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Books in the World of Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey exhibition image

Our new exhibit in the departmental cases is now open. It focuses on the ITV/PBS series Downton Abbey, which is currently in its second season on Masterpiece Theater. The exhibition can be viewed on the third floor of the Main Library anytime the building is open. The items on display include books mentioned in the dialogue from the show, as well as books on household customs, World War I, and the English aristocracy, all selected to bring the era depicted in the show to life.

Special thanks are due to Pete Balestrieri for conducting the research for the exhibition.

Here is a list of the items in the exhibition. An asterisk means the title or author was mentioned in dialogue from the series.

Elisabeth Balch, Glimpses of Old English Homes, 1890

Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, 1861

*Burke’s Landed Gentry, 1937

*Elizabeth von Arnim, Elizabeth and Her German Garden, 1900

*Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World, 1912

*H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, 1898

*Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, 1940 edition

*Photoplay magazine, 1919

*J.A.R. Marriott, England Since Waterloo, 1918

*G.A. Henty, St. George for England: A Tale of Cressy and Poitiers, 1900

Journal des dames et des modes, 1914

English Illustrated Magazine, 1912

Play Pictorial, 1916

Florence Hull Winterburn, Principles of Correct Dress, 1914

John Buchan, Battle of the Somme, 1915

Edmund Blunden, Undertones of War, 1928

Hallie Eustace Miles, Economy in War Time, 1915

Illustrated War News, 1916

Baron Dunsany, Tales of War, 1918

Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, 1930

The Sinn Fein Rebellion Handbook, 1917

Edmund Blunden, manuscript letter to Cambridge Magazine and draft of the poem “The Hawthorn Lane,” 1917

Illustrated London News, 1923 (depicting the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen by Lord Carnarvon of Highclere Castle, the English country house where Downton Abbey is filmed).