Say Goodbye to Downton: A Selection of Books, DVDs, and Digital Music in Honor of the Final Season of Downton Abbey

17 Feb

If like me you are a fan of Downton Abbey, you are probably feeling both excited and a bit sad about the end of the show.  Now is the perfect opportunity to watch some of your past favorite episodes and enjoy Downton Abbey related books and music.  So raise a cup of proper English tea and toast the end of the era of the British Manor House and an iconic TV show.

Available at the Hoboken Public Library

Downton Abbey, Seasons One through Five on DVD and BluRay

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The story of the aristocratic Crawley family and their staff became a phenomenon.  The drama started in 1912 and moves forward through history to its finale in 1925, with explorations into the complex issues of gender, class, and politics that still resonate today.  The stories of Downton Abbey’s characters are suspenseful, often heartwarming, and sometimes heartbreaking.  Check out the DVDs or BluRays to catch up on any episodes you missed before the finale.

The World of Downton Abbey, by Jessica Fellowes

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Fellowes looks at the production of the first two seasons as well as some of the history behind the story.  The book includes production sketches and photographs from the set.   Get a behind the scenes look at your favorite show.  Also available from other BCCLS libraries are several of Jessica Fellowes’s works focusing on Downton Abbey including her recent work, Downton Abbey: A Celebration, which includes an episode guide to the first five seasons and interviews with the cast.

Maggie Smith: A Biography, by Michael Coveney

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Find out about the career and the personal life of one of Downton Abbey’s glamorous and enigmatic stars in this biography.  Besides her role as the Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, on Downton Abbey, Dame Maggie Smith has also stared in the Harry Potter films as the magical Minerva McGonagall and in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films.

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

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The Countess of Carnarvon, who lives at the real life Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle), discusses the true stories of the women who lived there based on scrapbooks and diary entries.  Like Cora Crawley, Lady Almina was also the daughter of a rich industrialist who married an English noble.  Her second work focuses on Lady Catherine, another American, who married Lady Almina’s son.  Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey is also available as a digital audiobook from Hoopla.

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey, by Wendy Wax

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Wax inspired by her own love of the series and the huge fandom that has sprung up around it, wrote this charming novel about a diverse group of residents in Atlanta who get together to watch the series each week.  This sweet story about friendship should appeal to devotees of Downton.

Available to Hoboken and other BCCLS Card Holders from Hoopla

The Manners of Downton Abbey

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This PBS documentary gives a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to get the Edwardian details just right at Downton Abbey.  Historian, Alastair Bruce, brings his expertise as the historical advisor to the show and hosts this look at details affecting everything from how the Edwardians dressed to what they ate.  It includes interviews with some of the cast members.  Also available on DVD from BCCLS libraries.

Music From and Inspired by Downton Abbey

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Hoopla has a variety of music from the soundtrack of Downton Abbey or inspired the show.  This includes Downton Abbey-Original Music from the Television Series; Downton Abbey – The Ultimate Collection (Music From The Original TV Series) performed by the London Chamber Orchestra; Downton Abbey – The Essential Collection; Christmas At Downton Abbey performed by the Budapest City Orchestra, and The Music of Downton (A tribute to Downton Abbey) performed by L’Orchestra Numerique.  Any of these would be perfect for streaming if you are planning a special party to celebrate the finale.  If you are looking for refreshments to serve consider borrowing The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Emily Ansara Baines available from BCCLS libraries.

Making Masterpiece: My 25 Years behind the Scenes at Masterpiece and Mystery! on PBS, by Rebecca Eaton

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You can listen to the digital audiobook of Rebecca Eaton’s account of her work as an Emmy Award-winning producer on PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery!.  It is also available in print from BCCLS libraries.  Masterpiece Theatre is the longest running weekly prime-time drama series in the US.  Besides drawing from her experience she spoke with writers, directors, and others who helped bring the compelling dramas to life.  Learn about what went on behind the scenes with Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Upstairs, Downstairs and other Masterpieces!

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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