Over the past week or so, Hubby and I have binged on “Downton Abbey,” zipping through Season 1 and half of Season 2. During the same time, I’ve been editing the final proof of the “Author’s Edition” of As You Wish (hopefully out by the end of the month). So it’s been a weird couple of weeks immersed in two period dramas set in England and thinking about how much the houses in both of them dominate the storylines.
After watching the special on Highclere Castle (see my last post) and learning that the castle inspired “Downton Abbey,” it was fascinating to see that theme in the show. The fictional Lord Grantham is so set on properly maintaining the Abbey that he doesn’t even fight the entail that will keep his wife’s money with the house (and a distant cousin who is heir) instead of going to his eldest daughter. It’s not that he cares more about the house than his daughter (I think); it’s just that both are his duties, and he figures Mary will survive without the money, but the Abbey won’t. There are more plot twists that revolve on the entail (inspired by Pride and Prejudice, I suspect), but I won’t post spoilers, in case there are other latecomers to the show who still plan to watch Season 1.
Meanwhile, without giving away too much of As You Wish, I will say that the Marquess of Solebury — father of the hero in the story, David Traymore — also takes extraordinary measures to try to save his estate, which is destined to go to his wastrel of an heir rather than the more deserving but illegitimately born David. Since the heroine Leah Cantrell has seen Solebury House in a state of ruin in the 21st century, she wonders if saving the house may be the reason she’s been transported to the past. I’d never thought about how central the house is to the plot of the book until re-reading it while watching “Downtown Abbey.”
To read the blurb and first couple chapters of As You Wish, please click on the book title to head over to the book page. If you’re an Amazon Prime Member, you can watch “Downton Abbey” episodes free on Amazon Instant Video (like Hubby and me); if not, you can buy the boxed set of DVDs here.Tweet this