If you are anything like me, you were addicted to Downton Abbey after the first episode. Having just watched the last episode of the 2nd season I don’t know if I can wait until season 3 airs! Here are some other titles to tied you over until the next season of Downton or to prepare you if you are on the holds list!
The Forsyte Saga DVD Drama
In Victorian England, Soames Forsyte, a man from a wealthy and arrogant family, meets a falls in love with Irene Herron, a poor woman. After taking her step-mother’s advice, Irene marries Soames. After four years of marriage, Irene is not happy because she does not love him. Soames tries to win her affections by giving her the things he believes every woman wants, dresses and jewels. He can not give her the one thing her heart desires, freedom. This series chronicles three generations of the Forsyte family from the 1870s to the 1920s.
Howard’s End DVD Drama
Encounter of three social classes of the England at the beginning of the century : the victorian capitalists (the Wilcoxes) considering themselves as aristocrats, whose only god is money ; the enlightened bourgeois (the Schlegels), humanistic and philanthropist ; and the workers (the Basts), fighting to survive. The Schlegel sisters’ humanism will be torn apart as they try both to softly knock down the Wilcox’s prejudices and to help the Basts.
The Remains of the Day DVD Drama
A rule bound head butler’s world of manners and decorum in the household he maintains is tested by the arrival of a housekeeper who falls in love with him in post-WWI Britain. The possibility of romance and his master’s cultivation of ties with the Nazi cause challenge his carefully maintained veneer of servitude.
Upstairs, Downstairs DVD Drama
In 1936, Sir Hallam Holland and his pretty young wife Lady Agnes return from a diplomatic posting abroad and take up residence at 165 Eaton Place, formerly the home of the Bellamy family but vacant for several years. By chance, they ask Rose Buck, herself a long-time servant in the Bellamy household, to find them a suitable staff. In the end, Rose herself joins them as the Housekeeper. The 1930s are a difficult time in England. The Depression has taken its toll with high levels of unemployment. Fascism, which has become popular on the Continent in Italy and Germany, is also finding followers in the UK with Oswald Mosely’s British Union of Fascists. As the new staff begin their daily work, the downstairs family begins to take shape.
And here are some books to check out:
Fall of Giants by Ken Follet FIC Follet
Follows the fates of five interrelated families–American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh–as they move through the dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear FIC Winspear
Private detective Maisie Dobbs must investigate the reappearance of a dead man who turns up at a cooperative farm called the Retreat that caters to men who are recovering their health after World War I.
The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt FIC Byatt
A tale spanning the end of the Victorian era through World War I finds famous children’s book author Olive Wellwood taking in a runaway and exposing the boy to dark truths about her family’s summer bacchanals at their rambling country house.