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EvCC Reads!   Tags: book_of_the_year, reading  

A guide to books we're reading and talking about this year.
Last Updated: Jun 23, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Done with Downton? Print Page

What to do...what to do...

Now that "Downton Abbey" has completed its TV run, what will you do with your time? This LibGuide suggests some books and TV shows that you might enjoy if you loved "Downton Abbey." 


Did you watch Downton Abbey?


The Waste Land

“He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience.”

-T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), The Waste Land (1922)

The Great War (1914-1918), now more commonly called "World War I" or "The First World War," features prominently in the lives of the "Downton Abbey" characters during Season 2. Both the Entente Powers (Allies) and the Central Powers believed the war would be over quickly, but it immediately became a quamire of horror and destruction involving trenches, barbed wire, poison gas, and battles fought that resulted in gains of mere yards of territory. Men froze to death, hungry horses ate their halters, then dropped dead, and total deaths were over 17 million, including about 7 million civilian deaths. Many people who would later become famous fought in this war: Harry S. Truman, Adolf Hitler, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien, among them.

The end of the war resulted in victory for the Allied Powers, but the resulting harsh peace treaties created resentment in Germany that led to the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the insistence of the Allies. The Empire was the only power in Central Europe that would have been strong enough to stop Hitler. Thus, Woodrow Wilson's "Crusade for Democracy" coupled with France's insistence on punishing Germany, led directly to World War II, which resulted in the deaths of over 60 million people. -JDP


What To Watch Now...

If you miss "Downton Abbey," here are some excellent British TV shows, old and new, that might help fill the void. Most of these video productions are based on books...track them down!


The World of Downton Abbey...and beyond, in books

Cover Art
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey - Fiona, Countess of Carnarvon
Call Number: Paperback Collection
The story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes's Emmy Award-winning PBS show Downton Abbey, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon.

Cover Art
Below Stairs - Margaret Powell
Call Number: Not in EvCC Collection
Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants portrayed in "Downton Abbey" and "Upstairs, Downstairs," Margaret Powell's classic memoir of her time in service, Below Stairs, is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman who, though she served in the great houses of England, never stopped aiming high.

Cover Art
Fashion, Costume, and Culture - Drew D. Johnson; Julie L. Carnagie
Call Number: REFERENCE GT511 .F358 2013
Facts and information about human decoration and adornment throughout history, with a particular emphasis on the decades of the 20th century. Volume 4 covers the "Downton Abbey" time period.

Cover Art
The Great War and Modern Memory - Paul Fussell
Call Number: PR478.E8 F8
In this classic work (which I read in graduate school almost 25 years ago), Paul Fussell illuminates the British experience on the Western Front from 1914 to 1918.

Cover Art
A Short History of the Twentieth Century - John Lukacs
Call Number: D421 .L86 2013
John Lukacs offers a concise history of the twentieth century--its two world wars and cold war, its nations and leaders.

Cover Art
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Call Number: PR6045.A97 B7 1945
The aristocratic, Roman Catholic Marchmain family is a symbol of England and her decline in this novel of the upper class of the 1920s and 1930s. Waugh wrote that the novel "deals with what is theologically termed 'the operation of Grace', that is to say, the unmerited and unilateral act of love by which God continually calls souls to Himself."

Cover Art
All Creatures Great and Small - James Herriot
Call Number: SF613.H44 A3 1992b
"If you ever loved a friend, human or otherwise, this is the book for you." Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients. The stories begin in 1940s Yorkshire.

Cover Art
The Tomb of Tut Ankh Amen - Howard Carter; A.C. Mace
Call Number: DT87.5 .C37 2003
Originally published in 1923, this is the first volume of Howard Carter's magnificent trilogy, describing the years of frustration, the triumph of the tomb's eventual discovery, and the start of the process of recording and clearance, all financed by the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon, who owned the "Downton Abbey" house.


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