Historical Resources: Romance, Customs, and Marriage

Historical Accuracy Romance Customs Marriage

I just finished reading “A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey” – a wonderful book that I received for Christmas from the hubby. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to Sunday nights now that Downton is back on. For fans, this book outlines the year (both above and below stairs) based on the calendar month and includes great character spotlights, recipes, and customs. It’s a quick and fun read and the photography is beautiful. What’s also interesting are the tidbits from Julian Fellows talking about his inspiration for the show and how his aristocratic relatives were key figures in developing some of our favorite characters including Violet and Robert.

Additionally, I wanted to share a great article published by the Library of Congress. The article, From Dollars to Distinction, talks about the historical accuracy of the show and romance of the time period. A “Year In the Life of Downtown Abbey” also goes into the historical detail and features interviews and comments from both producers as well as hair, make-up, and costume crew. Also Alaisdair Bruce, the historical consultant for the show, is featured. It’s really amazing how much research and historical knowledge go into making the show.

Finally, if you’re intrigued by this topic (both romantic customs and American heiress such as Cora from Downton), I highly recommend “How to Marry an English Lord.” It’s a wonderful book that outlines all the American wealth and their most eligible female representatives crossing the pond to marry titles. It talks about courting, how marriages worked (and didn’t work), as well as spends some time addressing how the traditional “English Roses” felt about the increased competition (the marriage mart was already difficult as is!). Overall, a wonderful read and resource should you be inclined.



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