Review by Sylvia Minns
The book is written by Jessica Fellows, an author and freelance journalist in her own right, with a foreword by Julian Fellows.
Julian Fellows created Downton Abbey which is now hailed as the most critically acclaimed British costume drama since the1981 ITV production of Brideshead Revisited. The story is set in a hugely impressive country house and involves members of an upper class family and their servants portraying social etiquette and attitudes, romance, war, and sibling rivalry along with other period scenarios.
Dowton Abbey’s first series was screened by ITV in September 2010 and by episode six had become a remarkable success. In fact, so successful that a second series was planned immediately to be screened in the autumn of 2011. The winning story of Downton Abbey has continued and this companion book reveals many interesting features from behind the scenes – fact and fiction, contemporary details, series characters and the actors who played them. It also includes many interesting particulars of what is referred to as an ‘upstairs and downstairs’ way of life besides the truly magnificent film setting at Highclere Castle.
This book is the official companion to the series 1 and 2. It can almost be referred to as a ‘photograph album’ of the series. From front to back covers the book is full of splendid colour photographs of characters and actors, scenes from within Highclere Castle and the film sets, along with ephemera reproduced in a truly contemporary style. Besides this there is a wealth of interesting facts both from the series and often explaining many of the customs and details of that era.
THE WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY is definitely a book that’s fun to dip into, either to catch up on details of the series, or to browse into the history and many of the traditions of an English upper class family of the early 20th century.