Meanwhile Back at the Castle: Books for "Downton Abbey" Fans

Ashenden by Elizabeth Wilhide. Upstairs and downstairs stories braid together in this century-spanning novel starring an English country mansion and the people who lived and worked there.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. The narrator of this delicious comedy of manners -- seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain -- is one of the most charming girls ever to inhabit a dilapidated castle deep in the English countryside.
Blandings Castle by P. G. Wodehouse. The perfect introduction to the world of the Earl of Emsworth and his stately home, misbehaving relatives, dignified butler, and that noble pig, the Empress of Blandings.
Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell. Lady Emily rules her large extended family with a manner that is as distracted as it is loving.
Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household by Kate Hubbard. Based on the letters and diaries of six servants in Victoria's household, this informative read offers an unusual window into life at the very top of English society.
Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford. Before she was a committed Communist and a muckraking journalist, Jessica Mitford was one of the younger daughters of a wildly eccentric English Earl. Her account of her unusual childhood is one of the best ever written.
The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and a Family Secret by Catherine Bailey. The long-sealed family archives at Belvoir Castle contain the clues to unlock a mystery from the years just before World War I.
The Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm by Juliet Nicholson. While high society careened from one house party to the next, the cracks were starting to show in England just before the Great War.