A Downton Abbey Season Five Reading List

Posted by Michael Zimny on

“What's on the Bookshelves at Downton Abbey?” A feature on the official blog of the New York Public Library asks the question and offers some potential answers.

The conspiracies, dramas and secrets exposed in season five begin in a mythical 1924 and unravel into what promises to be a tense holiday season of 1925. The NYPL blog suggests that, under Cora Crawley’s influence perhaps, some characters may have been introduced to great American writers of the time. Who knows? Maybe one or more resident of Highclere let their imagination soar over the Great Plains with Willa Cather’s “My Ántonia” or “O Pioneers!”

...
 
 

More likely, they might have dropped anchor with Herman Melville’s novella, “Billy Budd, Sailor,” as it was first published (though originally as “Billy Budd, Foretopman”) in London in 1924, 33 years after the author’s death, and quickly hailed as a masterpiece by influential British writers like D.H. Lawrence. A character wasn't phased by the glances one might expect for reading a lowbrow genre like fantasy fiction might have lost their troubles in Edgar Rice Burrough’s “Land That Time Forgot.”

Chances are the Highclere crew were more apt to read the popular British novels of the day. In case you’d like to become better acquainted with their (potential) literary oeuvre, here’s a few of the then-current titles — mostly British, a few from across the pond — suggested by the NYPL, and SDPB.

1924

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
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
That Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Billy Budd, Sailor by Herman Melville

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
Manhattan Transfer by Jon Dos Passos

 

subscribe to sdpb email updates food blog link image learning blog link image living blog link news and information blog link science and technology blog link sports blog link image

Related content from SDPB Radio - Art

The Enduring Simplicity (And Complexity) Of Michael Hall

In The Moment ... September 20. 2018 Show 426 Hour 2 Michael Hall writes picture books that delight and endure. He's...

Art That Takes You Home

In The Moment ... July 18, 2018 Show 381 Hour 2 Jon Crane creates "Art that Takes You Home." After a tour at...

Renowned Artists Visit Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute

In The Moment ... June 19, 2018 Show 361 Hour 2 Art can be meditation, expression, activism, and escape. It can also...

Eagle Butte Artists Learn Tips To Flourish

Artists who turn their passion into a business venture can find it a challenge. They need to figure out the details...

Books

The Multiple Hearts Of Laura Geringer Bass

In The Moment ... September 20. 2018 Show 426 Hour 2 When 13 year-old Briana's dad dies suddenly, she is faced with...

Read, Baby, Read: What's America's Best-Loved Novel?

In The Moment ... May 22, 2018 Show 342 Hour 1 What's America's best-loved novel? You get to decide. PBS launches...

Author Kirk Wallace Johnson's "The Feather Thief"

In the Moment ... May 1, 2018 Show 327 Hour 1 The centuries-old art of salmon fishing fly-tying has a dark side. It...

Jane Yolen Celebrates #Yolen365 And Counting

In The Moment ... April 26, 2018 Show 324 Hour 1 In March, author Jane Yolen released her 365th book. That means you...

Music

Matthews Opera House Season Preview

In The Moment ... September 26. 2018 Show 430 Hour 2 The Matthews Opera House subscription concert series begins...

Fun Approach To Music Theory

Andrew Rogers – in home music lessons designed for children and young adults. Uses a unique teaching style that...

The Literary Style of Reina del Cid

Reina del Cid kicks off her summer tour with a stop in Sioux Falls at the Icon Lounge. She joins SDPB's Lori Walsh...

Eric Johnson Returns For Black Hills Playhouse Opener

In The Moment ... May 29, 2018 Show 346 Hour 2 Leave the ordinary behind at this year's Black Hills Playhouse Season...

Theater

Broadway Choreographer Chet Walker

In the Moment ... April 9, 2018 Show 311 Hour 1 The University of South Dakota Theater Department presents "Cabaret"...

Images of the Past: Stage To Screen

In The Moment ... November 27, 2017 Show 227 Hour 2 A new exhibit at the Old Courthouse Museum tells the story of...

Personalities: From Huron High to Broadway

Singer, actor, and teacher Joseph Mahowald graduated from Huron High School in 1977. He went on to study music and...

In The Moment ... Alex Meyer's Scenic Design

In The Moment ... May 10, 2017 Show 090 Hour 2 Alex Meyer. He's a junior art and theater major at Augustana College...