It’s Downton Abbey’s premiere week! If you will be setting up displays around the popular BBC/PBS series we have a list of titles for your consideration.
PARADE’S END by Ford Madox Ford
Vintage, 9780307744203, $19.00 (912 pages)
Ford Madox Ford’s masterpiece, a tetralogy set in England during World War I, is widely considered one of the best novels of the twentieth century. Parade’s End explores the world of the English ruling class as it descends into the chaos of war. Christopher Tietjens is an officer from a wealthy family who finds himself torn between his unfaithful socialite wife, Sylvia, and his suffragette mistress, Valentine. Recently adapted for BBC TV. Coming to the US at a future date.
BIRDSONG by Sebastian Faulks
Vintage, 9780679776819, $15.95
Published to international critical and popular acclaim, this intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present. Recently adapted for BBC TV. Coming to PBS TV’s Masterpiece Theater April 22 and 29, 2012.
HOWARDS END by E. M. Forster
Vintage, 9780679722557, $11.00
“Only Connect,” Forster’s key aphorism, informs this novel about an English country house, Howards End, and its influence on the lives of the wealthy and materialistic Wilcoxes; the cultured, idealistic Schlegel sisters; and the poor bank clerk Leonard Bast. Bringing together people from different classes and nations by way of sympathetic insight and understanding, Howards End eloquently addresses the question “Who shall inherit England?” (Lionel Trilling). Written in 1910 at the height of the Edwardian era.
MISSING OF THE SOMME by Geoff Dyer
Vintage, 9780307742971, $14.95
A book that is part travelogue, part meditation on remembrance—and completely, unabashedly, unlike any other about the First World War. Through visits to battlefields and memorials, Dyer examines the way that photographs and film, poetry and prose determined—sometimes in advance of the events described—the way we would think about and remember the war. With his characteristic originality and insight, Dyer untangles and reconstructs the network of myth and memory that illuminates our understanding of, and relationship to, the Great War.
DECLINE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH ARISTOCRACY by David Cannadine
Vintage, 9780375703683, $27.00 (848 pages)
At the outset of the 1870s, the British aristocracy could rightly consider themselves the most fortunate people on earth: they held the lion’s share of land, wealth, and power in the world’s greatest empire. By the end of the 1930s they had lost not only a generation of sons in the First World War, but also much of their prosperity, prestige, and political significance.