If You Like….

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

— Eva Ibbotsen’s A Countess Below Stairs, about a Russian noblewoman who becomes a downstairs maid in an English manor house;

— Barbara Taylor Bradford’s A Woman of Substance, about a woman who rises from maid in an Edwardian house to mistress of a financial empire;

— Kate Morton’s The House at Riverton, following the intertwined destinies of maid and mistress at the great house at Riverton;

— Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love (one of my very favorite books) and Love in a Cold Climate— and, if you can, find a way to get your hands on the excellent BBC adaptation;

— Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, the famous novel told as a butler’s reminiscences about his days in service;

— Daisy Goodwin’s The American Heiress and Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers, novels about the American heiresses, like Cora, who married into the English aristocracy;

— On the non-fiction end, the Countess of Carnaervon’s Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle and Carol Wallace’s To Marry an English Lord, a look into the inspiration behind Downton;

— and speaking of Americans marrying Englishman, more modern, but very entertaining, there’s also Sarah Lyle’s The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British.

And, of course, you wouldn’t want to miss the excellent Red Nose Day spoof, Uptown Downstairs Abbey!

Which Downton-related reads would you recommend?


  1. Emily on January 30, 2012 at 8:59 am

    There’s a second half of the red nose day sketch! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3YYo_5rxFE

  2. Joanne M. on January 30, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Thank you for the great list! I’ve taken notes…I have The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West and Howards End by E. M. Forster on my TBR list.

  3. Lisa Mc on January 30, 2012 at 11:26 am

    To Marry an English Lord is a great book. I have re-read it so many times, I have had to replace it twice since 1999.

  4. jeffrey on January 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Thank you for your recommendations! A Countess Below Stairs looks fascinating and I’m definitely putting that one on my MUST-read list.

  5. AngelB on January 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I recently read a book – Maid to Match by Deanne Gist.

    Setting is the Vanderbilt Estate near Ashville North Carolina in 1898 and is the story of a maid’s life on the estate.

  6. Rebecca W. on January 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    There’s also a relatively new book, “The House at Tyneford” that’s great for all Downton lovers.

  7. AngelB on January 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I am having IT issues today so if this shows up 4 times, I apologize.

    Maid to Match by Deanne Gist. A srory od a maid on the Vanderbilt Estate near Ashville North Carolina in 1898.

    I also just read a news release that Shirley MaLaine is joining the cast next season.

  8. AngelB on January 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Story of a maid…sorry for the bad typing

  9. leslie on January 30, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I found the DVD of “Love in a Cold Climate” at the library. Tom Hooper also directed “The Kings Speech” and Alan Bates is a riot as the eccentric father.
    Don’t forget “Gosford Park”
    I’m not enjoying Downton 2 as much as I did the first season. Too soapish, but I do love Hugh Bonneville as Lord Grantham. I hope it gets better.

  10. CĂ©line on January 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Can you believe that I haven’t watched Downton Abbey yet??? I still can understand how that is possible. Oh yes, I know. Have to share the TV! 🙂

    But I definitely will try and find The Countess Below Stairs, it sounds like the kind of books I’m sure to love!!
    And I have The House at Riverton in my TBR list, so I’ll get around to it soon! 🙂

  11. CĂ©line on January 30, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    It’s weird, The Countess Below Stairs seems to be titled The Secret Countess here in Canada… is it the same book?

  12. Olivia on February 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm


    Don’t know if you’ve seen this before, but I just discovered it and it reminded me of these “if you like…” posts. http://whatshouldireadnext.com/?

    If you type in a book, it’ll give you recommendations of books that are similar. For example, “Black Tulip” leads to several books by Tasha Alexander, Jean Plaidy, and Georgette Heyer.

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