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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fun look at the backstory to Downton Abbey

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie
  • WASHINGTON, DC, United States
  • 07-06-12

The history to go along with the show

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Excellent backdrop for the television series.

What made the experience of listening to The World of Downton Abbey the most enjoyable?

Having watched two seasons of the series, it was interesting to get more background information.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A PEAK AT AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT WORLDVIEW

Would you listen to The World of Downton Abbey again? Why?

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."

Have you listened to any of Elizabeth McGovern’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to it in one sitting and it was worth it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ruth
  • United States
  • 04-05-12

Can never get enough of Downton Abbey

What made the experience of listening to The World of Downton Abbey the most enjoyable?

Narration by Elizabeth McGovern who plays Cora.

What did you like best about this story?

Learning more about the life and times of the early 20th century.

What about Elizabeth McGovern’s performance did you like?

Simply that one has gotten to know her voice through her on-screen performance.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really - just enjoyed getting my Downton Abbey addiction fix.

Any additional comments?

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Phyllis
  • canyon lake, TX, United States
  • 03-13-12

Entertainment at it's best

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • LUFKIN, TX, United States
  • 05-23-12

A little dull

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Midly interesting. Eliz McGovern better actress

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Having someone British narrate this would have made it better.

Would you recommend The World of Downton Abbey to your friends? Why or why not?

Not, I think.

How could the performance have been better?

As I said, she is a better actress than narrator. She sounds boring.

Do you think The World of Downton Abbey needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

As the series progresses, one would probably be interesting.

Any additional comments?

Maggie Smith would have made an interesting narrator

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The World of Downton Abbey

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Delight

Even if women of the information is already known to you or direct quotes from the show this audiobooks is still a treasure worth having due to Elizabeth McGoverns wonderful reading of it.