What To Read Next
Books For The Downton Abbey Lover

"I do think a woman's place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there." - Dowager Countess
The Glitter and the Gold by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan The Glitter and the Gold
by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan


National Bestseller A new edition of Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan's memoir—the story of the "real" Lady Grantham of Downton Abbey

Consuelo Vanderbilt was young, beautiful, and heir to a vast fortune. She was also in love with an American suitor when her mother chose instead for her to marry an English Duke. She sailed to England as the Duchess of Marlborough in 1895 and took up residence in her new home—Blenheim Palace. She was the real American heiress who lived long before Downton Abbey's Lady Grantham arrived.

Mme. Balsan is an unsnobbish and amused observer of the intricate hierarchy both upstairs and downstairs and a revealing witness to the glittering balls, huge weekend parties, and major state occasions she attended or hosted chronicling her encounters with every important figure of the day—from Queen Victoria, Edward VII and Queen Alexandra to Tsar Nicholas and the young Winston Churchill.

The Glitter and the Gold is a richly enjoyable memoir is a revealing portrait of a golden age now being celebrated every week behind the doors of Downton Abbey.

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The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty The Chaperone
by Laura Moriarty


Soon to be a feature film from the creators of Downton Abbey starring Elizabeth McGovern, The Chaperone is a New York Times-bestselling novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in the 1920s and the summer that would change them both.

Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever.

For Cora, the city holds the promise of discovery that might answer the question at the core of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in this strange and bustling place she embarks on a mission of her own. And while what she finds isn’t what she anticipated, she is liberated in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of Cora’s relationship with Louise, her eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive.

Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s, ’30s, and beyond—from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers, and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women—Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them.

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Somewhere In France by Jennifer Robson Somewhere In France
by Jennifer Robson


#1 Globe and Mail Bestseller USA Today Bestseller A daring young woman will risk her life to find her destiny in this atmospheric, beautifully drawn historical debut novel—a tale of love, hope, and danger set during the First World War. Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford wants to travel the world, pursue a career, and marry for love.

But in 1914, the stifling restrictions of aristocratic British society and her mother’s rigid expectations forbid Lilly from following her heart. When war breaks out, the spirited young woman seizes her chance for independence. Defying her parents, she moves to London and eventually becomes an ambulance driver in the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps—an exciting and treacherous job that takes her close to the Western Front.

Assigned to a field hospital in France, Lilly is reunited with Robert Fraser, her dear brother Edward’s best friend. The handsome Scottish surgeon has always encouraged Lilly’s dreams. She doesn’t care that Robbie grew up in poverty—she yearns for their friendly affection to become something more. Lily is the most beautiful—and forbidden—woman Robbie has ever known.

Fearful for her life, he’s determined to keep her safe, even if it means breaking her heart. In a world divided by class, filled with uncertainty and death, can their hope for love survive. . . or will it become another casualty of this tragic war? The paperback includes a P.S. section with additional insights from the author, background material, suggestions for further reading, and more.


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The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn The Last Summer
by Judith Kinghorn


A sweeping debut, perfect for reading groups and fans of Kate Morton and Downton Abbey A sweepingly epic and gloriously intimate commercial debut - a beautiful and haunting story of lost innocence and a powerful, enduring love.

Clarissa is almost seventeen when the spell of her childhood is broken. It is 1914, the beginning of a blissful, golden summer - and the end of an era. Deyning Park is in its heyday, the large country house filled with the laughter and excitement of privileged youth preparing for a weekend party. When Clarissa meets Tom Cuthbert, home from university and staying with his mother, the housekeeper, she is dazzled. Tom is handsome and enigmatic; he is also an outsider. Ambitious, clever, his sights set on a career in law, Tom is an acute observer, and a man who knows what he wants. For now, that is Clarissa.

As Tom and Clarissa's friendship deepens, the wider landscape of political life around them is changing, and another story unfolds: they are not the only people in love. Soon the world - and all that they know - is rocked by a war that changes their lives for ever.


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A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams A Certain Age
by Beatriz Williams


As the hedonism of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, an aviator and a hero of the Great War.

Though the battle-scarred Octavian is devoted to his dazzling socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her, Theresa resists. The old world is crumbling, but divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing remains a high-stakes affair. And there is no need: she shares a gentle understanding with Sylvo, the well-bred philanderer to whom she’s already married.

That is, until Theresa’s impecunious younger brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with Miss Sophie Fortescue, the naïve young daughter of a wealthy inventor. Theresa enlists Octavian to check into the background of the reclusive Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the charming ingénue, even as he uncovers a devastating family secret.

As a fateful triangle forms, loyalties divide and old crimes are dragged into daylight, drawing Octavian into transgression…and Theresa into the jaws of a bittersweet choice.


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Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford Radio Girls
by Sarah-Jane Stratford


London, 1926. American-raised Maisie Musgrave is thrilled to land a job as a secretary at the upstart British Broadcasting Corporation, whose use of radio – still new, strange, and electrifying – is captivating the nation. But the hectic pace, smart young staff, and intimidating bosses only add to Maisie’s insecurity.

Soon, she is seduced by the work— gaining confidence as she arranges broadcasts by the most famous writers, scientists, and politicians in Britain. She is also caught up in a growing conflict between her two bosses, John Reith, the formidable Director-General of the BBC, and Hilda Matheson, the extraordinary director of the hugely popular Talks programming, who each have very different visions of what radio should be. Under Hilda’s tutelage, Maisie discovers her talent, passion, and ambition. But when she unearths a shocking conspiracy, she and Hilda join forces to make their voices heard both on and off the air…and then face the dangerous consequences of telling the truth for a living.

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The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin The American Heiress
by Daisy Goodwin


Enter a world in which American millionaires marry British aristocrats-in return for title and social status-and discover why this blockbuster bestselling novel continues to enchant millions of readers.

Be careful what you wish for... Newport heiress Cora Cash-beautiful, spirited, and the richest girl in the country-is the closest thing that American society has to a princess in 1893. But her mother wants more, and whisks Cora away to England for the one thing money can't get a woman in the States: a title.

When it comes to love Cora makes a dazzling impression on English society-followed by a brilliant match-but finds the chill in the air of magnificent ancestral homes is not solely due to the lack of central heating. Faced with the traps and betrayals of an old-world aristocracy that can trip up even the most charming, accomplished outsider, can Cora grow from a spoiled rich girl into a woman of substance?

Witty, moving, and brilliantly entertaining, Daisy Goodwin's The American Heiress marks the debut of a glorious storyteller who brings a fresh new spirit to the world of Edith Wharton and Henry James.

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Ross Poldark by Winston Graham Ross Poldark (Book 1)
by Winston Graham


Love Poldark? why not read Winston Graham's series of Cornish novels, on which the BBC series starring Aidan Turner is based.

The bestselling Poldark series is loved across the world for its compulsive blend of romance, drama, unforgettable characters and beautifully evocative portrayal of Cornwall.

The saga, which spans the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth centuries, follows the life of the brooding, principled Ross Poldark; a young man who returns from the American Revolutionary war to find his father dead, his copper mine failing and his childhood sweetheart, the beautiful Elizabeth Chynoweth, engaged to his cousin. Romance, intrigue, betrayal, and one of the most heart-breaking love triangles in modern fiction ensue as Ross falls in love with the charming Demelza, and tries to build a better world for her and their children whilst fighting his arch-enemy, the swaggering and ruthless financier, George Warleggan.

Poldark Book one Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and his family. But the joyful homecoming he has anticipated turns sour, for his father is dead, his estate is derelict and the girl he loves is engaged to his cousin.

But his sympathy for the destitute miners and farmers of the district leads him to rescue a half-starved urchin girl from a fairground brawl and take her home - an act which alters the whole course of his life . . .

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Below Stairs by Margaret Powell Below Stairs
by Margaret Powell


Brilliantly evoking the long-vanished world of masters and servants portrayed in Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs, Margaret Powell's classic memoir of her time in service, Below Stairs, is the remarkable true story of an indomitable woman who, though she served in the great houses of England, never stopped aiming high.
Powell first arrived at the servants' entrance of one of those great houses in the 1920s. As a kitchen maid – the lowest of the low – she entered an entirely new world; one of stoves to be blacked, vegetables to be scrubbed, mistresses to be appeased, and bootlaces to be ironed. Work started at 5.30am and went on until after dark. It was a far cry from her childhood on the beaches of Hove, where money and food were scarce, but warmth and laughter never were.
Yet from the gentleman with a penchant for stroking the housemaids' curlers, to raucous tea-dances with errand boys, to the heartbreaking story of Agnes the pregnant under-parlormaid, fired for being seduced by her mistress's nephew, Margaret's tales of her time in service are told with wit, warmth, and a sharp eye for the prejudices of her situation. Margaret Powell's true story of a life spent in service is a fascinating "downstairs" portrait of the glittering, long-gone worlds behind the closed doors of Downton Abbey and 165 Eaton Place.

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The Fotune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin The Fotune Hunter
by Daisy Goodwin


The Fortune Hunter, the New York Times bestselling novel by Daisy Goodwin, is a lush, irresistible story of the public lives and private longings of grand historical figures.
Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as Sisi, is the Princess Diana of nineteenth-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse.

Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National—until he meets Charlotte Baird. A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that jeopardizes the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and threatens all of their futures.

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