February 27, 2012
In the event there is a rare soul among you who has not yet heard of the phenomenon of “Downton Abbey”, a quick introduction: Downton Abbey is a period drama, written by Julian Fowles, shown on Masterpiece television (PBS) , and presently in its second season. And it’s sooooo much more! The characters, the sagas, the fashions, the wit of Maggie Smith, the interiors, the scenery, the history, the romance, the manners, the drama, the wit of Maggie Smith … all contribute to decadently absorbing viewing. As you have gleaned, Maggie Smith is one of the most fabulous characters – she plays Lady Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham with saucy sarcasm and facial expressions to keep you wishing she was in every scene; she will make you cringe and laugh out loud in equal measure. It is all such great entertainment. Something this good must have a literary bent, right?
Well … Downton creator Julian Fellowes is the author of the novels Snobs, and Past Imperfect as well as writer of the screenplay for the movie Gosford Park. He is particularly respected for capturing the essence of an era – especially in manners and subtleties of communication. Fellowes’ hugely successful Downton Abbey has spurred enormous interest in reading of the era: non-fiction and fiction. There are pages of Google entries with the listing “If you like Downton Abbey, you’ll love reading these titles …” Here are some of the suggestions:
Enjoy the viewing and the reading. I leave you with a little clip of marvellous Maggie.