Thursday, January 12, 2012
Downton Abbey revisited.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/business/media/mad-for-downton-publishers-have-a-reading-list.html?_r=1&hp This is all great news for me and for other writers who set their novels in that milieu and that period. My heroine, Lady Georgiana, is related to the royal family, 34th in line to the throne and through the course of my stories she hangs out with royal kin at Buckingham Palace She sees her cousin, the Prince of Wales, become hopelessly enamored of a dubious American woman called Mrs. Simpson. And because her mother was of lowly birth, she is also a keen observer of the gulf between the haves and have nots.
I suppose I can understand this current fascination with upper class Britain and the time between the wars--in many ways our current situation mirrors it. We have a clear gulf between rich and poor, we have a deep recession with many people losing their homes and a general feeing of uncertainty.. And the life of British aristocrats is so deliciously decadent and so far removed from most of us that we love to take a peek at it.
I have to say that I love to write about it. During my life I've had a chance to take my own peek into that lifestyle. My husband's family used to own stately homes (Sutton Place included, but that was before my time) but I have met older relatives who talk fondly about pranks they played on the butler and dinner parties for a hundred guests. And I have met people who firmly believe that that era has not passed and still think of the world as "them and us"--with other classes only being created by God for their use to the aristocracy.
So it's all great fun and of course my books have the added attraction of a murder or two thrown into the mix. If you haven't read them yet, do give them a try. The latest is Naughty in Nice in which Georgie tangles with a murderer, a jewel thief and Coco Chanel on the Riviera!