The World of Downton Abbey - Jessica Fellowes

Title: The World of Downton Abbey
Author: Jessica Fellowes, Julian Fellowes (foreword)
Pages: 304
Published: 2011
Challenges: 2012 Support Your Library
Genre: Movie tie-in, non-fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: A lavish look at the real world--both the secret history and the behind-the-scenes drama--of the spellbinding Emmy Award-winning Masterpiece TV series Downton Abbey
April 1912. The sun is rising behind Downton Abbey, a great and splendid house in a great and splendid park. So secure does it appear that it seems as if the way it represents will last for another thousand years. It won't.
Millions of American viewers were enthralled by the world of Downton Abbey, the mesmerizing TV drama of the aristocratic Crawley family--and their servants--on the verge of dramatic change. On the eve of Season 2 of the TV presentation, this gorgeous book--illustrated with sketches and research from the production team, as well as on-set photographs from both seasons--takes us even deeper into that world, with fresh insights into the story and characters as well as the social history. (via

Thoughts:  I really enjoyed it.  Yes, I am a fan of Downton Abbey, but I also liked it because of the historical aspect that the book covers and it was interesting how they were able to develop the show during that historical period.  I also liked it because it was interspersed with real stories of individuals who went through what the Crawley's went through and how it was a concern if there wasn't a direct male heir to inherit the estate and how money like Cora's was able to basically save the estate.  I also liked the various quotes from the show and also the research that it took to create such a great show. It was also interesting to find out that Julian Fellowes also did the screenplay for Gosford Park (Maggie Smith is also in that film) and the contrast between Downton Abbey and Gosford Park, in that Gosford Park takes place when those sort of estates and that the life that is portrayed in Downton Abbey was basically gone by the time Gosford Park takes place.  Loved the many photos that were used from the show and the era that really showed the amount of research that has gone into the show. 

Bottom line: I would recommend this book for those of you who are fans of the show or are fans of the era about 100 years ago.  While it may seem fluffy, it is actually quite insightful into the life of the upper class of about 100 years ago.

Rating: 4.5/5

Pages for 2012: 9185

If you have read this book, what did you think of it?


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