Acclaimed by critics and cherished by fans, Downton Abbey is the most popular period drama ever. North America is all anticipation of the premier of Season 5 on January 4, 2015 on Masterpiece Classic PBS. Until then, feed your Downtonite with these great holiday gifts.
1. What Is A Weekend Coffee Mug
When the Dowager Countess of Grantham asked “What is a weekend?” in season one of Downton Abbey, I was totally addicted to this fabulous period drama. That line summed up the classification of “aristocrat” as an endangered species and foreshadowed all the laughter to come. I now start my morning as an anachronistic aristocrat with this clever coffee (or tea) mug.
Teddy bears became the rage during the American Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, so it seems only fitting that the American heiress Lady Cora Crawley should be featured as a Teddy Bear doll. This 14″ stuffed bear is soft and plush with old-fashioned felt paw pads, is fully-jointed and dressed to the nines in beautifully styled period costume.
3. Downton Abbey Pull Bell Ornament
Deck the halls with a classic pull bell to alert your servants to your every whim.
4. Downton Abbey Castle Ornament
Decorate your tree with the elegance of the aristocratic Crawley family with this accurate replica of “Downton Abbey” made from resin and hand painted from Kurt Adler.
Dimensions: 4.2″ x 2.7″ x 5.4″
5. Downton Abbey English Rose Tea Bags, by The Republic of Tea
Enjoy this delightful blend of herbal tea made from Nigerian hibiscus, rosehip peels, apples, stevia, natural raspberry, natural rose, vanilla flavors and rose petals when you have your next tea party in the Grecian folly on your estate, or while watching Downton Abbey season 5 of course. 36 tea bags.
Host an elegant tea party with this exclusively designed Downton Abbey Teapot and recreate the refinement of the popular television series in your own home. Made from fine porcelain, this teapot and matching teacups are the perfect holiday gift for any avid fan.
7. Downton Abbey Shortbread Assortment
Give the gift of Downton Abbey with this collectible Luxury Assorted Shortbread Tin. Each traditional tin features a classic biscuit selection, including fingers, rounds, triangles and chocolate chip shortbreads. Give as a gift, or make it a part of a Downton Abbey-themed gift basket.
This fast moving deluxe board game for 2-6 players will transport you into the world of Downton Abbey. Step into the shoes of parlor maid or footman and complete your tasks by navigating the house and collecting bells. The winner is the player who has completed all their duties and collected the most bells. Ages 8 to Adult.
Transport yourself back to a simpler time and enjoy this two CD collection of well-known carols and hymns, which have been carefully curated to evoke the Christmas at Downton Abbey spirit.
10. Season 5 of Downton Abbey (UK Edition)
“Every Secret Has a Price” is the tag line for the new season of Downton Abbey. Without revealing any spoilers I can say that I could not agree more. As the Crawley family and the staff struggle with responsibilities and choices as they adjust to life in the Roaring Twenties, fans will be shocked and delighted by the thread of deception and white lies (and black ones too) strewn throughout. The beloved ensemble cast includes Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, and stellar performances from new cast members too, making this the best season yet!
If you pre-order Season 5 (UK Edition) now, you will not only receive the uncut version, but a FREE Downton Abbey Tea Sampler Pillow Pack. Early shipment on January 27th will ensure that you can binge watch the last four episodes before they air on PBS while drinking the FREE tea!
11. The Manners of Downton Abbey
Join Alastair Bruce, historical advisor to Downton Abbey, as he reveals the secrets of how the aristocratic set dined and dressed, how they married and made money, how they interacted with the servants, and above all why they behaved as they did in 1900s Britain. Includes revealing interviews with leading cast members, including Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Joanne Froggatt, and many others! Pre-order now for January 06, 2015 shipment. “Fascinating. The research and detail shared by the Downton Abbey historical advisor is amazing. One must ask, even though one shouldn’t, is he married?” ★★★★
12. Downton Abbey Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4 (U.K. Edition) Limited Edition DVD Set Plus Free Tote Bag
The ultimate Downtonite indulgence, immerse yourself, friends and loved ones in a watch-a-thon of the first four seasons of the most awarding winning, critically acclaimed, fan favorite period drama of all time, Downton Abbey. This limited edition set included seasons 1, 2, 3, & 4 and a FREE Downton Abbey logo tote bag.
13. To Marry an English Lord, by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace
From the Gilded Age until 1914, more than 100 American heiresses invaded Britannia and swapped dollars for titles—just like Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, the first of the Downton Abbey characters Julian Fellowes was inspired to create after reading To Marry an English Lord. Filled with vivid personalities, gossipy anecdotes, grand houses, and a wealth of period details—plus photographs, illustrations, quotes, and the finer points of Victorian and Edwardian etiquette—To Marry an English Lord is social history at its liveliest and most accessible. ★★★★ Read our review.
14. A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey: Seasonal Celebrations, Traditions, and Recipes, by Jessica Fellowes with foreward by Julian Fellowes
Every Downtonite NEEDS the next installment in the official MASTERPIECE | PBS (Masterpiece Theatre) Downton Abbey companion collection, sumptuously illustrated and expertly written, St. Martin’s Press editions. This year we are treated to a full year in the life at the grand manor house starting in 1924 where there have been many changes in the world of Downton Abbey since we were first welcomed by the family and their servants twelve years ago. A generation of men has been tragically lost at the front, there are once again children breathing new life into the great house, a chauffeur now sits at the Grantham dinner table and hems are up by several inches. “Dive into the fashion, food and social customs of the aristocrats and servants who live at Downton Abbey.” ★★★★★
15. Downton Abbey: Rules for Household Staff, by Mr. Carson
The household staff of Downton Abbey carries out their duties with effortless dignity, finesse and pride. Yet how do they know how exactly to lay the table, when to leave the room to give Lord and Lady Grantham their privacy, how to care for Lady Mary’s furs and which uniform to wear when? This recently recovered and fascinating staff handbook answers all of these questions and more. “A fun and eye-opening look of the duties of the household staff from the perspective of a traditionally stuffy butler shared with witty style and unfailing conviction to duty.” ★★★★★
16. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle, by The Countess of Carnarvon
What is the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes’s Emmy Award-winning PBS show Downton Abbey, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon? ★★★★ Read our review.
17. The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: From Lady Mary’s Crab Canapes to Mrs. Patmore’s Christmas Pudding, by Emily Ansara Baines
Bring upstairs and downstairs fare to your table with an assortment of recipes contributed by the characters from the hit TV show. Nibble on Lady Sybil’s Ginger Nut Biscuits during tea. Treat yourself to Ethel’s Beloved Crepes Suzette. Feast on Mr. Bates’ Chicken and Mushroom Pie with a room full of guests. “A great selection of aristocratic and country English fare for the modern cook.” ★★★★
18. Downton Tabby, by Chris Kelly
A parody of the worldwide television phenomenon Downton Abbey, with cats.
Downton Tabby is about England’s oldest and finest family of cats in people clothes. With beautiful (and scandalous) photographs and art, it tells the story of their lives and loves—and their maids and butlers and cooks’ lives and loves—from the sinking of the Kitanic to the Jazz Age. What makes the Grimalkins different is they’re cats. “If you dearly love to laugh, like Downton Abbey, and cats, then this book is for you!” ★★★★
19. Mouseton Abbey, by Nick Page
The Mouseton family pass around the Great Big Cheesy Diamond and everyone gets to make a wish. But this year, there’s a problem. The house is clean, the feast is being prepared, but the Great Big Cheesy Diamond is missing!
With beautiful, hand-knitted characters and ornate, illustrated backgrounds, the unique visual style of this book will delight young readers and adults alike. “Imaginative tale for children and those young at heart.” ★★★★
20. The American Heiress: A Novel, by Daisy Goodwin
Reminiscent of Edith Wharton’s unfinished novel The Buccaneers, Goodwin’s heroine Cora Cash, an American heiress seeking a title in England, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage. “Lady Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham, would read this novel in one sitting, and Downton Abbey fans will too.” ★★★★★
21. The Passing Bells, by Philip Rock
Before Downton Abbey, there was Abingdon Pryory, the elegant country home of the Grevilles—a titled English family who, along with their servants, see their world turned upside down when England goes to war. “I have loved this book for over 30 years, long before I became a Downtonite. You will too.” ★★★★★ Read our review.
22. Rutherford Park, by Elizabeth Cooke
On the eve of the outbreak if WWI, the Cavendish family of Rutherford Park and their servants have their own set of romantic, financial and social challenges in stall for them. “I must read for Downton fans.” ★★★★★ Read our review.
23. The Ashford Affair, by Lauren Willig
Long-buried family secrets regarding her great grandmother leads Manhattan attorney Clementine Evans on a journey into the past to discover her story in Edwardian era Ashford Park, England and 1920’s Kenya. “A parallel contemporary and historical storyline illuminate endearing character.” ★★★★★ Read our review.
24. While We Were Watching Downton Abbey, by Wendy Wax
For friends, Samantha, Claire, Brooke—and Edward, the concierge of their historic Atlanta apartment building who arranges the weekly gatherings—watching the season of Downton Abbey will be full of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life’s hardest moments—all of it reflected in the unfolding drama, comedy, and convergent lives of the popular television show, Downton Abbey. “Fans experiencing Downton withdrawals in between seasons will be delighted to discover the poignant and reassuring message of enduring friendship.” ★★★★★
25. Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition, by Jane Austen, edited by Patricia Meyer Spacks
We could not end this list without including the novel that began it all—Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Set in the Georgian era, this sparkling tale is the blue print for all witty, romantic, dramatic period novels, television shows and movies ever. Fellowes dialogue for his matriarch Lady Violet is at times so close to Austen’s that even this Janeite missed one question in the recent Who Said It: The Dowager Countess of Grantham or Jane Austen? quiz. All hail Queen Jane! ★★★★ Read our review.
Happy Holidays Downtonites!
Images and descriptions courtesy of their respective publishers, distributors and creators. No copyright infringement implied; article Laurel Ann Nattress © 2014, Austenprose.com
I totally agree with “The Passing Bells” <3
Glad to meet another fan. This book has a special place for me too.