Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Excited for Downton Abbey?

With Season 4 of Downton Abbey just beginning, we wanted to share a few other titles that you Downton fans might enjoy...
 “Below stairs” by Margaret Powell (641.5092 POWELL)

Margaret Powell is the lady who started it all.  The memoir of her life in service was the basis for the television series “Upstairs, Downstairs” and a generation later, “Downton Abbey”. The explanation of the rigors of spring cleaning or the painstaking elements of making potato chips from scratch make one very glad for modern conveniences. 

“Upstairs & downstairs: the illustrated guide to the real world of Downton Abbey” by Sarah Warwick  (941.0823 Warwick)

Period illustrations and photos, posters and magazine ads provide a visual backdrop to the life and times of the English country house in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  The rich and famous and their relations to the household help are included: Winston Churchill was devoted to his nanny and kept  her picture next to his bed until he died; suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst’s belief and struggle for women’s rights did not extend to her own household’s servants.

 “Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook” by Emily Baines (641.5 Baines)

As an unofficial guide, this details the kind of the food that was prepared, served and eaten at Downton Abbey, not necessarily the specific dishes we saw on the series. That aside, the recipes (and the staff to prepare them) are those on which dreams are made.  I’d be willing to tackle the creamed carrots or the steak au poivre; I thought the dark chocolate bread pudding with salted caramel sauce sounded heavenly… 

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