Amanda's Reviews > The World of Downton Abbey

The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes
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Jun 10, 2012

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bookshelves: 2012-reads, history, nonfiction, period-piece, tv-movie-theater
Read from June 09 to 10, 2012

A really beautiful book that supplements the historical background of its TV show. The book illuminates the historical backdrop of the Downton Abbey's time period, explaining the basic hierarchy and running of a house like Downton house to national and describing the politics, fashions, history, and societal behaviors and traditions that influenced and characterized the era. This volume gave me a better understanding of the show's era and I'm sure when I re-watch the last 2 seasons I will catch more of the historically-steeped references. The book is also gorgeously designed from fonts to backgrounds and informational inserts. Filled with photos and sketches and jewel-toned colors, the book is just beautiful to page through. However, the book does have some drawbacks. At times, I wondered where a lot of the background information came from as not a lot of it other than direct quotes is cited. There were also a small but noticeable amount of typos in the book; words or phrases would be left out or half complete and the author referred to characters inconsistently by either their character's or the potraying actor's name. The latter may not sound like a big deal, but the book's historical narrative is broken when the author writes about "O'Brien, Carson, and Rose" and I have to put the heavy book down, turn on my laptop and figure out which character 'Rose' was. (Rose Leslie is the name of the actress who plays Gwen, the housemaid who wants to be a secretary.) This actor/character name interchanging happened multiple times. As this is a television tie-in book, I also would have liked more substantial interviews and quotes from actors and people involved with the production of the show.
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