One of the most talked-about TV series of the past year is now available in our PBS Maximum Access collection. “Downton Abbey” is a dramatic British series detailing the lives of the Crawley family and their staff living and working at a fictional estate in the early 1900s. The plot of the Emmy-winning series begins the day after the sinking of the Titanic and leads into the start of World War I. For anyone who missed the original broadcasts on PBS and faces a long hold list for the popular DVD set at their physical branch, these always available digital video titles* are a perfect way to experience all seven episodes of the first season.
Hungry for more Downton Abbey? You’ll also find eBooks and audiobooks to take you behind the scenes. Written by Jessica Fellows, the daughter of show creator Julian Fellows, and narrated by Lady Cora herself, actress Elizabeth McGovern, “The World of Downton Abbey” provides a deeper history and background details about the fictional estate and its inhabitants. Listening to the audiobook gives insight into the role of each character and puts their actions and worldview into historical context.
While Downton Abbey is a fictional place, it is based on and filmed at a real life castle, Highclere. “Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle” uses letters, diaries and visitors accounts written at the time to tell the story of the castle that inspired the PBS miniseries. The book also focuses on the Lady of the Castle, Almina the Countess of Carnarvon. For any history buffs interested in British history, especially during the time surrounding World War I, this is a good read.
*Title availability may vary by geographic location.
Melissa Work is a Marketing & Outreach Specialist at OverDrive.