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The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,330 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews
The Great War has ended, but Downton Abbey is far from peaceful...

"Americans can't get enough of 'Downton Abbey,'" said The Boston Globe. As Season 3 of the award-winning TV series opens, it is 1920 and Downton Abbey is waking up to a world changed forever by World War I. New characters arrive and new intrigues thrive as the old social order is challenged by new expectatio
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ebook, 320 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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The Remains of the Day by Kazuo IshiguroThe House at Riverton by Kate MortonBrideshead Revisited by Evelyn WaughA Room with a View by E.M. ForsterHowards End by E.M. Forster
Downton Abbey-esque Books
50th out of 507 books — 886 voters
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by Fiona CarnarvonEdwardian Cooking by Larry EdwardsTo Marry an English Lord by Gail MacCollThe Chronicles of Downton Abbey by Jessica FellowesGeorge, Nicholas and Wilhelm by M.J. Carter
Nonfiction Books On The Edwardian Era
4th out of 114 books — 13 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,683)
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Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
As Informative As It Is Elegant

As a Downton Abbey addict, I love the idea of a companion novel that combines the spirit and stunning visuals of the program with interesting history and facts about these characters and the time period they lived in. A few years ago I read and thoroughly enjoyed The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes and I’m so delighted to see that she has followed up that first companion novel with three more!!

As a person who loves character-driven stories, analyzing per
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Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
I never really got into Downton Abbey until the latest series, but now I am an absolutely huge fan. I'm not sure why it took me so long to get into it, but thankfully this book has been released and so now I can read up on what I've missed!

When The Chronicles of Downton Abbey arrived, like any Downton fan, I was so excited to have a copy in my hands! After just a quick flick through, I already knew that I loved this book. I couldn't wait to have a better look at it. This is the 'official compan
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Jeni
Dec 03, 2013 Jeni rated it really liked it
Yes, I am on the DA bandwagon, and I received this book as a gift on Friday. I finished it Sunday! Granted, there are a lot of pictures (which is awesome), but it's more than just a photo album of the series. Each of the main characters is fleshed out a little more, with more of their "background story," but there are also historical facts and information from people from that era, both servants and "above-stairs" folks. This really helps to understand the historical backdrop of the series, as w ...more
Tina Rae
Dec 31, 2012 Tina Rae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the show
Shelves: favorites
I honestly am so glad I read this book. I mean, it's a Downton book so I would've read it anyway but reading it now after finishing the third series, I am especially glad to have read it.

I'll say it now. That third series did not sit well with me. And reading this book helped.

I went into this expecting this to be a lot like the first Downton book (which was mostly about the time period and history behind the show) but it wasn't. This one went more into the motivations of the characters, their li
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Christopher Hicks
Oct 29, 2015 Christopher Hicks rated it it was amazing
This was a really fun read. I recommend it to any fan of the show. It gives an in depth look at the sets, characters and storylines. It's also filled with beautiful photos of the cast and sets.
Anna
Sep 28, 2012 Anna added it
Shelves: 2012, downton-related
Really enjoyed this! It's an easy read, obviously, but fairly informative and the photographs are gorgeous. I was also pleasantly surprised by the book itself. I had expected, for the price, but get a rather cheap soft-cover book, but this is a gorgeous hard-cover with a jacket sleeve, the paper and binding are top-notch, and the design pleasing.

Most of all I enjoyed the quotes and snippets of real life. The book has a comprehensive (well, nearly) list of literature written on subjects such as
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Tiina
Jan 02, 2013 Tiina rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Every Downton fan
A must for every Downton fan!

The pictures alone are gorgeous, I could stare at them all day long. The colors, the outfits... Wow.

The written part is terribly interesting, too. The book gives us more information about almost all of the characters (though I wish there were chapters about Jimmy and Ethel, too), their motivations and relationships, and about the 1920s in general. It's very informative and I learnt a lot of things about history as well as about my favorite characters. The writing is
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nettebuecherkiste
Dec 29, 2012 nettebuecherkiste rated it it was amazing
Dies ist bereits das zweite Begleitbuch zur Erfolgsserie “Downton Abbey”. Man sollte es am besten erst lesen, nachdem man die 3. Staffel gesehen hat, um Spoiler zu vermeiden. Jessica Fellowes stellt uns die Charaktere und ihren Hintergrund hier einzeln vor. Viele davon beruhen ja tatsächlich auf Verwandten von Julian Fellowes, dem Onkel von Jessica und Schöpfer der Serie. Wie erfahren mehr über das typische Leben beispielsweise einer Küchenmagd wie Daisy, einer Hausdame wie Mrs Hughes oder auch ...more
Paula Dembeck
Dec 03, 2013 Paula Dembeck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful companion piece to the Masterpiece Theater period drama Downton Abbey. It is a compendium of historical details, character sketches, actor interviews, production challenges and photographs of this much loved and popular drama series.

The production accurately portrays one of the old grand estates of prewar Britain. It was an enormous challenge to try and present the two very different worlds of the Abbey-the grand and calm upstairs world of the Crawley family and the busy belo
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 Gigi Ann
Jan 22, 2013 Gigi Ann rated it it was amazing
Now that the third season of the show is under way, I am thoroughly enjoying it. This book was such a nice book to read, explaining each character with a bit of detail. It even made me like Thomas a little bit, him with his selfish, and mischievous ways.

I can't wait to see where the story is going to take Edith. I'm sure Lady Mary will do all she can to make Edith feel bad, wherever her path takes her. But I can see Edith becoming a very strong lady and very independent.

I'm not at all fond of S
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Marcie
Jan 12, 2013 Marcie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge fan of Downton Abbey! If you've not had the opportunity to watch the show you need to! For those of you that are already fans or if you know someone that is. This would be a great gift for them. The Chronicles of Downton Abbey is a beautifully constructed book with gorgeous photos of the cast members. It even included the newest cast member, Shirley MacLaine. The book not only has insightful character profiles, but also interesting historical facts. Don't worry about spoilers for seas ...more
Rebecca Huston
Another book for the Downton Abbey fan in your life. Lavish photography, little details, and some interesting photo spreads. While there are details, if you've seen the first episode of the third season, there really are not any spoilers. Two new characters -- Lady Grantham's mother, Mrs. Levinson, and a new footman -- are introduced in the third season, but again, no real spoilers. Worth it, although it is different from the other coffee table book that has been published. Four stars overall.

F
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Melanie Rightmyer
Feb 08, 2013 Melanie Rightmyer rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
I would suggest that you not read this book until you have started watching Season 3 as this book references some events that occur in Season 3.

If you love Downton Abbey you will love this book! The book is divided in sections about each of the main characters. The sections give you the story of the character, images from the movie, and pictures of items they would have had or used during that time period. This book is beautiful, from the layout, to the large glossy pictures from the movie, to
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Drunkenness Books
Nov 06, 2015 Drunkenness Books rated it really liked it
Avec ce livre, les éditions Charleston nous propose de replonger dans l’univers de Downton Abbey, une série désormais culte et multi récompensée !
Petit rappel pour ceux et celles qui ne connaîtraient pas cette série britannique de Julian Fellowes. Celle-ci se situe au début du XXème siècle et suit le quotidien de la famille Crawley, des aristocrates, et de leurs domestiques à Downton Abbey. La vie de tout ce petit monde bascule lors du naufrage du Titanic dans lequel périt l’unique héritier du t
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Amanda
Dec 07, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for any fan of Downton Abbey. This book is a look into the characters of Downton and what has happened to them in the prior two seasons and a look at what season 3 has in store for them. It gives a look into the new character that was added to the show, Coras mother played by Shirley Maclaine. This book has some beautiful pictures. This was a fun read and great way to fill in the time until the new season starts in January.
Michelle Llewellyn
Feb 03, 2016 Michelle Llewellyn rated it really liked it
Published in 2012, covering Seasons 1-3, (with no spoilers about how season 3 ends, thank goodness) nineteen of our favorite characters from the show are featured in their own chapter; allowing fans to get to know them better.
They are: Lord and Lady Grantham, Carson and Hughes, Mary, Thomas, Isidore, (Cora's Mom) John Bates, Sybil and Tom Branson, Alfred, Edith, Mrs. Patmore and Daisy, Matthew, Anna, Mrs. Crawley, (Matthew's Mom) and Violet (Dowager Countess of Grantham).
There are plenty of gor
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Christine
Jan 12, 2013 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I got this as a Christmas present and I love it. Its worth having for the photographs alone. It gives some great background to what was happening in England at the same time as the series, both upstairs and downstairs. This is a great companion piece to a TV series I can't stop raving about.
Rachael Hewison
I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey and I couldn't wait to read this book. However I was a little let down in a way. I thought it would summarise the characters journeys so far more than it did as it only concentrated on the very end of season three. I would have like more of an exploration of their personal journeys.

I did love, however, how the writers compare the characters lives to real life counterparts. Many examples were used of people who had been butlers or lady's maids and it was incredibl
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Jacqui N
May 13, 2014 Jacqui N rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction-bio
The creators of this third companion book to the show appear to understand completely what their viewers want...I know that I want to lose myself in that world, and as silly as it sounds, I want it to be more real. This book accomplishes both. Each chapter is devoted to a main character, whether they be upstairs or downstairs. Along with some cultural background being explained, reasons for a particular person acting like he or she did in the series, with insights from the actors themselves, giv ...more
Sara Pauff
Dec 09, 2012 Sara Pauff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Porn for Downton fans. Insight into characters, odd historical facts about the era, enigmatical clues about Season 3 and lots of pretty pictures (Mary's wedding dress! Baby Branson!) A good book if you're counting the days until January.
Julie
Apr 27, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: misc
I hesitated to read this because I've only seen season 1 & 2 of the show ,and was worried that this book might give away a lot of next season's secrets ,since it has already aired elsewhere .
It does kinda give small hints and tells a few things that you sorta knew would probably happen anyhow,so it wasn't too much of a spoiler . This book was comparable to the earlier one I read this year that had many photos of the house and some of the characters, etc . ,but I enjoyed this one much more
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Sarah
Jun 07, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog-reviewed
The Chronicles of Downton Abbey provides a full color portrait of each of the main characters residing in and around Downton Abbey. Each section includes the creator's take on the character, detailing the inspiration behind the character, few quotes from the actor portraying the role and some psychoanalysis of the character's behavior.

Section by section, the quality of the "new insights" into the characters varied. For instance, in the chapter discussing Thomas, one of the footman, the author d
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Kristin
May 09, 2014 Kristin rated it liked it
In comparison to the first Fellowes Downton Abbey book, this book was more focused on the characters. Each chapter examined a different role within houses of this nature (e.g. Earl, Butler, Lady's Maid). We're told about the responsibilities of this role, but also about what the person's upbringing and point of view would have been. We learn about their likely goals in life and their values. I enjoyed learning about how each sees the world.

In addition, we learn more about each specific characte
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Megan Palasik
Dec 30, 2013 Megan Palasik rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Yes, I'm in love with Downton Abbey and yes I bought this for myself because I have the other book.

This book was much better than the first book. This book has information about each of the characters individually up through about the middle of the third season. There is even a section about Mrs. Isidore Levinson (Martha - Cora's mother) who isn't introduced until season 3.

I loved this book. Yes, it had many photos which were great. It also had a lot of background information about each of the
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Jill
Apr 02, 2015 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-year-read
I am an avid fan of the Downton Abbey series. It was interesting to read the forward by Julian Fellowes where he mentions the people in his life that he created the different characters from in the show. I greatly enjoyed all of the photos. A lot of the writing was a rehash of the video content, although it did explain in depth the surrounding circumstances. The character personality descriptions were very good. The discussion by the costume designer as to how particular styles of clothing were ...more
Sverre
May 01, 2013 Sverre rated it it was amazing
==An excellent book for big fans of Downton==
Chronicles of Downton Abbey repeats the excellence of The World of Downton Abbey with superb photography, excellent descriptive narrative, relevant historical particulars and snippets from actor interviews. This volume features individual chapters focusing on the major above stairs and below stairs characters. The writers delve into each role’s place in the fabric of this elaborate period drama. The characters’ lives come alive for readers and will ex
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Lori Twichell
Sep 19, 2013 Lori Twichell rated it it was amazing
Similar to the first book, this is a coffee-table-type book with huge, glorious photos and lots of incredibly detailed descriptions to explain how much work is involved in keeping the show authentic. As someone who has worked on film sets, I remain highly impressed with the caliber of the production on the program and the book matches that same level of perfection. With intricate detail, the authors share what seems like every single thing that goes into a project of this magnitude. From the foo ...more
carissa
Mar 03, 2014 carissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
"The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, carefully pieced together at the heart and hearth of the ancestral home of the Crawleys, takes readers deeper into the story of every important member of the Downton estate.This lavish, entirely new book focuses on each character individually, examining their motivations, their actions, and the inspirations behind them."-- Publisher's description.
Barbara VA
May 05, 2015 Barbara VA rated it it was amazing
Gosford Park is one of my very favorite movies but I am late to the Downton Abbey craze. It has been on my horizon since beginning but I wanted to share the experience, (surprise, surprise) the men in my house just do not seem all that interested and my daughter does not live close enough.

I was at a wonderful museum for New Years, Wintertur, home of the duPonts, our own Downton Abbey and they were featuring a traveling costume exhibit that turned the tide for me. I have binged and am now mid way
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Alison
I really enjoyed this book! It wasn't just the information about all the characters that made it so interesting, it was the background history about that time period that really added something extra. It helped to explain why characters acted the way they did. Such as information about what was happening in Ireland at that time... this really helped to understand Branson a lot. And also accounts from actual people who used to live and work in houses like Downton.

There's also a section at the en
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