The World of Downton Abbey

The World of Downton Abbey

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Overview

A lavish look at the real world—both the secret history and the behind-the-scenes drama—of the spellbinding Emmy Award-winning Masterpiece TV series Downton Abbey

April 1912. The sun is rising behind 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 it represents will last for another thousand years. It won't.

Millions of American viewers were enthralled by the world of Downton Abbey, the mesmerizing TV drama of the aristocratic Crawley family—and their servants—on the verge of dramatic change. On the eve of Season 2 of the TV presentation, this gorgeous book—illustrated with sketches and research from the production team, as well as on-set photographs from both seasons—takes us even deeper into that world, with fresh insights into the story and characters as well as the social history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250006349
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 12/06/2011
Series: World of Downton Abbey Series
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 104,062
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

JESSICA FELLOWES, is the author of The World of Downton Abbey, based on the Emmy Award winning television series, Downton Abbey. She is a journalist and the former Deputy Editor of Country Life, as well as the niece of Julian Fellowes. She lives in London with her husband and son.

JULIAN FELLOWES is the Emmy Award-winning writer and creator of the TV series Downton Abbey. He is also the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Gosford Park and the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Snobs. He lives in London and Dorset.

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The World of Downton Abbey 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
Yes, I love the TV series, but that's not the reason I gave this book five stars. Not only does it give background on the major characters but it delves into history and customs as well. The author, niece of the series creator, gives us the opportunity to peak into the lives of not just the characters we have come to love but also real-life people who lived in the English country homes, both the servants and the homeowners. The photographs beginning chapter one are a good reminder of who does what in the big house; the quotations every few pages remind us of the wit and tone from specific episodes. But more importantly to me, we are given a look at the history of England, of a time when the inhabitants of these large houses waited for things expected and unexpected, when a war was looming, when a kitchen maid was the lowest rung on the servant's ladder but she was nevertheless grateful to be a step above poverty. I highly recommend this book to both fans and nonfans of Downton Abbey, for there is much to be learned. A favorite quote (pg 204): Mary: "How many times am I to be ordered to marry the man sitting next to me at dinner?" Cora: "As many times as it takes."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great background on character development as well as lifestyle, time period, and country living... not to mention the great pictures!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally watched season 1--all in one day--and the show caught me in rhe space of one scene. Now devouring season 2 as soon as PBS can serve it up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is more than a companion to the TV show - really interesting history of the time period.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great companion book to the series. Beautiful vivid photographs and great quotes from both the characters and actors. But the best part is the historical background given to the time period. I reccomend thid not only to Downton Abbey fans but as well fans of the time period!
Marcie77 More than 1 year ago
Like thousands of others, I fell in love with the series, Downton Abbey. I'm glued to my seat with each season in anticipation to find out what will happen to these beloved characters. I love the upstairs characters as well as the downstairs characters. For those reasons and many others, I absolutely love The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes. This book is a behind the scenes look at the mesmerizing world that I can't get enough. The World of Downton Abbey is broken up into several chapters that dives deeper into the series such as: Family Life, Society, Life in Service and Style. Each chapter explores the historical significance of events that take place, beautiful photographs, quotes from the actors, as well as mannerisms of the era. This is a great book for any fan of Downton Abbey to own. It's interesting as well as very entertaining. There is so much to learn about this period in time. Reading this book will help you get an insightful look at what it was to live in this era as well as the trials and tribulations of belonging to the aristocracy. I also love reading the actor's thoughts on the characters they portray. This is definitely a book that I will read again and again.
Laurel_Ann More than 1 year ago
Season two of Downton Abbey has concluded and we are left in limbo until it returns next Fall in the UK and January 2013 in the US. *deep sigh* For those like myself who, have watched and re-watched every blessed minute, yet, just can’t get enough of the award winning ITV/PBS television mini-series Downton Abbey and are in total Downton withdrawal, may I suggests this stunning full-color coffee table-sized book about the series, THE WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY? The publisher touts it as a “lavish look at the real world--both the secret history and the behind-the-scenes drama--of the spellbinding Emmy Award-winning Masterpiece TV series Downton Abbey.” This is no idle boast. From cover to cover this 303 page oversized-volume is packed with sumptuous full-color pictures of the production, the cast, historical connections and its shining star, Highclere Castle, the grand manor house in Hampshire where the series is filmed. The author Jessica Fellowes is the niece of the series creator and writer Julian Fellowes. Not only does she have the inside scoop into the production of the series, she is also well qualified to write the text as a journalist and the former Deputy Editor of Country Life magazine. Equally important is the photographer Nick Briggs, who captures intimate and awe inspiring images of the production that send us back into memorable scenes or highlight costuming and scenery. Organized into nine chapters: Family Life; Society; Change; Life in Service; Style; House & Estate; Romance; War; and Behind the Scenes, each chapter is written in context to the series characters and their roles and included pertinent quotes from the screenplay illustrating key scenes and events in the series” ‘I mean, one way or another, everyone goes down the aisle with half the story hidden.’ Violet, The Dowager Countess There are also quotes from the actors and actresses about their characters: ‘There’s an independence about Mary – she’s not influenced by anyone and she’s very much her own person, she makes her own decisions. I understand her because I’m one of three girls too and I’ve always been defiant that I didn’t want to do what they did.’ Michelle Dockery …and from the creator: ‘There’s an element of performance. They were all performing a role that had been decreed for them. For and aristocrat to be convincing, he must look like an aristocrat.’ Julian Fellowes I particularly enjoyed the insights from the costume designer Susannah Buxton on her research influences for the clothing and the historical vignettes that linked the series to actual period personalities such as Daisy, Countess of Warwick, and Mary Leiter, an American buccaneer that inspired Julian Fellowes to create the character of Cora Levinson who married Robert, the future Earl of Grantham in 1889. Overall, the most spectacular impression from this volume is its sheer bulk and beauty. Any Downtonite, Edwardian historian, or period drama lover could get lost in this volume for days. Creator Julian Fellowes rightfully opens the book with a brief forward, offering us insights and asides, yet, I felt quite cheated that Violet, The Dowager Countess of Grantham was not given the last word. Laurel Ann, Austenprose
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
super read, enjoyable to learn background and history of characters.
mysterybuff47 More than 1 year ago
Does a fine job of presenting the backstory to the times of the Downton Abbey era - the end of the Edwardian age and the changes precipitated by the First World War. This the perfect companion to Downton Abbey 1 & 2.
Giovina More than 1 year ago
This edition is an excellent companion to the masterpiece series on PBS. It is overflowing with interesting facts and information that immerses one into the world that is Downton Abbey. The photo stills give the reader a true sense of how awsome a task it is to shoot the film series. The most talented actors are captured performing at their very best. Do not miss this treasure of a book!
Carmenere on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This absolutely beautiful book isn¿t just some decorative item to keep on your cocktail table to tell the world that you¿re familiar with a popular television series. It is a collection of stunning stills from the show and historical pictures from people who have a connection to this moment in history or the venue itself, Highclere Castle.The book offers comments from cast members, behind the scenes information from everyone involved in the production of the series including hairstylist to costume designer to writers and consultants. By all means it is a complete depiction of the making of an extraordinary production.Would I recommend it?.........................Did you really have to ask? If you know of and enjoy the series you must, by all means, add this book to your collection. If you are not familiar with Downton Abbey, well for goodness sake, what¿s taking you so long?!
bell7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
*Warning: spoilers follow for the first two seasons of Downton Abbey*So I don't know about you, but in my library the availability of the DVD of the first season of Downton Abbey meant a flurry of holds and a lot of conversation about the Masterpiece Theatre presentation. I put it on hold to see what all the fuss was about, and the first time I got the DVD I didn't even watch it before I had to return it to the library. Second try was the charm, though, and I not only watched the first season in - ahem - one day, I promptly looked up when the second season was going to be on PBS, and watched that all over the same holiday weekend. I found myself fascinated, loving the picture of a world one hundred years ago, at once familiar (cars, telephones) and strange (servants, class, World War 1). I picked up some of the class differences and societal tensions, but as an American in the 21st century, I know there's a lot going on that I didn't understand, or just wasn't sure about (how normal would it be, for example, if a young woman had run off and married the chauffeur in that era, for her mother to stay in contact with her and want her to visit?).That, ultimately, is why I decided to read this book. In all fairness, in a book like this covering everything from family life to style to World War 1 to a servants' life, none of my questions are going to be answered in depth. But, if you enjoyed the show, a little bit of everything is explored through its lens, through what we saw the characters experience, plus giving us more period detail from diaries and books about people who really lived then. And then there's the photography. Wow! You can really appreciate the attention to detail when looking at photographs of the sets, of the actors, and of Highclere Castle. There are lots of quotes from the actors and the show sprinkled throughout the text and photographs. The final chapter is more a "making of" than the historical background, and it really made me appreciate all the work that went into making Downton Abbey as good as it is. Finally, the recommended reads at the end (unfortunately for me, since I want to read everything and I have to figure out which books were mentioned more than once) is organized by chapter, so if you are most interested in any one particular aspect of the Downton Abbey world, it's quite easy to follow up on just what you're looking for. Highly recommended to any fan of the show.
mt256 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like thousands of others, I fell in love with the series, Downton Abbey. I'm glued to my seat with each season in anticipation to find out what will happen to these beloved characters. I love the upstairs characters as well as the downstairs characters. For those reasons and many others, I absolutely love The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes.This book is a behind the scenes look at the mesmerizing world that I can't get enough. The World of Downton Abbey is broken up into several chapters that dives deeper into the series such as: Family Life, Society, Life in Service and Style. Each chapter explores the historical significance of events that take place, beautiful photographs, quotes from the actors, as well as mannerisms of the era. This is a great book for any fan of Downton Abbey to own. It's interesting as well as very entertaining. There is so much to learn about this period in time. Reading this book will help you get an insightful look at what it was to live in this era as well as the trials and tribulations of belonging to the aristocracy. I also love reading the actor's thoughts on the characters they portray. This is definitely a book that I will read again and again.
Bodagirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting and broadly scoped look at the British television series Downton Abbey. Every chapter covers a different aspect of the show, with the vast majority being devoted to the historical setting of the early 1900s: clothing, society, romance, war, etc. The last chapter gives a brief look behind the scenes at the show's production (both seasons are covered).Although the book is beautiful (lots of full page color photographs and some artsy layout choices), the main text of the book is broken up by all of the added features, including the little snippet sidebars, which can be distracting if you like a continuous narrative flow.
lycomayflower on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Less behind-the-scenes (though there is a section devoted to behind-the-scenes information and some more tidbits scattered throughout the book) and more a guide to historical and social context for the show. Even as someone fairly well-versed in the period in which Downton Abbey is set, I learned new things from the book and found snippets here and there which enriched my understanding of the history I did already know. And the pictures! The book is just chock full of beautiful full-color photographs which show off the show's costumes, sets, and locations wonderfully. In addition to these stills from the show and the production, there are many historical photographs of events, people, and ephemera relevant to the show. Enthusiastically recommended to any fans of Downton Abbey.
wortklauberlein on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you must read all things "Downton Abbey," save your money and borrow this from a library, especially if you are tempted to believe the cover line, "The Rivalry and Romance Revealed." Not much is revealed other than that this is a rather obvious attempt to capitalize on the popular TV drama.This glossy volume has a mix of television series stills and historic photographs, scrapbooked with mostly irrelevant quotes from actors/characters. The captions are frustratingly vague, or nonexistent. The text, by Julian Fellowes's niece, offers some interesting facts for anyone who has never had a European history course in his/her life, and a very few for those who have, notably the section about the Buccaneers, American heiresses who married a title and gave big bucks to maintain their husbands' estates.The series' plot is barely alluded to, so no spoilers, or revelations for those who want to learn more of Bates's backstory. And where is Branson in the cover shot? And how about some pictures of Highclere without all the TV folk milling about?The present Countess of Carnavon's book on her predecessor Lady Almina is far meatier. I hope she earns enough from it to save the castle for the next series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like
BookwormMama14 More than 1 year ago
I admit that I have a slight obsession with Downton Abbey. It sucked me in from the start. And now my curiosity as piqued as to what life was really like in the early 1900s. Therefore, I am branching out a bit in the books that I am reading. The World of Downton Abbey is a companion guide to the second season of the beloved BBC Masterpiece show Downton Abbey. Not only does it outline the lives of the Crawley family during the first World War, but also gives us a peek at the lives of the real aristocracy of England. Family life, style, life in service, romance and war are a few of the topics covered in Jessica Fellowes book. I greatly enjoyed reading and learning more about British culture. It helps me to understand the characters in the show better, as well as characters in the books I read. There is a lot of history to be found in period dramas and I do love learning about it. I was happy to learn that the show has a historical advisor Alastair Bruce (known as The Oracle) that does not hide in the shadows. He makes certain that everything is proper and accurate. Any Downton enthusiast would enjoy this book, but it is also a great read for learning more about the era.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SEASON 5 COMES OUT IN JANUARY OF 2015!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent all the way through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SuzeJones58 More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly interesting on three counts. The first best thing about this book is that it is about  current favorite subject of mine...Downton Abbey! Next, this book provides surprisingly intersting information about WW1, the culture of the times and the sentiments of the era. Last of the three things I liked best about this book is how the author weaves  the story of the fictional TV characters in with real historical figures. And as an addd bonus, the book is just pretty with some very nice graphics and photos, especially from the show.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Our society nowadays could use some reflection on the past.