Memoirs, true stories and background reading
Edwardian cooking : inspired by Downton Abbey's elegant meals by Larry Edwards. Enjoy the culinary delights of Edwardian England in your own kitchen.
The world of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes. Behind the scenes look at Downton Abbey and a great companion to the series.
Bright young things : life in the roaring twenties by Alison Maloney. Learn about the fashions, dance crazes, parties and society social life of the tumultuous twenties.
The chronicles of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes and Matthew Sturgis. A carefully constructed analysis of the house and her characters.
How wives and daughters really lived in country house society over a century ago by Pamela Horn. This book tells the story of real women from Eighteenth Century English aristocratic families.
Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey : the lost legacy of Highclere Castle by Lady Fiona Carnarvon. This book was the inspiration for the TV series. Lady Cora Crawley is based on the real life Lady Carnarvon.
Below stairs by Margaret Powell. This is a memoir of a life in service who worked as a kitchen maid. A observant and not always glamorous look at "downstairs".
A girl at Government House : an English girl reminiscences : "Below stairs' in colonial Australia edited by Hellen Vellacot. Have a look at the Australian context in the 1920s.
They also serve Bob Sharpe with Tom Quinn. Bob rose from garden boy to butler and has some great stories about the years in between.
The lady's maid : my life in service by Rosina Harrison. As Lady Astor's personal maid, Rose was always at her side. She travelled the globe in style but was also committed to the endless 'downstairs' work.
Testament of youth : an autobiographical study of the year 1900 to 1925 by Vera Brittain. This first book of three covers World War I and the author's family life and impact of war on it and England.
George, Nicholas and Wilhelm : three royal cousins and the road to World War I by Miranda Carter. A big picture look at the time of Downton Abbey through the royals during the lead up to Word War I.
Novels and fictionalised accounts of 'downstairs' lives
Upstairs downstairs series by Anne Herries
Netherwood series by Jane Sanderson
Remains of the day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The shifting fog (also known as The house at Riverton) by Kate Morton
Brideshead revisited by Evelyn Waugh
A room with a view by E. M Forster
The help by Kathryn Stockett
Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker
Fall of giants by Ken Follett
The passing bells series by Phillip Rock
The return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller
A duty to the dead by Charles Todd
Masie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear