If you can’t get enough of the PBS mini-series Downton Abbey, check out these books!

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Regeneration
Pat Barker

BARKER

In 1917 Siegfried Sasson, noted poet and decorated war hero, publicly refused to continue serving as a British officer in World War I. His reason: the war was a senseless slaughter. He was officially classified “mentally unsound” and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital. There a brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. William Rivers, set about restoring Sassoon’s “sanity” and sending him back to the trenches.


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Summerset Abbey
T. J. Brown

BROWN

This first novel in a new series follows two sisters and their maid as they are suddenly separated by the rigid class divisions within a sprawling aristocratic estate and thrust into an uncertain world on the brink of WWI.


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The Children's Book
A.S. Byatt

BYATT

Taking us from the cliff-lined shores of England to Paris, Munich, and the trenches of the Somme, The Children’s Book is a deeply affecting story of a singular family, played out against the great, rippling tides of the day.


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The Wild Rose
Jennifer Donnelly

DONNELLY

In 1914, with World War I approaching, polar explorer Seamus Finnegan tries to forget Willa, a passionate mountain climber, as he marries a beautiful young woman back home in England.


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Broken Music: A Mystery
Marjorie Eccles

MYS ECCLES

The year is 1919 and the population of Great Britain is still struggling to its feet after being hit by the atrocities of the First World War. Gradually, soldiers return, wounds begin to heal and people try to move on with their lives.


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Snobs
Julian Fellowes

FELLOWES

Snobs is narrated by a journeyman actor who moves comfortably among the upper classes, while chronicling their foibles. And what a tale he has to tell.


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Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy)
Ken Follett

FOLLETT

Follows the fates of five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English and Welsh—as they move through the world-shaking dramas of World War I, the Russian Revolution and the struggle for women’s suffrage.


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Howards End
E. M. Forster

CLASSIC FORSTER

Howards End is a novel that explores the many intricacies of class relations in English society during the turn of the century. Centering around three families representing England’s working class and wealthy elite, the novel weaves a complicated tapestry of misunderstandings, careless impulses, and, ultimately, tragedy.


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The Forsyte Saga
John Galsworthy

CLASSIC GALSWORTHY

The story of Soames Forsyte’s marriage to the beautiful and rebellious Irene, and its effects upon the whole Forsyte clan, The Forsyte Saga is a brilliant social satire of the acquisitive sensibilities of a comfort-bound class in its final glory.


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The American Heiress: A Novel
Daisy Goodwin

GOODWIN

Presents the story of vivacious Cora Cash, whose early twentieth-century marriage to England’s most eligible duke is overshadowed by his secretive nature and the traps and betrayals of London’s social scene.


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The Dancing Years
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

HARROD-EAGLES

The Morlands, now reunited with spouses, children, and friends who served in World War I and grieving the ones who didn’t return, attempt to return to normal life and put the horrors of the past few years behind them. For some, that means endless dancing, hence the title.


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The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro

ISHIGURO

A profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world in postwar England. Stevens embarks on a motoring trip through the West Country, on an odyssey that evokes disturbing memories of his thirty years of service to Lord Darlington and of the housekeeper, Miss Kenton.


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The House at Riverton: A Novel
Kate Morton

MORTON

Grace Bradley went to work at Riverton House as a servant when she was just a girl, before the First World War. For years her life was inextricably tied up with the Hartford family. In the summer of 1924, at a glittering society party held at the house, a young poet shot himself. The only witnesses were the two Hartford daughters, and only they – and Grace – know the truth.


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Park Lane
Frances Osborne

OSBORNE

When Grace Carlisle arrives in London, she takes a job as a housemaid where she becomes caught up in the lives of its inhabitants—in particular, those of its privileged son, Edward, and daughter, Beatrice


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No Graves As Yet (World War One Novels)
Anne Perry

MYS PERRY

The author sweeps us into the golden summer of 1914, a time of brief enchantment when English men and women basked in the security of wealth and power, even as the last weeks of their privileged world were swiftly passing. Theirs was a peace that led to war.


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Ashton Park (The Danforths of Lancashire)
Murray Pura

INSPIR PURA

While William Danforth is in London during Parliamentary sessions, Lady Elizabeth visits a small Baptist church in Liverpool with her head cook, exposing Elizabeth to a less formal approach to Christian worship which she comes to enjoy.


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Circles of Time: A Novel (Greville Family Saga)
Phillip Rock

ROCK

Traces the lives of Alexandra Greville, Jamie Ross, and others during the era between the World Wars through the observations of freelance journalist Martin Rilke.


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The House at Tyneford: A Novel
Natasha Solomons

SOLOMONS

A 19-year-old Jewish girl in 1938 Vienna escapes the Nazis by becoming a domestic servant in England at Tyneford, home of the aristocratic Rivers family, where she forms a friendship with the youngest son that changes them both.


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The Return of Captain John Emmett
Elizabeth Speller

MYS SPELLER

Mary Emmett’s brother John, an officer during the recently ended World War I, has apparently killed himself while in the care of a remote veterans’ hospital, and Mary needs to know why. She contacts an old flame, Laurence Bartram, who has turned his back on the world to help her find answers.


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A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery (Bess Crawford Mysteries)
Charles Todd

MYS TODD

A battlefield nurse during World War I, Bess Crawford, returning to London for a well-earned Christmas leave, finds her holiday fraught with mystery and murder when she agrees to help a bruised and battered woman return to her small village in Sussex.


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A Duty to the Dead: A Bess Crawford Mystery (Bess Crawford Mysteries)
Charles Todd

MYS TODD

The daughter of a distinguished soldier, Bess Crawford follows in his patriotic footsteps, volunteering to serve her country as a nurse during the Great War. In 1916, she promises Lieutenant Arthur Graham that she will carry his dying request to a brother. When the hospital ship is sunk by a mine and she is sent home to England to recover from her wounds, Bess is determined to fulfill her promise at last.


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Enchanted April
Elizabeth von Arnim

VON ARNIM

Four women in post-war England connect with each other—and the castle of their dreams—through a classified ad in a London newspaper one rainy February afternoon. The ladies expect a pleasant holiday, but they don’t anticipate that the month they spend in Portofino will reintroduce them to their true natures and reacquaint them with joy.


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Brideshead Revisited
Evelyn Waugh

CLASSIC WAUGH

Tells the story of Charles Ryder’s infatuation with the Marchmain family and the rapidly-disappearing world of privilege they inhabit. Enchanted first by Sebastian at Oxford, then by his doomed family, in particular his remote sister, Julia, Charles comes finally to recognize only his spiritual and social distance from them.


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Habits of the House
Fay Weldon

WELDON

As the writer of the pilot episode of the original Upstairs, Downstairs, Fay Weldon brings a deserved reputation for magnificent storytelling. With wit and sympathy, and no small measure of mischief, Habits of the House plots the interplay of restraint and desire, manners and morals, reason and instinct.


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Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs Mysteries)
Jacqueline Winspear

MYS WINSPEAR

Maisie Dobbs is back and this time she has been hired to find a wealthy grocery magnate’s daughter who has fled from home. What seems a simple case at first becomes complicated when Maisie learns of the recent violent deaths of three of the heiress’s old friends. Is there a connection between her mysterious disappearance and the murders?


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The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic
Allan Wolf

HIST TEEN WOLF

Recreates the 1912 sinking of the Titanic as observed by millionaire John Jacob Astor, a beautiful young Lebanese refugee finding first love, “Unsinkable” Molly Brown, Captain Smith, and others, including the iceberg itself.


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The World of Downton Abbey
Jessica Fellowes

ART PERFORM FEL

A companion book to the popular British series about the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants offers insights into the story and characters and background information on British society in the early years of the twentieth century.


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Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle
The Countess of Carnarvon

BIOGRAPHY CARNARVON

Much like her Masterpiece Classic counterpart Lady Cora Crawley, Lady Almina was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. Throwing open the doors of Highclere Castle to tend to the wounded of World War I, Lady Almina distinguished herself as a brave and remarkable woman.


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Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey"
Margaret Powell

BIOGRAPHY POWELL

Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants portrayed in Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs, this classic memoir of Powell’s time in service is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman who, though she served in the great houses of England, never stopped aiming high.


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Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest
Wade Davis

HISTORY DISCOVER DAV

The definitive story of the British adventurers who survived the trenches of World War I and went on to risk their lives climbing Mount Everest.


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George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I
Miranda Carter

HISTORY EUROPE CAR

In the years before World War I, the great European powers were ruled by three first cousins: King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Tsar Nicholas II. Carter uses the cousins’ correspondence and a host of historical sources to tell their tragicomic stories.


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Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants
Alison Maloney

HISTORY EUROPE MAL

This title reveals a detailed picture of what really went on ‘downstairs’, describing the true-life trials and tribulations of Edwardian servants.


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Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady
Kate Summerscale

HISTORY EUROPE GRBRIT SUM

Traces the story of a scandalous trial that rocked Victorian England, describing how Isabella Robinson recorded sexual fantasies in her private diary, which was discovered and read by her husband, who petitioned for divorce on the grounds of adultery.


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