If You Like….

If you like Downton Abbey, you’ll probably also like….

— the original Upstairs, Downstairs;

— parts I and II of The House of Elliott;

The Duchess of Duke Street;

The Remains of the Day, both book and movie;

Gosford Park;

— Barbara Taylor Bradford’s A Woman of Substance;

— Stella Gibbons’ Cold Comfort Farm, book or movie;

— Eva Ibbotson’s A Countess Below Stairs;

— and, of course, the Red Nose Day spoof, Uptown Downstairs Abbey.

What would you suggest?


  1. Ashleigh on August 1, 2011 at 9:11 am

    You watch Downton Abbey too? I got to the end of it and was very disappointed with the cliffhanger and then discovered that it is a series. I can’t wait for the next season to come out!

  2. NikkiB on August 1, 2011 at 9:58 am

    It’s amazing what the British do so right. A personal favorite of mine is “North and South.” But, if you are a lover of period films and tv shows, here is a website for everyone to enjoy- enchantedserenityperiodfilms.blogspot.com. Its a great site!

  3. Morgan on August 1, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I was just talking to a friend about Downton Abbey last night. When I got to the end of the series (season?) and found out how long it would be until the next installment, I was so upset! I love that it was created by Kilwillie!

  4. Tracie on August 1, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Having just finished A Countess Below Stairs, I’m so pleased to see it on your list, Lauren. It was such a wonderful book and it was very reminiscent of Downton with all of the insight into what it was like to be both a servant and an aristocrat in the Edwardian Era. Countess is one of those books that you end with a wistful sigh, because you’re sorry it’s over, followed by a smile, because you know you’ve just read something really special that will stay with you forever.

    I look forward to reading everyone else’s suggestions for novels/movies set in this era as I’m now dying to get my hands on more books of this sort!

  5. Stephanie on August 1, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I agree with NikkiB. I just found “North and South” on Netflix and loved it. “Wives and Daughters” is also good. The movies prompted me to try reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s books and I am really enjoying them.

  6. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on August 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Your post had me at Downtown Abbey. I can’t wait for season two. I’d also recommend Jullian Fellowes two books. Also, I really enjoyed the new Upstairs Downstairs too.

  7. Leslie on August 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Downtown Abbey will be back Jan 2012
    on your local PBS station! The Forsythe Saga is one of the best series I have ever watched on public television. Also check out Enchanted April and Cranston.
    I’ve been watching Zen, Rupert Sewell is such a sexy Detective Inspector.

  8. Lauren on August 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Miss Eliza, I second the recommendation of Fellowes’ books! It’s an interesting look-in on the same world fifty to seventy years later.

  9. Lauren on August 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Morgan, I felt the same way when I found out that it was Kilwillie! I love “Monarch of the Glen”.

  10. Hannah on August 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I remember House of Elliott so fondly. I’d also suggest “Love for Lydia”–not so much for the “upstairs, downstairs” theme but the setting and melodrama.

  11. SusanN on August 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    It doesn’t have the “sweep” or saga-like quality of some of the other books mentioned, but Meredith Duran’s latest (A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal) has some of that Oliver Twist/Prince and the Pauper look at the English classes. I love Duran and I think this may be her best book yet.

    I was also going to recommend RF Delderfield’s God is an Englishman series, but I’m not sure if it has enough of the Up/Down theme.

    I always get brain freeze on these “If You Like” things, sorta like I’m sitting for a pop quiz I didn’t study for! 🙂 Some good answers seem to come to me too late.

  12. Pat on August 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    “Flambards” was a series on PBS years ago. It was great! Started pre-WW1 and ended post. Took in early aviation, big estates, aristocracy and servants, the whole shebang. It was based on a book but I never found it to read. I definitely enjoyed Downton Abby; can’t wait to see what happens next. “Enchanted April” was wonderful.
    “Jeeves and Wooster” is always fun: both books and DVDs. “The Duchess of Duke Street” was fun; I still remember the episode with the chamber pots being hurled over the fence.

  13. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on August 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Oh Leslie, Forsyte Saga, totally!

  14. SusanN on August 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I never watched Flambards on PBS, but was it based on KM Peyton’s children’s series?

  15. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on August 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Yes it was!

  16. Amanda on August 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I third the Forsyte Saga recommendations!

    They’re a little different, but highly endorse Anthony Trollope’s Barchester Chronicles. They are a series of six books that take place in small-town England in the 1800s — sort of historical fiction before it was historical. The first is “The Warden,” but they stand alone and could be read in any order. Neat, quirky characters and fun twists.

  17. Amy N. on August 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Gosford Park…sigh. Love, love, love “Remains of the Day” (book and movie). How about the other movie with Emma and Anthony – “Howards End”? I’ve not read the book but loved the movie. The House of Elliot was a PBS series – ?

  18. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on August 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Howards End is a magnificant book. As is A Room with a View, Forster’s other great masterpiece.

  19. Tracie on August 1, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Howard’s End will always have a special place in my heart because I saw it at an arthouse theater in midtown Atlanta and I locked eyes with JULIAN SANDS, who smiled back at me {{{THUD}}}, while I was standing in the lobby waiting for them to let us into the movie. Julian was in town filming Boxing Helena at the time and I guess he had time to kill on a Sunday afternoon. For the record, he was every bit as dishy as George Emerson (one of my big movie crushes) in person. SIGH

  20. Jessica C on August 2, 2011 at 3:27 am

    Love love LOVE Downton Abbey. Can’t wait for the next season! The Barchester Chronicles is also fantastic.

    For another book set in the same period, try The Ladies of Lyndon by Margaret Kennedy – http://www.amazon.com/Ladies-Lyndon-Virago-Modern-Classic/dp/0385272278/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1312270847&sr=1-1

  21. Alexa J on August 2, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Lark Rise to Candleford! It doesn’t have the same upstairs/downstairs conflict, but it does have town/country conflict and some of the strongest female characters I’ve seen on a series. Not to mention Patrick from Coupling. 🙂

  22. Olivia on August 2, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    *Love* Countess Below Stairs–All of Ibbotson’s books are great! They can be a bit formulaic once you’ve read more than one, but I happen to like the formula so I’m happy.

  23. Heather on August 2, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    I loved Downton abyy con not wait for the new series. I loved the Duchess of Duke street. In fact I just finished watching it again. The original Upstairs Downstairs is without comparison. I loved it.
    Cold Comfort Farm is one of my favorites. I saw the movie first. I found it at Blockbuster more years ago than I would like to admit. I had never heard of Stella Gibbons at that point and went out and got the book. I wish more of her stuff was in print, and was easier to find.
    I loved all of these.

  24. Heather on August 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I pretty much love anything on Masterpiece. Sunday night is the only time will without fail have the TV on. Its almost to the point that if the phone rings I don’t answer or I am very tempted to answer it, “This better be good.”

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