Thursday, March 5, 2015

Downton Abbey Readalikes

Are you going through Downton Abbey withdrawal? Do you need a way to supplement the show until it returns? Check out some of these great Downton-esque reads!


The Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm by Juliet Nicolson
Just before the world changed in ways unimaginable, there was a perfect summer in England, when a new king was crowned, the rich social aristocracy flourished, and the weather was warm. This book shows both the good and the bad of that "perfect summer," exploring the Edwardian era from unique sources.

Below Stairs by Margaret Powell
A memoir of her time in service, this book inspired both Upstairs, Downstairs, and Downton Abbey. As a kitchen maid, she observed aristocratic life from the outside, and shares her story in this unforgettable book.

Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants by Alison Maloney
Much like Powell's memoir, this book chronicles the lives of several servants, and their personal stories of lives as servants in the Edwardian age.

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by Lady Fiona Carnarvon
Written by the current Lady Carnarvon, she tells the tale of Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, who was a brave woman presiding over Highclere Castle during World War I. Highclere Castle was the inspiration for Downton Abbey, so the true stories are evermore fascinating. She also wrote Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey.

The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and a Family Secret by Catherine Bailey
A real-life mystery story surrounding rooms that were locked up in a castle for years. It unravels the mystery behind this tale of honor and betrayal in the aristocracy of Britain.


Longbourn by Jo Baker
Something for the Pride and Prejudice fan as well as Downton Abbey. This story is Pride and Prejudice from the servants' quarters. They dominate the tale, putting a twist on the classic story, while also discussing the British upper class of the time.

Summerset Abbey by T.J. Brown
Three young women, daughters of a knight, begin their lives on the sprawling estate outside of London. The three women each face different challenges in life and love. The book covers the roles of women in the Edwardian times, as well as the roles of the servants in their household. It is part of a series.

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
The classic story of Lucy Honeychurch, a middle-class British girl, being wooed by two gentlemen while on vacation in Italy. It tells the tale of different social and economic circles in British society.

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
Told largely in flashbacks, this book is about an unsolved mystery from the grand Riverton Manor in 1924. In 1999, the housemaid from the manor is asked to recount her history of her time there, threatening to unleash secrets long forgotten.

Habits of the House by Fay Weldon
At the turn of the century, this novel of manners and morals, tells the stories of earls and lords in upper-class England. The author wrote the pilot episode for the original Upstairs, Downstairs.

For more readalikes to Downton Abbey, download our bookmark, or pick one up in the library. All of the books mentioned are available at Mentor Public Library.

~Cailey W.

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