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Doin' the Downton

By Cecilia Cygnar

The Downton Abbey movie is now in theaters and it may be the highlight of the year. Well, for Anglophiles like me it is. For you, maybe just a mildly exciting happening. Regardless, if you are even slightly enthusiastic, use these items to enhance your enjoyment of both the upstairs Crawleys and the downstairs servants.

  • Downton Abbey

    2011

    The show that started all of this fuss! Whether you're watching for the first time or watching again, you will get sucked in quickly. From the introduction of the world of the upstairs family and the downstairs staff to season two, with Downton during WWI. From season three's tragedies to season four's return of hope. From the rise of Lady Mary in season five to the beginning of the end in season six. Hunker down with some tea and scones before you begin.

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  • Downton Abbey: The Essential Collection

    2012

    Use these tunes, songs, and melodies to keep Downton alive in your home (or car, or workplace....).

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  • The Manners of Downton Abbey

    2015

    This documentary, hosted by the historical adviser on the show, Alastair Bruce, is a treasure trove of all fun Downton facts, figures, and overall details. A must for any fan.

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  • Downton Abbey: A Celebration

    2015 by Fellowes, Jessica

    Published after season 6 ended in the UK, this book covers all seasons of Downton and includes information about the Crawleys, Carson, Mrs. Hughes, and the entire Downton family, written by the niece of Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey.

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  • Upstairs & Downstairs: The Illustrated Guide to the Real World of Downton Abbey

    2012 by Warwick, Sarah

    Is Downton a close representation of how real life was in high society Edwardian England? This book encapsulates a day-in-the-life at a home similar to Downton Abbey.

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  • Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

    2011 by Carnarvon, Fiona

    This is one of the many stories behind the "real-life" Downton Abbey: Highclere Castle. Meticulously researched, the book includes diary entries, excerpts from letters, and many photographs to tell the story of a real-life "Countess of Grantham."

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  • Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

    2013 by Carnarvon, Fiona

    Very much a "companion" to the previous book about Lady Almina. Catherine Wendell was an American who married Lady Almina's son, the man who would become the 6th Earl of Carnarvon.

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  • Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey"

    2012 by Powell, Margaret

    Unlike the two previous books, this real-life tale is not an above-stairs story but one from below, that of an actual Edwardian maid. Was Anna accurately portrayed in the series? Read this to find out.

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  • Upstairs Downstairs: Series One

    2011

    When Downton came out, most compared it to this 1970s series, also depicting the lives of an Edwardian upper-class family and their servants. Rivaling the popularity of Downton (yes, it's hard to believe, but it did), it won Best Drama (or Limited) Series Emmys four years in a row, from 1974 to 1977.

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  • Upstairs, Downstairs

    2011

    Trying to recapture of success of the original series, as well as following in the success of Downton Abbey (this premiered after Downton had already became a success in the UK), this show continues the stories above and below stairs at 165 Eaton Place.

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  • Gosford Park

    2002

    Directed by Robert Altman, this Oscar-winning (Original Screenplay) film shares two important characteristics with Downton Abbey: Julian Fellowes, who wrote that Oscar-winning screenplay, and Maggie Smith. Yes, the Dowager herself worked with Fellowes here years before Downton. When you watch the movie, you will find other similarities between this and Downton.

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  • While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

    2013 by Wax, Wendy

    I'm including two for fun: This one is a chick lit, light romance involving a Downton Abbey viewing party that leads to romance. Soon, life starts to imitate life!

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  • Downton Tabby

    2013 by Kelly, Chris

    This one is pure fun! And yes, it is what the title and cover picture conveys: cats posing as Downton characters, in Downton scenes. It's purr-fectly enjoyable!

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