I’m finally caught up with season 5 of Downton Abbey and missing my time with the Crawley aristocrats, their servants and all the drama that comes along with the post-Edwardian era.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, by The Broke and the Bookish, is “Top Ten Books For Readers Who Like __.” This was a tough list to put together but decided to include some similar period pieces, nonfiction, outside of the box stretches and some humor.
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by Fiona Carnarvon. Let’s start off with the nonfiction book that inspired the show.
Longbourn by Jo Baker. Otherwise known as: what the servants from Pride & Prejudice would have to say.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I don’t know why this one kept circling my mind. Maybe it has to do with “the wife” once being a lady’s companion then becoming in charge of the coveted Manderley. Or maybe it’s because Thomas reminds me of Mrs. Danvers!
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Okay another dark one but Jane is a governess and essentially a “servant” to Mr. Rochester. Enough drama, secrets and goodness to keep you until next season.
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. Housemaid turns nurse turns private investigator in 1920s England. Sounds like something Daisy could end up doing.
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. I looooved this movie. Now I need to read the book about the unnoticed love between a butler and a maid. Ahem, Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes this season?!
My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse. How about some short stories, a highly competent valet, humor, British Literature in in the 1900s? So funny when I read this way back when. Too bad Mr. Bates is more brooding than Jeeves.
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. I haven’t read any Kate Morton books but this one has always been an interest. Ninety-eight year old Grace looks back to when she was once a housemaid in 1920s England. I hear it is a mix between Rebecca and The Thirteenth Tale, both which I enjoyed.
Fiercombe Manor by Kate Riordan. Just released this past February, I put it on my TBR list. It sounds like what could’ve happened to Lady Edith if she didn’t have such supportive women in her life.
Upstairs Downstairs by John Hawkesworth. This series from 1971-1975 truly set the tone of what really happens between social classes in the early 1900s Great Britain. I remember watching a few episodes with my mom when I was younger and not fully understanding some of the dialogue and references but appreciating the juxtaposition of characters. One of the creators, John Hawkesworth, wrote the novelizations after the show became successful.