Downton Abbey Reading Challenge

February 2, 2012 Whitney Reading Challenge 3 Comments

I am obsessed with Downton Abbey!  As is most of Americans (Brian Williams did a segment on it so it must be true).  I look forward to watching it each Sunday and the theme song is music to my ears (it is now my new ringtone on my cell)  My mom and I force my dad to watch it (and I think he secretly enjoys it).  Afterward my mom and I debate whether we liked Mary as a bitch or kind-hearted better, the unjustness of William and Matthew’s fate and whether the current Mrs. Bates will destroy not only Mr. Bates and Anna’s future together but also the Crawley name.  I am in love.  So when I saw a bookish Downton Abbey challenge I just about wet my pants with excitement.  

Our Hostess says:
I am a big fan of the ITV series Downton Abbey and have been eagerly watching since it premiered on PBS last year. I decided to host a Downton Abbey reading challenge because of my own interest in the time period and I was inspired as well by the many articles listing Downton Abbey readalikes such as The House at Riverton or The American Heiress
The goal of the Downton Abbey Reading Challenge is to read books that are related to Downton Abbey either by time period, characters, or subject. 
Challenge Levels
Kitchen Maid: Read 1 book related to Downton Abbey
House Maid/Footman: Read 2-3 books related to Downton Abbey
Valet/Lady’s Maid: Read 4-5 books related to Downton Abbey
Butler/Housekeeper: Read 6-8 books related to Downton Abbey
Earl/Countess: Read 8-10 books related to Downton Abbey
Dowager Countess: Read 11+ books related to Downton Abbey
What kinds of books can you read?
  • Victorian/Edwardian classics

  • Fiction/Nonfiction
    set in the late 1800s (when Cora and other wealthy American heiresses
    traveled to Britain and the Continent in search of titled but
    impoverished husbands)

  • Fiction/Nonfiction set during the early 1900s when Downton Abbey takes place (up to 1919)

  • Fiction/Nonfiction about heiresses or heirs

  • Fiction/Nonfiction about the servant/master relationship

  • Fiction/Nonfiction about the lives of servants or aristocrats

  • Fiction/Nonfiction about events or topics mentioned in the series (The Boer Wars, the Titanic sinking, the fall of the Romanovs, WWI, women’s suffrage, the political upheaval in Ireland during that time, etc.) 
There is an excellent list of Downton Abbey related books on Goodreads and you can also find suggestions through Project Downton (hosted by The Lit Bitch). 

I am debating between being a servant or an aristocrat but for the moment I am compromising and being a housekeeper, despite O’Brian being a complete bitch.  



3 responses to “Downton Abbey Reading Challenge

  1. Oh man, that list on Goodreads is wayyyyy too tempting. I will definitely be adding a few of those to my list, though I don't know yet how many I'll get to this year. What a great idea!

  2. Thanks for signing up for the reading challenge. I honestly debated about making the third level "Valet/Head House Maid" so it would be Bates and Anna rather than Bates and O'Brien. I don't like O'Brien but she is a lot nicer this season! I had to laugh when I saw that you and your mom make your dad watch. Downton Abbey too. I am sure that deep down he is a big fan of the show too 🙂

    Good luck with the challenge!

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