No one anticipates the new season of the PBS hit Downton Abbey more than fans of the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. It's a natural fit. It's inevitable, we think, that people who are attracted to beautiful leather-bound antiquarian volumes, antique maps, vintage photographs, historical ephemera, and the myriad other items found at the book fair, are going to gravitate to a post-Edwardian costume drama with plenty of plot twists served up amid delicious period detail.
And why not? Many of the treasures found at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair would be quite at home in the Yorkshire country estate of Lord Grantham and his family. It's too bad we rarely get to see much of what's on the shelves in the library but there's far too much intrigue among the family members and the staff for anybody to take time to look at the the books. Still, we'd guess there would probably be some volumes on English history, and maybe some English literature.
Wonder what else might be there? What are your thoughts? Who would Lady Mary read? What about Cora or Lord Grantham? Do you suppose Tom Branson would have quietly added some political treatises? What do you think Lady Edith might be reading?
Awhile back, the New York Public Library compiled a list of books likely to be of interest to Downton Abbey fans. It included such favorites as E.M. Forster's A Room With a View and Howard's End as well as Ken Follett's Fall of Giants, Kate Morton's The House at Riverton, Katharine McMahon's The Crimson Rooms, Frances Osborne's Park Lane, Eva Ibbotson's A Countess Below Stairs, Daisy Goodwin's The American Heiress, and Edith Wharton's The Buccaneers. Nice list.
We know where we'll be on Sunday, January 4. Glued to the television (a rarity for us) for the premiere episode of the fifth season of Downton Abbey. Yes, we're well aware that the new season already aired in Britain and is readily available for viewing online. We prefer to wait for the PBS airing. It's better quality and if it helps PBS and our local PBS station, we're happy to do it.
Meanwhile, we've already blocked out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 13, 14, and 15 on our calendar. We'll be at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair immersing ourselves in all the beautiful books, prints, maps, and more.