U.S. publishers rush out books about Edwardian and wartime Britain to cash in on American success of Downton Abbey


U.S. publishers rush out books about Edwardian and wartime Britain to cash in on American success of Downton Abbey

It has already won the hearts of viewers in both Britain and the U.S.

But now Downton Abbey is inspiring a resurgence in publishing in America with a wave of releases to cash in on the trend.

Dozens of 20th century novels about the British aristocracy are being promoted by New York-based publishers to capitalise on the TV series.

The Downton Abbey effect: New York publishing houses are rushing out books on Edwardian Britain to cash in on interest in the hit TV show

The Downton Abbey effect: New York publishing houses are rushing out books on Edwardian Britain to cash in on interest in the hit TV show

They are convinced that having devoured all of the episodes show so far, U.S. viewers will turn to novels to get their Downton fix.

Books being rushed into print include memoirs from Edwardian-era kitchen maids, historical dramas from World War I and even novels based on the sinking of the Titanic.

Cashing in: A fresh paperback version of Ford Madox Ford's war novel Parade's End has been released

Cashing in: A fresh paperback version of Ford Madox Ford's war novel Parade's End has been released

A fresh paperback version of Ford Madox
Ford's war novel Parade's End has been released, and copies of The
Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy by David Cannadine have been
flying off the shelves.

Among the others proving popular are Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford, a 1949 novel about the English upper class.

So acute is the interest that book store owners say they have seen nothing like it since the 1970s – when the Downton precursor Upstairs Downstairs was released.

Downton Abbey has proved enormously popular in the U.S. where the premiere of the second season last Sunday drew 4.2million viewers on the PBS network.

In response some cases book stores have held their own screenings for the latest Downton episodes.

Publishers have also taken to Twitter to promote what they see is a chance to boost sales in the January lull.

Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison ($15, Penguin USA)

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by the Countess of Carnarvon ($15.99, Crown)

Literary theme: Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor (left) from Penguin USA and Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey (right) has been published by Crown

Typical of the messages was one posted on the account for Knopf which reads: 'Love Downton Abbey' May we suggest Wade Davis's INTO THE SILENCE – a book capturing the twilight of this elite'.

READING LIST: DOWNTON-INSPIRED LITERATURE
New paperback edition of Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford ($19, Knopf Doubleday)
The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy by David Cannadine ($27, Knopf Doubleday)Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford ($14.95, Knopf Doubleday)Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by the Countess of Carnarvon ($15.99, Crown)
A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd ($24.99, HarperCollins)
Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison ($15, Penguin USA)

Stephen Morrison, the editor in chief and associate publisher of Penguin Books, said: 'We're just riding that Downton Abbey wave.

'I think the story lends itself to great television but it is also the themes of great literary writing, with all the twists and turns in the characters.'

Stan Hynds, a book buyer for the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, added: 'It's a great opportunity to build some sales.

'We're trying to push books on the British aristocracy, the Titanic and World War I as well.'

Among the other novels which are being pushed to coincide with the series are Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by the Countess of Carnarvon.

Another is A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd about World War I, and maid's memoir Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor by Rosina Harrison.