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What's on the Bookshelves at Downton Abbey?

Downton Abbey DVD cover

If you’re like me, you’re eagerly awaiting the next season of Downton Abbey, which premieres here in America on January 4 (Brits, no spoilers please!). We know that season 5 starts in 1924 and ends in December of 1925, so what world or local events will they experience? What will they be wearing? What will they be reading?

The 1920s produced some of my favorite novels, so I wanted to see what the characters might be reading during these two years. We don't usually see them reading anything but the newspaper, but living the leisure life must afford them time to pick up a novel or book of poetry from time to time. While I hope they would chose from some of the great American authors from that era (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edna Ferber, Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather), or current popular fiction from the United States due to Cora's influence, maybe more likely they will be reading British novels. Bestselling British author, Marie Corelli, died in 1924, perhaps inspiring a re-reading of her books. Maybe they will read British literary award winners, such as A Passage to India by E.M. Forster, The Spanish Farm by Ralph Hale Mottram, or Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey, or they will get their book recommendations from the "Books of the Day" sections in the Observer or the Times of London.

Mrs Dalloway Book Cover

Here are some other possible titles on their shelves, please feel free to add your own suggestions below!

1924

The Green Hat by Michael Arlen
The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie
The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy
Precious Bane by Mary Webb
Beau Geste by P.C. Wren
Some Do Not by Ford Madox Ford
The Boy in the Bush by D.H. Lawrence

Painted Veil Book Cover

1925

The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton
The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie
Sorrell and Son by Warwick Deeping
The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot
Those Barren Leaves by Aldous Huxley
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
No More Parades by Ford Madox Ford
Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Children's books for young Sybil and George

When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne
Doctor Dolittle series by Hugh Lofting
Just William series by Richmal Crompton

Previously: "Waiting for Downton Abbey"

Comments

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Billy Budd

After reading your post, I discovered Herman Melville's Billy Budd was first published in London in 1924 (33 years after the author's death) as part of The Standard Edition of Melville's Complete Works by Constable and Company, Ltd. It might make a good addition to your list!

Reading List for Downton Abby

Masters and Pastors, by Dame Ivy Compton-Burnettt, 1925 The Sailor's Return, David Garnett, 1925 A Gallery of Children, by A.A Milne, 1924 (poetry for children) There's a few great American literary works written during those years that come mind, as well as some German and French ones. If you decide to include those, please let me know, I may be able to make some suggestions.

Correction of typo -Downton reading list ("that come to mind")

Downton Abby book list Masters and Pastors, by Dame Ivy Compton-Burnettt, 1925 The Sailor's Return, David Garnett, 1925 A Gallery of Children, by A.A Milne, 1924 (poetry for children) There's a few great American literary works written during those years that come to mind, as well as some German and French ones. If you decide to include those, please let me know, I may be able to make some suggestions. To whom it may concern-Please feel free to edit my comment however you seem fit, I'm a poor typist and make a lot of mistakes, and, I often say too much.. Thank you

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