Ring the footman for more tissues, Downton Abbey is over for another year. <sniff!>
Now that Season 4 has drawn to a close, what will you do to fill the void until the Crawleys return? Here are 10 books that may help ease the pain:
- American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin. The story of vivacious Cora Cash, whose early twentieth-century marriage to England’s most eligible duke is overshadowed by his secretive nature and the traps and betrayals of London’s social scene.
- Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. The difficult loves of insular Englishman Charles Ryder, and his peculiarly intense relationship with the wealthy but dysfunctional family that inhabited Brideshead.
- The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst. Embraced by the family of his Cambridge schoolmate, Cecil Valance writes an inspiring poem in an autograph album that becomes a staple of every English classroom after he is killed during World War I. (Man Booker Prize-winning author.)
- The Fox’s Walk by Annabel Davis-Goff. During World War I, a ten-year-old girl sent to live with her autocratic grandmother in the country gradually discovers that her family’s privilege is purchased at great cost to many other people.
- The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Stevens, an impeccable, quintessential English butler, embarks on a motoring trip through the West Country, on an odyssey that evokes disturbing memories of his thirty years of service to Lord Darlington and of the housekeeper, Miss Kenton.
- Summerset Abbey by T.J. Brown. Daughters to the second son of the Earl of Summerset, Rowena and Victoria, after their father dies, move in with their uncle’s family in a much more traditional household where they learn about class division and, as war approaches, hope for a more modern future.
- Snobs by Julien Fellowes. Preparing to marry heir Charles Broughton, attractive accountant’s daughter Edith Lavery makes humorous and astute observations about contemporary England’s class system. (By the creator of Downton Abbey.)
- The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. Living out her final days in a nursing home, ninety-eight-year-old Grace remembers the secrets surrounding the 1924 suicide of a young poet during a glittering society party hosted by Grace’s English aristocrat employers, a family that is shattered by war.
- A Room With a View by E.M. Forster. British social comedy examines a young heroine’s struggle against Victorian attitudes as she rejects the man her family has encouraged her to marry and chooses, instead, a socially unsuitable fellow she met on holiday in Italy.
- Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford. A tale spanning 16 years in Edwardian England finds the centuries-long relationship between the aristocratic Inghams and the Swann family who serves them tested by the outbreak of World War I.
Take heart, Anglophiles, we’ll get through this together!