Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Fans of Downton Abbey

A weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This weeks prompt is to recommend books based on a different type of media (movies, TV shows, etc.). My original thought was Lost, one of my favorite shows, and the book I just finished (The Maze Runner) had Lostian overtures, but that ended up being harder than I thought so I changed tactics. I love Historical Fiction so I figured I'd recommend book based one of my favorite period pieces on television. So here are my Top Ten Books if You Like Downton Abbey.

Recent Fiction
1.) A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
A great piece of YA Historical Fiction about a young woman living in Edwardian London and trying to find her way as an artist in a changing world. It's got feminism, the fear of ruining your family's reputation, and a swoonworthy romance which is very Downton. Lady Sybil would approve of Vicki I think.

2.) The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
One of my favorite series so I had to mention it but it totally fits! The Luxe is Gilded Age Gossip Girl. It's got an interesting cast of characters all of which are aristocrats adapting to the modern era, a complicated love story, and a once great family struggling to survive. The Hollands and their money problems remind me of the Crawleys.

3.) Atonement by Ian McEwan
A piece of Adult Historical Fiction set in World War II with a similar tone to Downton. The characters have to deal with the world at war and their doomed love story (an aristocrat in love with the son of a servant). Plus it has an unreliable narrator which you know I love. It's very reminiscent of season 2 of Downton Abbey.

5.) Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore
This is the story of a wealthy house in the English countryside similar to the Crawleys and we follow both the aristocrats upstairs and the servants downstairs. The main characters are two women searching for person independence in the Edwardian era. This is probably the book on the list most similar to Downton.

6.) The Gemma Doyle by Libba Bray
Just like the other books this is set in Edwardian England and the main characters are young women struggling to find their place in a world that is changing. Their torn between what society expects of them and what they want for themselves just like the ladies of the Crawley family. Plus there's magic!

6.) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
While this book is set in a different era in England the romance reminds me so much of Lady Mary and Matthew. It has a similar kind of love story where first misunderstanding leads to affection and love. Plus the Bennett sisters are very similar to the Crowley girls (Mary is totally Edith!) and who doesn't love Jane Austen?

7.) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This book was first published in 1910 and season 1 of Downton Abbey takes place in 1912. The book deals with similar themes and follows a young girl as she explores a mansion in the English countryside. I bet the characters would have read this book. Plus the idea of the medical practices of the time being helpful or harmful comes up in season 3 of Downton.

8.) Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolf

This book was first published in 1925 and is about an aristocratic woman living in post-war England and planning a party. She is dealing with her position as a "society wife" in a world that is changing and modernizing. And how many similar parties have we witnessed in Downton Abbey? Plus it's Virginia Wolfe so like Downton it's full of feminism.

9.) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
The story of wealthy aristocrats torn between the rules of society and their own passion. The Age of Innocence is a complicated love story and scandal threatening to ruin a family's once great reputation only adds to the similarities. The themes of marrying the person you love or marrying the person society expects you to are themes that Downton has touched on a few times.

10.) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The seminal Jazz Age tale, just like season 4 of Downton Abbey it bursts with romance, excitement, and the music of the era. I'm pretty sure Rose would want to be friends with Daisy and go to a Gatsby party! Plus it's a fun and interesting piece of fiction so it definitely goes on the list!

Are you a Downton Abbey fan like me? What books would you recommend? I know there are lots of great Historical Fiction novels set in the Edwardian Era and the Jazz Age. Make me some recommendations. It's one of my favorite periods to read about! Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I've never watched Downtown Abbey but I do love that time era. I have read Atonement and seen the movie. Loved them both!!! One book that I read not too long ago that was a great Historical Fiction was The Museum of Extraordinary Things. It's setting is in old time New York/Coney Island. I highly recommend it :)
    Thanks for sharing!!!
    Come by and check out my TTT @Book Hangovers

  2. Ooh nice picks! Haven't watched this show either, but like how you mixed it up with modern reads and classic ones!

    Here's my Tuesday post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  3. Great list! Loved LOST. And almost all of the books on your list are already on my TBR list. :D Hope to get to them soon. :D
    My TTT

  4. Man I really need to get to watching Downton Abbey. I'm sure I would love it. A Mad, Wicked Folly is swiftly moving its way up my TBR for SURE.

  5. Great pick, I have hear amazing things about A Great and Terrible Beauty! :) I have never watched Downton Abbey, I know the gist of it but I have yet to watch it! :')

    Thanks for sharing!

    Alex @ The Shelf Diaries