Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Gift from Mom 🙂
As a Downton Abbey addict, I love the idea of a companion novel that combines the spirit and stunning visuals of the program with interesting history and facts about these characters and the time period they lived in. A few years ago I read and thoroughly enjoyed The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes and I’m so delighted to see that she has followed up that first companion novel with three more!!
As a person who loves character-driven stories, analyzing personalities, and studying character development I was so pleased to see this edition focuses more on the characters of Downton Abbey. Divided into sixteen chapters, this book highlights nineteen characters that viewers encounter during seasons 1-3, the final chapter is a bonus Behind the Scenes chapter! Besides dozens of glossy images, these chapters provide insight and background for each major character in the series. Readers learn more about their motivations, behaviors, responsibilities, and limitations.
I appreciated how this book went into detail not only about each character, but about their role in society – whether it be daughter, butler, housemaid, or heir. Readers can learn not just about the Crawley family and their servants, but about real people who lived similar lives to them. I found it fascinating to learn things like how valets and housekeepers could secretly supplement their income and wardrobe, how fashion choices of each daughter is a reflection on their personality, and how the treatment of inmates at this time was both horrifying and grim. In addition, I loved gaining some new understanding and insight to more reserved characters like Anna, Thomas, O’Brien. We don’t know a lot about their past and it was interesting to learn what kind of backstory they might have.
This hardbound book full of lush photography, elegant designs, and interesting details is a wonderful companion for viewers who love Downton Abbey and its intriguing cast of characters! I’ll definitely be adding A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey and Downton Abbey: A Celebration by Jessica Fellowes to my wish-list and look forward to reading them soon!
Here is a little book preview Mr. Bingley and I put together for The Chronicles of Downton Abbey.