Friday, January 13, 2012

Downton Abbey on Wooster Street

Since its highly acclaimed debut in 2010, the Primetime Emmy Award winning series Downton Abbey has captured the hearts and minds of American viewers. With a killer cast and rich plot wrought with juicy aristocratic drama and the political tensions of a world at war, it is no wonder this stunning British melodrama hits all the right notes for stateside fans.

The series, which airs Sunday nights on PBS, commences in season one with the devastating news of the sunken RMS Titanic and ends with the declaration of WWI. After a year-long hiatus, the show returned on January 9 with a 2-hour season premiere. We don’t do spoilers, so get up to speed on your own; you have two days to catch up!

The history, the fashion, the forbidden love—we can’t get enough of Downton Abbey. While riveted to the screen, we fondly think of our own British sagas and wartime stories, bound and shelved in our downtown office. When Monday morning rolls around, and you are longing for the Edwardian thrills and high drama of Sunday nights, look no further. We think these exciting Overlook Press titles will tide you over through the week.

No Angel, Something Dangerous, Into Temptation

Penny Vincenzi

Much like Downton Abbey, Penny Vincenzi's Spoils of Time trilogy begins during the Edwardian Era, at a time when social stratification was most evident, yet the World Wars devastated rich and poor alike. The first book of the trilogy, No Angel, introduces the Lytton family, whose wealth and prestige as a publishing dynasty contrasts sharply with the relentless poverty of those around them. Something Dangerous and Into Temptation follow suit with intense themes of power and family politics amidst a backdrop of passion and glamour.

"The racy plots and period atmosphere will keep you firmly hooked. Irresistible!"—Washington Post Book World

The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë

Bedlam: The Further Adventures of Charlotte Brontë

Laura Joh Rowland

The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë and Bedlam predate Downton Abbey in the Victorian Era, yet betrayals, passionate romance, and adventure remain the common thread among the three compelling storylines. Follow Charlotte Bronte and her sisters in suspenseful jaunts through Haworth, London, and beyond. If you enjoy engaging mysteries and historical drama, these two period novels will not disappoint.

“Laura Joh Rowland not only evokes Victorian-era London with a sure hand, she creates a believable Charlotte whose intelligence, stubbornness, and wit recall Jane at every turn. Even more important, the mystery itself is particularly fine.” —Entertainment Weekly

The Collector's Wodehouse

P.G. Wodehouse

Is there anything more quintessentially British and charming than the works of P. G. Wodehouse? Lauded as one of the greatest comic writers of our time, Wodehouse represents an antic high point in the world of farce and social satire. Creator of Jeeves, Blandings Castle, Psmith, Ukridge and more, the masterful Wodehouse lives on in our beautifully produced The Collector's Wodehouse (see the collection here).

"His novels are the very definition of British humor: bubblingly witty and dryly loony. Overlook Press continues its reissue of a handful of these absurd souffes. You can buy the work for yourself in suave hardcover volumes, the dust jackets as natty as the prose." —Entertainment Weekly

Bliss, Remembered

Frank Deford

Lovers of historical fiction will revel in this fictional memoir with flashbacks to Nazi Germany and the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The threat of war and forbidden love between an American Olympic hopeful and the son of a Nazi diplomat makes for “an enthralling work of fiction” (Library Journal) that should not be missed.

“Deford has a superb sense of character and period, and readers will at once feel drawn into the turbulent times…this is a poignant story, utterly charming and enjoyable.”—Publishers Weekly

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