Downton Mourning

Hello everybody, are you still upset about the ending of Downton?
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Admit it, you’re an addict.  You were just about to move from black clothing to mauve as a first step out of mourning for Lady Sybil, and then it happened… Matthew is dead (and not J.R. or Bobby Ewing dream sequence I’ll come back next season dead), but eyes wide open, not blinking, blood pouring from the head dead.  Not only is the season over, but production on Season 4 is just starting.

What’s a good Anglophile to do in the interim?
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You could spend hours scouring Pinterest for lovely Downton images.  Or even shop on etsy for some interesting Downton crafts.
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Here’s a few more suggestions to last you a fortnight and then some.
Before Julian Fellowes was Baron Fellowes, he was just plain ole Julian from the block writing books and screenplays.
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How about one of his books?  Snobs or Past Imperfect. 
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Want to see the Baron in front of the camera?  Check out a funny Scottish nobleman’s family in Monarch of the Glen.
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Need a quick Maggie Smith fix Barron Fellowes style?  Then head over to Netflix and watch Gosford Park.
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It’s what got the Baron his Oscar, and the similarities between Dame Maggie’s characters in GF and DA can’t easily be missed.  Or  how about Maggie’s gal pal Dame Judi Dench in Cranford? Really got it bad?  Try both Dames together in Ladies in Lavender or Tea with Mussolini.
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Finally, for those of you who knew that a marquis was a nobleman and not a sign on a theatre before you started watching Downton (or Downtown as Drew says) then try the granddaddy of them all…
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Brideshead Revisited mini-series (1980s Jeremy Irons version, not 2000s Emma Thompson).  Waugh wrote enough novels too keep you occupied until all our cousins across the pond have finished watching the season 4 Christmas special.  And I love the art on his paperback covers.
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So break out those Union Jack pillows you bought from Joss and Main, pour yourself a cuppa rosey lee, and get your Brit on!
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What’s your favorite period drama or novel?  Stay tuned… More Brit love and design coming soon!


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  1. Oh yes, the mourning. I am terrible about reading spoilers so it came as no surprise. So…who will be the next love interest for Lady Mary? or Tom for that matter….
    Love love love Maggie Smith! I laughed out loud at several of her lines Sunday night.

  2. Solidarity in mourning – but I love all your suggestions for a Downton fix in the off-season. Me + my iPad + Netflix (Gosford Park) sounds like a pretty good date.

  3. Look for Upstairs Downstairs on PBS website, an excellent series that aired its second season just b/f Downton started. I love Upstairs/Downstairs almost as much as Downton. Also, there is a new series I am about to watch on PBS online about called the Midwives about midwives during WWII era. A British friend told me it is excellent.

  4. I just thought the quick kill-off was too abrupt, so I’m not in mourning for Matthew yet. I’m sure I”ll miss those cool blue eyes next season. What a great idea to extend the obsession to reading! That’s really combining my two favorite medium. I’ll also have to check out Upstairs Downstairs. Can I tweet your post?

  5. If an etsy vendor decided to “craft” and sell dartboards with Julian Fellowes face on them, they’d probably get rich about now.

  6. I love anything with Damian Lewis, so Forsyte Saga (2003) definitely helps to fill the Downton void. That young Joly was an artist made the series that much more enjoyable for me.

    Not British at all is Damian Lewis’ series Life. I loved it so much and really wish that there had been another season.

  7. Thank you! I’m seriously going in to Downton withdraws!! Can’t wait to check out these books and movies. Sooooo excited!

  8. I was mortified-first Sybil…..gut wrenching, couldnt sleep, even teared up the next day, then Matthew. Too much!! Blair and I recently re-watched Gosford park, and I’m going to have to check out your other suggestions.

  9. I have been searching and searching for a small union jack flag rug for my bathroom, would you possibly know where I could find one? Or should I inquire about your services to find one for me?

    • I have loved being taken back in time and watch how the “rich” lived in those huge mansions. The dresses and hats worn by the actors were beautiful. Can you imagine having some help you dress each day? Can’t wait for Season 4 on PBS…..

  10. Elizabeth E says:

    “… plain ole Julian from the block …” You CRACK me up!!! Definitely renting Gosford Park and reading Brideshead Revisited. Thanks for the recs. Have a GREAT day!

  11. I knew someone was going to die in the season finale but managed to not read any spoilers (I swear I don’t live under a rock) and had no idea it was Matthew… What?! First Sybil and then Matthew?! After the depressing ending of the show I googled the premiere date of season 4 and found it’s not until January 2014 in the states!! That’s like a whole year!! Ugh. Anyway, going to have to look into some of your suggestions, thank you for sharing. A year is a loooong time to wait for my favorite show.

  12. These are great suggestions Holly and will help me deal with Matthew’s demise and get through a whole year (!) without Downton. I know a lot of people already knew he was leaving the show but I was shocked. Shocked! When I saw him driving down the road with a big smile on his face I started to get nervous though…

    I also read he is going to be Darcy in a Pride and Prejudice remake.

    Now I need my other period show to come back on–Mad Men.

  13. “Julian from the block.” My, how I love you, Miss Holly!! Thanks for the stopgap suggestions. If they kill off grandma, though, I’m turning in my card.

  14. Love this post….Julian from the block…ha!

  15. I have watched Sunday’s show twice now and was still shocked and sad at Mary’s loss of her love Mathew! It is a breathe of beauty to watch Downton and other such shows. Great ideas to fill my Anglophile needs!

  16. In between seasons, I watched “The Forsyte Saga” on Netflix. It is EXCELLENT!!! A great Downton replacement fix!!!

  17. I had forgotten about Gosford Park. Going to have to watch that one again. This post CRACKED ME UP! Julian for the Block…hahahaha…I didn’t watch or read any spoilers for this season, so I was IN SHOCK!! I can’t believe it. Think I’ll set up the Netflix and work on my Etsy shop in the morning. Thank for all the great ideas here.

  18. Love Brideshead Revisited. The 80’s miniseries and the book. One of my favorites!

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