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How and Why They Lived That Way: Books and DVDs about 19th- & 20th-Century British Society


The Crawley family's impeccably ordered lifestyle in Downton Abbey has sparked much curiosity about the lavish social rituals and practical underpinnings of life in a grand English country home. Readers who want to know what it felt like to be an American heiress rubbing elbows with hard-up aristocrats, when a lord might confide in his butler, whether asparagus should be eaten with hands or fork, or how much it cost to employ all those footmen will find plenty of answers in our selection of classic and newly reissued memoirs. Period fiction and mysteries by first-rate writers, as well as related TV dramas and historical series, also illuminate these lives and times from fresh angles.


9 titles currently in stock


Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

The Countess of Carnarvon.
ListPrice: $15.99
Sale Price: $9.95
In this juicy and entertaining companion piece to Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, ...(Read More)

Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times

Lucy Lethbridge.
ListPrice: $27.95
Sale Price: $19.95
In this "ridiculously diverting glimpse of downstairs life" (Salon.com), historian Lucy ...(Read More)

Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy

Ken Follett.
ListPrice: $36.00
Sale Price: $19.95
Moving from Hitler's rise to power in 1933 Germany to the advent of the Cold War, this second book ...(Read More)

Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants

Alison Maloney.
ListPrice: $23.99
Sale Price: $14.95
Upstairs, an aristocratic Edwardian home in early 20th-century England would have been a picture of ...(Read More)

Love in a Cold Climate

Nancy Mitford.
ListPrice: $14.95
Sale Price: $9.95
One of Nancy Mitford's most beloved novels, Love in a Cold Climate is a romantic comedy that ...(Read More)

Park Lane

Frances Osborne.
ListPrice: $15.95
Sale Price: $9.95
When 18-year-old Grace Campbell arrives in London in 1914, she's unable to find a position as an ...(Read More)

The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro.
ListPrice: $15.00
Sale Price: $9.95
(Man Booker Prize Winner) Long before Carson, the stoic butler managing Downton Abbey's ...(Read More)

The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Set 1

Ian Carmichael & others. Hugh David & Ronald Wilson, directors.
ListPrice: $49.99
Sale Price: $29.95
Death hits close to home when Lord Peter's future brother-in-law is murdered and Lord Peter's ...(Read More)

The Buccaneers

Mira Sorvino, Carla Gugino, Alison Elliott, Rya Kihlstedt, Cheri Lunghi & others. Philip Saville, director.
ListPrice: $14.98
Sale Price: $9.95
Deemed nouveau riche and shunned by elitist New York society, sisters Nan (Carla Gugino) and ...(Read More)
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