Downton Abbey Withdrawal?

Who isn’t in Downton Abbey withdrawal?

If you’re like me (and half of America and England), you can’t wait for season three  of Downton to get your fix of drama, dresses, and romance–upstairs and downstairs!

Take my advice: Once you’ve seen Downton Abbey, you definitely want to go back to the books on this one. I love period dramas much more than the average Jane–from Masterpiece Classic to BBC–but even I have difficulty watching period films that were created before 1990. Such a beautiful age deserves to be viewed through a soft glow, with opulent settings and gorgeous dresses . . . or through the gilded lens of your imagination. So here are some different suggestions and sub-categories that will satisfy your needs for something rich, scandalous, and classy–in every sense of the word.

1) Just in time for the lapse between seasons 2 and 3, the 100th anniversary of the Titanic has spawned its own sub-category–a few highlights:

I loved: The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. 

Next on my TBR pile is The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe. I adored her first novel, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. It hit so many of my literary love buttons: scholarly intrigue, history, magic–sigh. I’m so excited for her second book. It looks like it has all the things I loved in the first, with addition of a Titanic/Downton era connection. I just hope it’s as good as it sounds . . .

2) Cora’s story . . . or something like it.

I loved: The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin. 

3) The upstairs/downstairs aspect:

I loved: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen 

4) Family secrets–and, of course, scandal . . .

I’m looking forward to Kate Morton’s The House at Riverton. 

I loved: The Distant Hours–also by Kate Morton. Also about a manor and it’s secrets. She does it well.

5) For Lady Sybill fans . . . and who isn’t?

I loved: A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd (and the whole Bess Crawford series). Mystery, a nurse . . . the Great War–need I say more??

Anybody else have any favorite Downton-esque fiction?


  1. Claire 'Word by Word' | 22nd Apr 12

    Well Edith Wharton was entertaining American heiresses in Paris matchmaking them with prospective British husbands, so her works might be appropriate, I have only read ‘Ethan Frome’ and ‘Summer’ which are not her elegant society novels, but ‘Age of Innocense’ and ‘House of Mirth’ & ‘Custom of the Country’ if you are interested in a classic perspective.

    • loveonlit | 23rd Apr 12

      I have been meaning to read Age of Innocence forever! I might have ro move it up my classics queue!

  2. Ariel Swan | 22nd Apr 12

    I am reading The House of Velvet and Glass right now and so far it is great. I am so in Downton Abbey withdrawl and I think it is helping. Off to check out your post on The Winter Sea. I read that few months ago.

    • loveonlit | 23rd Apr 12

      So excited to hear it! Hoping to start it this week!

  3. Farin | 22nd Apr 12

    Love Bess Crawford! And if you’ve heard of Bess, chances are you’ve heard of the Maisie Dobbs series as well, which I highly recommend. She’s another fiercely independent Lady Sybil type, and she used to be a maid in a great house, so there’s the upstairs/downstairs element as well.

    • loveonlit | 23rd Apr 12

      I have heard of Maisie, bur haven’t read any yet. Sounds like an ideal series to add to the Downton Withdrawal list, though! I’ll look forward to checking it out!

  4. Julie Hansen Intuitive | 22nd Apr 12

    I read The House at Riverton right after season 2 of Downton Abbey…it was really good.

    • loveonlit | 23rd Apr 12

      Glad to hear it recommended! Look forward to it 🙂

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