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Customer Review

345 of 354 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Companion Book, December 9, 2011
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This review is from: The World of Downton Abbey (Hardcover)
This book was released in the US earlier this week; I received my copy today and spent a couple of hours this afternoon looking through it. I wanted to review it right away in case anyone is considering buying it as a present for a Downton Abbey fan. It's a beautiful book and one that I'd have been thrilled to get as a gift. It's printed on thick, high quality paper and the photography is stunning. I would note that as Series 2 has not yet aired in the US, if you want to see the show without knowing anything in advance, some of the text is spoilerish here and there. The first instance that I found came at the end of Chapter 2, "Society." The photos are from both Series 1 and 2. There are also a number of "behind the scenes" photos. There are no extensive profiles of or interviews with the principal actors, if you are particularly interested in that, just short (1-2 sentence) snippets, and quotes now and again. There is some history to provide context for the fictional world of Downton (American heiresses marrying into the aristocracy, including Julian Fellow's inspiration for Cora, for example) as well as some information related to the series' production and filming. I did learn things from this that I hadn't heard before, and particularly enjoyed Julian Fellow's stories about ancestors of his who (unknowingly) inspired or gave him ideas for scenes and characters. Fans who have researched and read a lot about the Edwardian era will not likely learn anything new from the text, but I bought the book mainly for the photographs and information about the series, particularly so was not disappointed at all. In summary, I can't imagine any Downton fan not liking this book! The suggestions for further reading are good, though the section on life below stairs could be more extensive. I would second the recommendation of Juliet Gardiner's Manor House: Life in an Edwardian Country House (listed as The Edwardian Country House, its UK title) for anyone interested in the era's country house life - likewise very beautifully done.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 7, 2012 10:16:00 AM PST
Jill says:
Yay - I see on Amazon UK that there is a Downton "Book 2" in production, can be pre-ordered there for UK release in September 2012; if they follow the same plan as for the current book, it should be out here in early December.

Sounds like it will cover Series 3:

"In a time of change family, friends and honour matter more than ever...

It is 1920 and Downton Abbey is on the brink of a post-war world. New elements and intrigues thrive as the old social binds weaken.

The Downton Abbey Chronicles, carefully pieced together at the heart and hearth of the ancestral home of the Granthams, is a beautifully produced collection of every important member of the Downton estate..."

There's more on Amazon UK, but for those of us who've yet to see Series 2, the rest of the product description has spoilers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2012 2:43:15 PM PST
dudnpad says:
I'm really confused! I live this side of the pond (NY City) but the Amazon listing sounds as if the book is available for pre-order only. Does that mean UK or USA? I would like to purchase it as soon as possible. What is going on? Could someone please clarify. AmaZon has screwed this one up by not specifying. (Guess I could write directly to them but I will try this first.) Thanks in advance.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2012 10:12:11 AM PST
Jill says:
Hi - the yet-to-be-released "Dwonton Abbey Book 2" is so far only available for pre-order in the UK, and it will be released over there in September (when Season 3 of Downton Abbey will also be airing for them). Amazon USA customers can order things from Amazon UK using their same account info - but I suspect that "Book 2" will eventually be available in the USA for pre-order and eventual realeas. If it follows the same schedule as the current "World of Downton Abbey" book, it will probably be for sale in the USA in early December, and should be able to pre-order it a couple months before that. Just guessing though.
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