the aristocratic daughters of the house are somehow involved.

2. The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes

Of course I want to read this because it is both a behind the scenes guide to the show as well as a historical look at what life would be like at a home like the fictional Downton Abbey.

3. The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

This novel features a main character named Cora who is a wealthy American who travels to England to marry an impoverished but titled aristocrat. Ring any bells?

4. The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

While part of this book takes place aboard the Titanic, the main character is servant to Lady Duff Gordon.

5. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

I actually want to see the movie more than I want to read the book but both sound interesting. A butler looks back on his many years of service to a family and realizes his regrets.

6. The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton

Like The American Heiress, this book is about wealthy young American women who travel to Europe to find husbands with titles. While I've read Ethan Frome, I've never read any of Edith Wharton's other works and this sounded interesting.

7. Below Stairs by Margaret Powell

This is the memoir that inspired the popular series Upstairs, Downstairs which serves as inspiration for Downton Abbey

8. The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West

Vita Sackville-West lived during Edwardian times and this classic novel is the story of Sebastian, the heir to an estate and his sister Viola.

9. Up and Down Stairs by Jeremy Musson

This nonfiction book takes a look at the history of servants from the Middle Ages on and it just sounds fascinating to me.

10. What the Butler Winked At by Eric Horne

Aside from loving the title, Eric Horne served as a butler from the 1860s to the end of WWI and I've heard this memoir is really well written and full of interesting information.

Have you watched Downton Abbey? 
What do you think of my list?


  1. What a great list. I remember loving Edith.

  2. I don't read many period books, but sometimes they are nice to read.


  3. great list--I've watched a little bit of the show, but I'm totally lost. kaye—the road goes ever ever on

  4. OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE DOWNTON ABBEY WITH ALL OF MY HEART. Enough to capslock like crazy.

    Every single book you mentioned I want to read, that is how powerful the invocation of Downton Abbey is for me.

  5. I love Downton Abbey and your list is great. I read The Buccanears and would highly recommend it.

  6. I am currently OBSESSED with Downton Abbey and your last has me adding so many books to my TBR list. I love historical fiction--this is right up my alley. :) Glad to hear I am not the only one currently hooked on this incredible show.

  7. I really do want to read some Downton related books. I better get on it, since they are probably all being snatched up at the library. Great list!

  8. I love Downton Abbey and the Christmas special was beyond awesome!

    Quite a few on your list that I'm interested in. Kate Morton's writing is beautiful and Below Stairs and The Dressmaker caught my eye.


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