Downton Abbey has captured the imagination of the nation. Written by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes, the show has become the benchmark for quality drama and a commentary on all things British.
Downton Abbey portrays a world of elegance and decadence, a world of duty and obedience, and a world of romance and rivalry. This companion book, full of rich historical detail, takes fans deeper into that period than ever before.
Step inside one of the most beautiful houses in Britain, past Carson the butler at the front door and into the grand hallway. Catch a glimpse of the family having drinks in the drawing room before dinner, dressed in their evening finery, whilst Lord Grantham finishes writing a letter in his study. Then climb the grand sweeping staircase to the maze of rooms upstairs and peak through Lady Mary’s open door to see Anna, her maid, tidying scent bottles and jewellery on the ornate dressing table. Follow Anna down the servants’ stairs and into the kitchens to watch Mrs. Patmore frantically preparing dinner. Mrs. Hughes keeps a watchful eye from her study and the world of Downton comes alive before you.
Experience the inner workings of the downstairs life and be dazzled by the glamour of upstairs life with profiles of all the major characters, interviews with the actors, behind the scenes insights, and in-depth information on costumes and props.
©2011 Jessica Fellowes (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
Elizabeth McGovern does a superb job of narrating this well written book. It was wonderful to learn about the backstory of the TV series and the lives of the characters that we know and love.
Having watched two seasons of the series, it was interesting to get more background information.
Professional librarian type, amateur historian.
This is more about the history of the period and a little less about show. Yet, if you are history buff and interested in the background character that is the time period this may be worth a listen. Yes, it is slow and can be at times dull, but it is also informative.
I have listened to this book twice - because the first time through I was "distracted" by my teenager. It was worth it; picked up on some things I am glad I did not miss. I had just completed a marathon "catchup" viewing of Downton Abbey - not really a television person - and wanted to know more about their world. This book gave some great insight upon a worldview that is very far removed from us today - at least the Western World. And that does not mean because they were so rich (although it was fun to calculate their net worth back then - amazing! and with no taxes!). For women and minority cultures especially, it lets me know that progress is slow but progress is being made to open up opportunities and new horizons. But this book also exposed many of the things we have forever lost and will never retrieve. Take time to listen this one - not a "long read."
This was my first performance by Ms. McGovern - I thought it was very good and look forward to hearing some of her other readings. She is really an excellent actress.
I listened to it in one sitting and it was worth it.
Narration by Elizabeth McGovern who plays Cora.
Learning more about the life and times of the early 20th century.
Simply that one has gotten to know her voice through her on-screen performance.
Not really - just enjoyed getting my Downton Abbey addiction fix.
A nice addition to the world of Downton Abbey while awaiting Season 3. The only thing I didn’t like was learning that the entire program is not filmed in the manor - takes away some of the show’s authenticity.
I am eagerly awaiting to find all of this series on audio books! What a lesson in history we have here. One of my favorite story lines is how caring all the family and staff are to each other.
I am a die hard fan of Downton Abbey but this book just didn't add anything exciting for me. The history behind the times was good though.
Having someone British narrate this would have made it better.
Not, I think.
As I said, she is a better actress than narrator. She sounds boring.
As the series progresses, one would probably be interesting.
Maggie Smith would have made an interesting narrator
I would recommend it from the historical point of view. I thought it was going to be more about the story. The descriptions were interesting.
Member Since 2006!!
It’s not really what I would call a “behind the scenes” book, it’s more like a historical overview of life in the Downton Abbey era.
There were a few behind the scenes of the TV show scoops toward the end, but it just felt like a tease; I would like to read a version that goes into more detail including casting etc. If that’s what you are in the mood for this book might let you down.
If you’re in the mood for a history lesson however, then this book is great! Since it draws on the popularity of the show and explains the parallels between the story lines and what was happening in “real life” at the time it was extremely educational. It wasn’t dry nor did it feel like a boring lesson but rather because we know and love the characters so well it was a great way to learn!
Unfortunately it did not go beyond season 2, I wanted more.
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