Why I wanted to read it: Because I am hopelessly addicted to the series and can not get enough about this time period, location, and these fascinating people!
Source: Public Library
The pictures are beautiful and this is an absolutely gorgeous book to behold! But even more important than stunning eye candy, this book is filled with wonderful historical stories, ephemera from the time period, and suggestions for further reading and viewing. Let's take a look inside, shall we?
- Family Life- the author allows the reader an inside glimpse into the lives of all that call Downton Abbey home. I enjoyed reading a bit more of these characters that I feel I have come to know very personally. You also learn more about titles and the roles of each of the privileged family members. I liked reading about the kitchen life and what it may have been like below stairs.
- Society- I found this chapter very enlightening and highly entertaining! I had to laugh at how it was perfectly acceptable to be married and have affairs, but so scandalous if you were not married and succumbed to a night of passion, like our dear Mary did!
- Change- what a pivotal era in history. So much change occurred between 1913 and 1919 that if you really thought about it would have been mind boggling! I loved this chapter and really thought there was some great information to be gleaned.
- Life in Service- amazing insight into what it meant to be a servant in a great house! But if you were the cook, butler, lady's maid, you really had no life! Could you imagine only having a few hours off each Sunday and that's all??? This chapter really fascinated me because of how familiar the rich became with some of their staff at the end of the day!
- Style- I loved looking at all of the glamorous outfits and the fashion from the day. So many of the garments that the actors wear are original and delicate. Amazing attention to detail and the fabrics were scrumptious! The corsets though are one that I would not have been able to abide! I fear I would have been a rebel like Sybil and went for the trousers!
- House & Estate- This chapter brought with it a greater appreciation for the pressure the Earl of Grantham was under in order to keep Downton Abbey a viable estate. There is quite a bit that goes into keeping up this grand palace and none of it is cheap or without many, many servants.
- Romance- Well, isn't this what keeps many of us coming back for more? The romance, the subtle flirting, the endless parade of potential grooms??? I have to say that I'm so glad that I wasn't a rich, young, eligible woman during this time period. How much time the matriarch's of the family spent trying to make a "suitable" marriage for their daughters! How exasperating to be pushed upon old, feeble men just because they had title and wealth!
- War- I learned so much! Honestly, I did and this chapter had me glued to the pages! Fascinating stuff that reads so much better at times than fiction!
- Behind the Scenes- I loved getting a glimpse into all the various aspects of bringing one show to viewers like myself. It's mind boggling how much time goes into each production.
I will be ordering my own copy of this wonderful book! It's truly a work of art and there's so much to explore within the pages that one read simply doesn't do it justice! I have added several books and movies to my must-read/must-view list and I'm sure that perusing it again would only continue to further add to my collection. This is well-worth the money and will bring you hours of entertainment long after closing the final page.
List of movies/shows to watch:
The Jewel in the Crown
Books to read:
House of Mirth (reread)
Three Weeks by Elinor Glyn
Favorite piece of information (p. 146 from the chapter of Style)
This is about the evening gown which was worn between five and seven o'clock, it gave rise to the french phrase 'cinq a sept.' This referred to the hours when lovers were received, the only time of day when a maid wouldn't need to be there to help you undress and therefore discover your secret.
Lady Colin Campbell's divorce hinged on the fact that her clothes had clearly been fastened by a man who didn't know what he was doing; when her lady's maid saw her for her next change, the fastenings were higgledy-piggledy.
Could you imagine getting caught in an affair because your maid squealed to the court that your dress was fastened all wrong???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This made laugh big time!
Bookish Thoughts #23