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The World of Downton Abbey (2011)

by Jessica Fellowes

Other authors: Julian Fellowes (Foreword)

Series: Downton Abbey (books) (World of Downton Abbey)

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5672632,567 (4.21)50
A companion book to the popular British series about the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants offers insights into the story and characters and background information on British society in the early years of the twentieth century.

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Good for a fan of the show to look at the historical bedding that underpins Downton Abbey. ( )
  charlie68 | Jun 24, 2021 |
I never dreamed that I would become so hooked on Downton Abbey. The wonderful acting, the beautiful costumes, the lovely scenery and the sharp writing all combine to make quite an unforgettable experience that feels like far more than just a tv show. The World Of Downton Abbey, full of lovely photos, neat historical background information and great quotes, captures much of what makes the show so amazing. ( )
  booksandcats4ever | Jul 30, 2018 |
Lovely backgrounder for the series; ties in the actual history and conditions of the time in some detail as well as giving a little info on the actual shooting of the episodes. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
Almost exactly what I was looking for! As I'm still in the midst of my current interest in 'Downton Abbey', I was happy to find a book that explained much of set and premise of the show in a greater real-world, historical and societal context.  I don't know much about the actual historical period so this book was really helpful in answering many (not all!) of the questions I have.
The book is basically what it says on the cover: the secrets (although I'm not sure if that's quite the right word) and history unlocked. It covers various topics from war to love/romance, clothing, plus some of the work that goes into the show. There's discussion of the show plus some of the historical examples where the show's aspects were derived from (or how they serve as a contrast: for example while Robert and Cora eventually fell in love, many of their historical counterparts certainly did not have the same fate).
It's also quite a beautiful book, with many gorgeous pictures of the cast, the set, stills from episodes, etc.,  with occasional commentary from the cast. Some of it was quite interesting to read: for one example the actress who plays Daisy commented that she had not yet been to the "upstairs" set and that the cast itself actually did have an "upstairs/downstairs" division partially because each area actually had two physical separate sets and that just lent to certain cast members never going to the other set (although there were of course some who did travel back and forth).
It was little things like that were really interesting to read and put into context of the show. That said, it's not perfect. I found the formatting really jolting. There's some great text and then it is interrupted by a page (or more!) of some insert with historical information, a few fantastic pictures, etc. For a book like this I would have preferred if the pictures were either within the text itself, in the middle, at the end, etc.
I also wished this could have been a book that had been held onto until the end. I can somewhat understand why they would want to cash in immediately and it would be a helpful book for the future but I would have adored seeing this book after the show had completed and there could have been more (for example, the section on love/romance/marriage could have been expanded when we see the different paths many of the aristocratic marriages take: happy/unhappy/somewhere in between, etc.). Also some of the historical information wasn't all that interesting or (I felt) added much to a greater understanding.
Still, in many ways this answered many of my "but why, I don't understand this" questions and in some ways it really fit what I was looking for as a book.That said, I'm not a hardcore enough fan to have purchased this and am glad I was able to borrow it from the library. There's also a bibliography in the back of the book for additional reading for those who want to learn more. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
Interesting and fun to hear as a big fan of the series. Elizabeth McGovern's imitation of Julian Fellowes voice might be the very best part of this as an audiobook! ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jessica Fellowesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fellowes, JulianForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Downton Abbey (books) (World of Downton Abbey)
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April 1912 The sun is rising dehind 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 of life it represents will last for another thousand years. It won't.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A companion book to the popular British series about the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants offers insights into the story and characters and background information on British society in the early years of the twentieth century.

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